Reviewed 19 July 2021
The National Allotment Society is working to support plot-holders and associations so that they can continue to work their plots and manage sites in a safe and secure manner during the pandemic. The Lockdown in England has lifted but we still need to take care and think about those that are clinically vulnerable to the disease.
Covid -19 - The virus that causes COVID 19 is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. Some droplets are too heavy to hang in the air and they quickly fall and contaminate floors and surfaces. Other smaller airborne particles can remain in the air for some time. You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of a person who has Covid-19.
Click Here to read English Government advice about staying safe and helping to prevent the spread of Covid 19, the advice below is based on the English government advice. Plot-holders in Wales must follow Wales Assembly coronavirus restrictions e.g. masks will remain a legal requirement indoors and those in Scotland the guidance from the Scottish Government.
HANDS: FACE: SPACE: FRESH AIR
How can I ensure my family’s and everyone else’s safety at the plot?
Do not attend the plot if you have coronavirus symptoms or a family member is self-isolating, this includes people who need to isolate after returning from holidays abroad.
Continue to sanitise or wash hands regularly, especially before and after touching communal items such as the gate lock. Do not wash your hands in water troughs
I am self-isolating or quarantining and cannot go to the allotment and worried about losing my plot, what should I do?
Please make sure that you inform your Council Allotment Officer or Allotment Association that you are unable to visit the site, preferably in writing, so that they can make allowances for your situation.
What changes should Allotment Associations make to site management?
Pin up information about keeping safe, there is a QR code at the bottom of this page that links to our updating page.
Risk - undertake risk assessments and take appropriate action to reduce hazards around any areas of the site where people may gather or multiple people touch surfaces e.g. communal water troughs, toilets, equipment, taps, and gate locks. Click Here for government advice around cleaning in non-healthcare settings. The NAS does have further detailed information on risk assessments and the duty of care for Self-Managed Associations please email email@example.com if this is required.
Communal facilities and Toilets. Good ventilation reduces the risk indoors.
AGMS and Communal activities, can recommence but organisers should consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take
Shops - organisers may want to consider asking plot-holders to continue to wear a mask inside the shop to protect volunteers. Gate Sales - are likely to be in cash - the risk of transmission from notes and coins is low but care should still be taken, the accumulated cash could be quarantined for a few days before handling.
Shared Machinery- please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed advice
Plot inspections - please take into account the fact that plot-holders may be ill, self isolating or have been shielding.
If you are unsure as to which tenants have been shielding or ill, one option of dealing with the situation would be (from the point at which plot inspections are re-instated) to regard all tenants as if they hold new tenancies and apply the relevant criteria in your tenancy agreements. For associations using the NAS model agreement that would mean you would expect a quarter of the cultivable area of the plot to be cultivated within the next three months and the whole within one year. This would give tenants who have been obliged to shield themselves a fair opportunity to restore their plots to good condition, taking into account the degeneration in plot condition that has occurred in their absence. In addition, it would be a good idea to insist that all material nuisances to other plot-holders resulting from non-cultivation be remedied within the same three months. This would mean, for example, the removal of grass seed heads and overhanging brambles.
Click on the link to read about self isolating
Click on the link to read some useful advice about hygiene Germ Defence
Government advice about the Coronavirus is updated on a regular basis at these links.
For NHS information and advice CLICK HERE