A number of positive coronavirus cases were today confirmed at Liverpool's landmark India Buildings, where hundreds of construction workers are kitting out a future government tax headquarters.

Staff have spoken of Covid-19 emerging at the Water Street site.

Overbury, the company fitting out the offices, has confirmed eight positive coronavirus cases on the site with 550 people currently working there, adding those people are self-isolating.

The firm said it had introduced a series of new rules to minimise the risk of Covid-19 at the key city centre location.

But some employees told the ECHO they were not rigorous enough or were not being followed strictly by staff or enforced by managers.

One said instructions that employees should get a coronavirus test once a week were not being adhered to, though the company claimed the cases had been identified through their testing process.

The worker said conditions in the toilets were "appalling", and claimed there were common scenes of up to 40 workers sitting close together around canteen tables, with very little social distancing.

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One woman said she had contacted Liverpool city council's environmental health team, but the local authority said they had "no knowledge of this."

In a statement, Overbury said: “Employee safety is a key priority for Overbury.

"As part of our proactive approach to employee safety and in response to Covid-19, we introduced weekly lateral flow tests on the India Buildings project in Liverpool.

“This proactive approach to has identified eight colleagues who have tested positive for Covid-19 that work at our India Buildings site in Liverpool.

"In line with government guidelines and company policy, these individuals are currently self-isolating.”

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Overbury said they had also introduced "security turnstiles with camera temperature check for every entrant, social distancing throughout, works organised in isolated teams to ensure minimal contagion, face masks required as people move around site, and for essential work within two metres."

Some staff, however, said about 50% of those on site were disregarding the masks stipulation.

Other rules brought in, it was added by the company, were "handwashing stations located across the site, full-time cleaning teams with fog disinfectant of areas every three weeks, weekly toolbox talks, and compulsory use of track and trace app."

Anyone with symptoms was asked to leave site, along with their immediate bubble, Overbury said.

HMRC is the planned new tenant of the Grade II*-listed Water Street building, where extra planning permission was secured in November to carry out works for the revamp.

The government body announced in 2017 that it planned to move thousands of tax workers into the building as part of a new "super centre".

Construction has been ongoing inside the huge office building ahead of the move that could eventually see thousands working across 10 floors.

The project was originally due to be finished last summer but a delay was announced last year after asbestos was found inside the building, pushing the move date back to the end of 2020.

The pandemic has impacted the move further.

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At the time of the HMRC announcement, Mayor Joe Anderson said it would help secure the future of one of the city's most outstanding buildings.

He added: "It is a huge vote of confidence from government and another shot in the arm for our ongoing renaissance which is seeing us attract investment not just in new developments but also in regenerating landmark buildings.”