Do you have a plan for Covid-19?
At the start of this year we couldn’t have imagined the current global pandemic situation that has dominated 2020. The impacts remain far-reaching and could intrude into many areas of farming life and business that we may not even yet fully appreciate. Farmers and crofters are resilient people and the isolation in which many live and work will bring some comfort, but this also brings specific challenges.
It is not an over-reaction to suggest that every single business needs to ensure that they are working in a Covid-secure manner, ensuring all necessary precautions and legal regulations are being met. If the current modelling predictions are correct, It is possible that many more people could contract coronavirus this autumn/winter. Whilst for most it will be a mild illness from which they will recover fully and quickly, this still creates a huge challenge for the farming industry as employees or contractors have to self-isolate for up to 14 days if they or someone in their household displays symptoms. No-one can say with certainty who will have a mild illness and who might find themselves confined to a bed, either in a hospital or at home.
Farmers often carry on regardless of illness because stock still need to be fed and work needs to be done. However you cannot assume that you will be physically able to do this and it is absolutely vital therefore that you have a plan in place so that in the event that you become too ill to work as normal or lose critical staff, the important jobs can still be done – beasts fed, cows milked, crop picked.
ALL businesses need to prepare an emergency plan and we will help you to do this. The support you can find on the FAS website falls into the following 3 categories:
- Emergency Planning Templates which will help you to create an Emergency Plan for your business, with specific resources for different enterprises and guidance notes about how to do this.
- Guidance and information, by sector. This includes information about dealing with common challenges arising from this crisis as well as information to support less experienced people who may find themselves helping on the farm.
- Signposting for other sources of support for farmers during this crisis and information about how they’re able to help you with this specific challenge.
Patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms are now asked to dial NHS 24 on 111, day or night if their symptoms worsen or do not improve after seven days.
Please use the list of websites below for the most up-to-date official advice:
- Scottish Government - COVID-19 Guidance for farmers and crofters
- Scottish Government - New Restrictions & Assets for the promotion of those restrictions
- Scottish Government - Self Isolation Toolkit
- UK Government - general advice
- Scottish Government (devolved matters include health and education)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice to owners of companion animals and livestock
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for beekeepers
- NHS Inform Scotland
- ACAS - Advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace
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