The government has today announced that Seasonal Agricultural Workers will be exempt from the 14-day quarantine requirement for people entering the UK.
The announcement comes as part of new measures to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections as more people start travelling to the UK. These arrangements are due to come into effect on 8 June.
In response, NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw said: “We are pleased to see the government recognise the importance of our seasonal workforce and the enormous value returnee workers provide in helping get iconic British produce from field to plate.
"This exemption is a practical solution that allows workers to undertake key roles on farms while ensuring they don’t present risks to other farm workers or rural communities.
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, farmers and growers have prioritised complying with government regulations and good practice, and the safety of their staff is their top concern.
“We have been working closely with the government to ensure a solution is in place this summer that encourages our domestic workforce to consider working on farm to bring in this year’s harvest and the response so far has been fantastic.
“I would encourage anyone who is interested in helping pick for Britain this summer to visit the site and see what jobs are out there. I would reiterate that the quarantine procedures in place on farm will minimise the risk to all employees.
“As we begin to reach the peak of the picking season, thousands of vacancies will continue to open up on farms across the country and while it is positive that seasonal workers will be able to begin work without delay after arriving in the UK, the need for workers to pick, pack and grade fruit and veg remains.”
The Home Office has said that Seasonal Agricultural Workers will self-isolate on the property where they are working. The NFU is asking the government for more detail on this.