Self isolation

Who will farm if you can’t?

We would like you to watch the video first.

updated 22nd March to include that Farmers are key workers which is great news, we will never be stopped from farming even if the rest of the island is on a curfew or house isolated.  However if you have symptoms of an infected person or an infected person lives in your house or if you have just got back to the island then you must self-isolate. No one on the key workers list is exempt once they show the symptoms of an infected or live with someone showing the symptoms of being infected. Have a contingency plan and a contingency for your contingency plan.

Information issued on the 21st of March 2020. Given the fluid nature of the current situation all releases are subject to change and what is allowed today may not be allowed in the future.

This is specifically written for those who have to mandatory self-isolate.

If you are self-isolating (social distancing) for your own safety or because you are in a group highlighted as vulnerable then you are still able to carry on day to day farming activities at your own discretion.

Manx NFU guidance for members and the wider agricultural community;

After receiving responses and feedback from the relevant departments including the Minister for Health and other government officials your Manx NFU have reviewed all the legislation surrounding self-Isolation and sought legal advice.

Self-Isolation: if you fall into the category for mandatory self-isolation you should remain in your home, you cannot work on the farm or surrounding area and you cannot travel to other areas of the holding.  You cannot attend to livestock on your holding and you must abide by all the rules of self-isolation otherwise you risk being prosecuted by way of a £10,000 fine or 3 months in prison.

Self-isolation is only required in each of the following circumstances:

  • Everyone arriving in the Isle of Man must self-isolate for 14 days whether they have symptoms or not. If you DO NOT have symptoms, such as a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, other household members DO NOT have to self-isolate.
  • Regardless of travel, anyone displaying symptoms such as a new continuous cough and/or high temperature must self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If you live with someone who is displaying symptoms, such as a new continuous cough and/or high temperature, everyone in the household must self-isolate for 14 days. If anyone else in the household develops symptoms during that time, current Public Health advice is ALL household members must all self-isolate for a further 14 DAYS from the day the symptoms started.

Why can’t I continue to farm if I am self-isolating, I would not come into contact with anyone as my farm is isolated?

A farm, smallholding, stable, field, barn, workshop, parlour or any other extension to your home outside of the garden is a place of work or leisure by definition.  By continuing to work you would be breaching the rules on self-isolation and be liable to prosecution.

Accidents or incidents on farm could lead to the need for visitors e.g. Vets or Emergency Services and this would be a significant avoidable risk, if you were to ignore the rules on self-isolation creating unnecessary risk then you are liable to prosecution by way of a £10,000 fine or 3 months in prison.

I have stock Calving/Lambing or needing 24 hour monitoring? You must cover this in your contingency plan, you must stay at home.

I have had a phone call and stock has escaped in the middle of the night because a car went through a fence? You must cover this in your contingency plan, you must stay at home.

You must stay at home.

  • DO NOT go to work or school
  • DO NOT go to public areas, or attend public gatherings
  • DO NOT use public transport
  • DO NOT go to the shop(s) to buy food or other essentials
  • DO NOT invite guests into your home
  • YOU CAN go outside into your garden area only

I cannot stress enough you must have a contingency plan in place to cover the eventuality of self-isolation.
You should carry out farm specific risk assessments for all scenarios as part of your contingency plan.

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 the specific 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                 Daniel Creer             438546
Southern Branch Chairman              Murray Cringle          422301

Lesh yeearreeyn share – with best wishes

Andrew Cooper
Manx National Farmers Union

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