Covid 19 update 6th January 2021

Covid 19 update – where are we now?

The new rules come into effect 00:01 on the 7th January 2021 initially for a period of 21 days.

Your Manx NFU have been reviewing Government advice and the affairs of industry in our neighbouring jurisdictions to try and ascertain what is the best advice to be offering to our members and the wider agricultural sector, we have sent this email to everyone on our mailing list and we would encourage you to forward this to anyone that may be affected within the Rural Community that farms or has Livestock including Horses.

This time around it is a slightly different set of circumstances, we know a lot more about the virus and we know more about the risks/do’s and don’ts of how to behave as we have all watched the rest of the world get it so terribly wrong when it comes to lockdowns. If everyone does as they are supposed to do for the next 3 weeks the hope is that we will be back to normal fairly soon.

Manx National Farmers Union – here to support our industry;

Manx NFU are fully aware we have a large population in the rural sector that are not on social media so we would also encourage people to set up text alerts with the high risk or elderly neighbours, even just a text a day to check they are ok, it does not need to be intrusive but it could be the first alert that they have fallen ill.

Get those contingency plans out and check they are still up to date; it is better to spend ten minutes now on a contingency plan update and not need to have done the work rather than not do the planning and really have needed it in a few weeks’ time.

Some farmers have made a video by using a mobile phone to record  the daily jobs and make sure whoever your cover is has access to the video by sharing it with them on whats-app or facebook, that way they won’t miss anything you may not have included.  this is especially helpful when finding switches and valves in a milking scenario.

Who will farm if you can’t?

Have a contingency plan, agree cover with a neighbour, friend, relative, volunteer or paid worker.  If you don’t have any friends or relatives join groups on facebook such as IOM Rural Support and make friends or ask for contact details of paid farm workers.

Make agreements to cover each other’s livestock and now before the need arises would be the best time to appraise one another of how your farm or holding works. Now is not the time to think it will all be ok.  Plan plan plan.

  • DO NOT BE SHY or embarrassed about asking for help to cover your farm/livestock/holding
  • DO NOT WORRY about what other people will think if you ask for help everyone is in the same position
  • EVERYONE should be asking for help with their contingency plan

Plan for the worst case scenario, plan for the entire household being isolated and your first choice for cover is also isolated.

Your Manx NFU are here for you and we will help in any way we can.  For advice, suggestions on who to contact in your area or just to talk please do call;

President                                           Tim Johnston           470107
Vice President                                   Ean Parson              482578
Treasurer                                          Shaun Dean             454771
General Secretary                             Andrew Cooper        490327
Dairy Chairman                                 David Cooil              439546
Meat and Livestock Chairman           Danny Creer            496534
Education and Marketing Chairman  Ray Craine               451412
Northern Branch Chairman               Mike Walker            222850
Central Branch Chairman                 Danny Creer            496534
Southern Branch Chairman              Murray Cringle          422301

Take ten minutes now and think about the day-to-day activities on farm that would be affected if you and your family were incapacitated or bedridden and unable to work the farm for any length of time.  Write a step by step list of the daily activities in the order you would normally do them am/pm.  This list is equally as relevant for someone who has never been on farm as it is for family members or farm workers, you may think they know everything that you do but at times of pressure no one I infallible and they will miss something.
Have a plan that someone who has never been on your farm before could follow, along with a list of daily activates and feeding times, it should include a map of the full holding or written permission for anyone asking in a help capacity to receive a copy of your full agricultural holding map from DEFA and along with this permission there should be a list of any seasonal grazing you are using.  Some of the other questions you should consider are;

  • Who would Milk the Cows?
  • What is due to Calve or Lamb?
  • What is the feed regimes and where is it kept?
  • Livestock medical records/treatments?
  • Where is the livestock and how many?
  • Which Bull will kill you if you look at it wrong?
  • Contact details for the vet or feed suppliers?
  • Any other information relevant to your farm?

Self isolation – protecting the farm;

For most farmers this is probably very easy.  If you’re looking to close off the farm from all deliveries and walkers close the gate with a polite note written on it with a contact phone number insisting people phone before going any further,  DO NOT lock the gates as this could restrict access for fire vehicles or ambulances just in case they are needed.  If you are closing a public right of way that passes directly through your farmyard make sure you offer an alternative route or you could receive a sternly worded letter from government.

Who are you in contact with on a day to day basis? Who are you telling that everything is ok?

There will be social media groups you can check into and we very strongly recommend picking a friend or neighbour and agreeing a daily check in.

The Manx NFU already have members checking in with us daily and if you’re worried about not knowing who to check in with then than we are here for you, a phone call, a text, anything.  Just keep us up to date and if you were to be incapacitated we can help facilitate someone to look after your livestock.

What we can do now is plan for that ‘just in case’ scenario.
This is the latest update from the government website.

The following numbers are now free of charge from mobiles and landlines:

COVID Business Support Line:

Customs & Excise Debt Section:

Income Tax:

Social Security:

Community Support and information line:   
(This line is for non-medical calls and queries)

Face masks

  • Strongly advised in all public settings
  • Mandatory on public transport including taxis
  • See Guidance on face masks for more information.

Social distancing

Stay at home

  • Work from home wherever possible

Business and employees

Non-essential businesses are to close including:

  • Construction (other than emergency or essential services)
  • Lifestyle businesses
  • Indoor leisure
  • Non-essential shops (hardware and garden centres considered essential)

All hospitality venues will have to close as soon as possible but no later than one minute past midnight Wednesday night to Thursday morning. This includes all licenced premises, all cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs. The only exception to this will be for take away or delivery of food and alcohol only.Manufacturing and critical infrastructure are permitted.

Businesses are obligated to facilitate home working for employees.

See Business guidance for detailed information.

Financial support

Salary Support (for period up to 31.12) and Manx Earnings Replacement Allowance MERA schemes (for whole of January) are reinstated to support individuals.

See Business guidance for detailed information.

Schools and nurseries

  • All schools and nurseries are closed to majority
  • Hub schools will be open for essential workers and vulnerable parents


Operating at Level 5

Residents who leave after 00:01 on Thursday 07 January are not guaranteed return.

All returning individuals isolate at their own cost in separate household.  They are required to get 3 tests on day 1, day 6 and day 13 at £50 per test per person at their own expense.

Gatherings and freedom of movement

No indoor or outdoor gatherings allowed

Funerals of up to 10 allowed outdoor

Religious services not allowed (other than funerals)

See Gatherings and freedom of movement for more information.


Exercise is permitted for an unlimited amount of time, avoiding communal areas and only with members of your own household.

Team sports, golf and fishing are not allowed.

Vulnerable groups

Those at significant clinical risk – those who shielded before – should do so again for an initial period of one week.

All care homes have been asked to stop visits with immediate effect.

See Vulnerable groups for more detailed guidance.

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