Update for members amid Coronavirus (Covid-19) escalation
18th March 2020
The LAA is in regular dialogue with Government to ensure auction marts continue to operate in a way that is not detrimental to human health during the developing coronavirus situation, and we are monitoring the situation on an hourly basis to ensure marts do not become sites of concern for farmers.
Following a meeting with Defra and the Welsh Assembly on Tuesday (17th March), the LAA has taken a proactive approach, updating our recommendations for conducting sales in member markets. We continue to work very closely with Government to minimise risks.
It should be noted that sales can continue and that markets are Open for Business. However, there are actions that the Government are asking us to comply with, based on our input.
We have released guidance to our members and are advising farmers to only stay at auction marts for as long as it takes to conduct business. We also advise that mart canteens remain closed, and suitable and plentiful hand washing facilities are made available.
Latest public health advice should always be followed, in line with our existing commitment to high standards of health, safety and biosecurity.
The LAA recommends that all members:
- Restrict the attendance of customers to as few as possible.
- Only those that are selling or buying should attend – onlookers and the public should be asked not to attend.
- Any person over the age of 70 should be requested not to attend sales
- Any person that is knowingly ill, showing symptoms of the virus, or has an underlying health issue should be requested not to attend sales
- Children should be requested not to attend sales
- Any female who is knowingly pregnant should be requested not to attend sales
- Mart canteens and cafes should be closed
- Consider reviewing non-essential food chain supply sales (fur and feather, shrub and plant sales etc.)
- Provide suitable and plentiful hand washing facilities – these facilities should be refreshed and kept clean at all times
- Members may see fit to supply disposable gloves to all attendees
- Ensure that the market and all public areas are suitably cleaned after every gathering
- Display notices to highlight how to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean