Preventing COVID-19 transmission during farm visits

As lockdown eases, farm visitors pose a significant coronavirus transmission risk to the health of you, your family and farm staff. For many there will be good business reasons, so taking sensible precautions enables them to come on your farm safely and minimise the risk of catching COVID-19.

Where practical maintain social distancing at all times by staying 2 metres apart from other people at all times and you may need rearrange protocols on your farm to allow this to happen.

There may also be times when it is not possible, so think carefully about what you can do to minimise the risk from COVID-19 virus when you have visitors to your farm.

Top tips to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission with farm visitors

  • Ask yourself – does this person NEED to be on my farm now? If not thank them politely and ask them to leave
  • Regard everyone who comes on your farm as potentially being infected with the virus. Some people have been infected with the virus and infected others without ever showing any signs of disease. It is also possible that some people who have recovered from COVID-19 could still spread the virus to you
  • Reduce the number of people in contact with anyone who comes on your farm to an absolute minimum – only one person and for as short a time as possible. Remember you can use your phone to minimise contact
  • NEVER shake hands – it can be difficult to break the habit of a lifetime but you could pay with your life.
  • Invite people coming on to your farm to wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on arrival. Ideally visitors should be wearing clean protective overalls and clean and disinfect their boots before entering the farm.
  • Ideally other people should wear gloves while on your farm. If people are infected with the COVID-19 virus it will be on their hands because none of us can resist touching our face, nose and mouth. Hand-to-hand transmission is one of the major risks for picking up the virus. Hands can also contaminate whatever they touch.
  • Ideally you and any people who come on your farm should wear a mask during the visit. People infected with the virus are less likely to infect others if they are wearing a mask.
  • If you do need to be less than 2 metres from other people the value of both of you wearing masks is much greater. We should all wear masks in very dusty situations (eg when bedding up) to avoid developing conditions like farmers lung. Just DO it!
  • You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water if you have any direct or indirect contact (eg picking up something they dropped) with people who come on your farm. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as other people leave your farm.
  • Ask people working on your farm to take away any rubbish generated during their visit or provide a bag in which they can place all rubbish to minimise potential indirect contact.
  • Ask for all reports to be sent to you electronically or speak by phone for any further advice.
  • If possible clean down and disinfect areas where other people have been working and anything they have touched after they leave.

Risk assessing farm visitors to minimise coronavirus transmission

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