These are: to exercise once a day; shop for essential items; fulfil any medical or care needs; and travel to and from work only when it is "absolutely necessary." The absolute necessity of this travel to work is categorised by the nature of the job and whether the employee can be classed as a 'key worker'. The announcement made clear that the police would have powers to enforce the lockdown and that fines could be issued if people refused to comply.
The UK government has published a full list of those who would class as key workers. Amongst those mentioned were those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale, and delivery. The Scottish Government has also made it clear that food production is one of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) sectors and workers can continue where their role is essential and appropriate measures can be taken in line with social distancing requirements.
This category will encompass agricultural workers and allows for them to travel to work when absolutely essential for production. However, we recommend that any workers should carry a document showing proof of the nature of their employment, should there be any queries raised about their right to travel. The National Farmers Union has produced a style letter, copied below, which they have recommended that employers send out to any essential key workers who will require to travel to and from work over this period.
(If a company log is available or company stationary then it should be used)
24 March 2020
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
ESSENTIAL TO TRAVEL TO WORK
I am writing to confirm that the person in possession of this letter is employed by (enter business name and location).
The First Minister has been clear that food production is part of our critical national infrastructure and should continue where it is necessary and where it can continue safely in line with social distancing.
We want to assure you that this letter is not being issued to all our employees. It is only being issued to employees who are absolutely essential to the ongoing operation of our business so that we can continue to produce food.
This individual is a key part of our business and is essential to our ability to produce food. We have therefore requested that they are still required to travel to work.
Should you have any questions, whether this is confirmation of their name and they are in fact employed by the business, please do not hesitate to contact me on (enter telephone number).
(enter position in the business)
Of course, the current situation is changing each day and there may well be further developments on the status of agricultural workers in Scotland announced. We would recommend that workers check with individual councils for any updates on their status as essential key workers during this time.