NFU Scotland | /social-distancing.aspx

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Social Distancing


Social distancing measures are for everyone, including all farm businesses.

The instruction to all is to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The single most important action all can take, in fighting coronavirus, is to reduce the spread of the infection.

The Scottish Government has recognised this is a very testing time for business in Scotland. However, reduced day-to-day contact with other people is the central plank of the approach to reducing the spread of the infection. That is why the Scottish Government introduced three clear measures

  • requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • closing certain business and venues 
  • stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in Scotland must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on 26 March 2020. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

In this public health crisis it is vital that all businesses act responsibly, including all farm businesses, and align fully with the social distancing measures.

All non-essential business premises, sites and attractions should close unless operations can be undertaken safely and in a way that is fully compliant with social distancing - including farm-based operations and activities. As such, the Scottish Government would advise that all business premises, sites and attractions not required by law to close should now be closed unless:

  • essential to the health and welfare of the country during this crisis; or
  • supporting (or being repurposed to support) essential services; or
  • wider public health, health and safety or other considerations apply and require a facility or service to continue to operate  or a specific period of time for a safe shutdown process to be completed; and
  • apart from in exceptional circumstances critical to lives and safety, capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice.

Farming and food production are essential services upon which daily life in Scotland depends. Essential services are the fundamental services that underpin daily life and ensure the country continues to function.

However, even then, NFU Scotland believes it is critical that all farm businesses observe the following

  • All farm businesses demonstrate that they can operate safely and that the safety and wellbeing of their workforce is of paramount importance
  • All farm businesses ensure and demonstrate that they are capable of working in a way which is fully consistent with established social distancing advice  
  • All farm businesses ensure that their members, staff, contractors etc. are fully briefed on safe working and social distancing practices and that they are supervised to ensure these are adhered to 
  • All farm businesses undertake to monitor the latest advice from the Scottish Government and make the necessary changes to their business operation as required, should this advice change
  • All farm businesses, where they are able, should also endeavour to demonstrate to their customers and the public that their operations are fully compliant with safe working and social distancing procedures

Scottish Government guidance is available here:  https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-business-and-social-distancing-guidance/


 

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