The government has confirmed that seasonal workers will be exempt from the new 14-day quarantine rules for international arrivals to the UK.
Quarantine measures, which came into effect on 8 June, are being implemented to guard against a second wave of coronavirus infections as more people start to travel to the UK.
Seasonal agricultural workers have been recognised for their critical contribution to the edible horticulture sector and due to the time criticality of the season there are alternative quarantine arrangements.
Before travelling to the UK, seasonal workers should fill in a form with their journey, contact details and the address at the farm where they will work and live. Workers must provide these details on arrival in England.
During the first 14 days of their arrival, they will be able to work but they will be required to stay on the farm – apart from for a set of defined exceptional circumstances. It includes self-isolating on the property while they are working. The government has issued guidelines on what English farms and workers need to do here.
If growers or workers cannot or choose not to implement the measures, relevant workers will be required to follow Home Office guidelines for all international arrivals. They will also be required to self–isolate in their accommodation for 14 days on arrival into the UK and will not be able to work during this time.
HOPS Operations Director Sarah Boparan said: “It is welcome news that seasonal workers have been recognised for the vital contribution they make to ensuring we can all enjoy British produce.
“The government’s arrangements mean teams can start work immediately as long as the correct safety procedures are put in place.
“These experienced teams will offer the support needed to work alongside people in the UK who are starting these roles for the first time.”