Keep track of coronavirus advice
Wholesalers are being encouraged to keep track of government advice as the threat of a widespread coronavirus outbreak in the UK worsens.
While the number of cases of COVID-19 is still relatively low in Britain, Public Health England believes wider transmission of the virus is now “highly likely”.
And with businesses in the sector seeking guidance on how to stem the tide coronavirus in the UK to protect employees and services against the threat of the illness’s impact, they’ve been pointed towards official guidance on the topic.
Current advice suggests people should self quarantine if they’ve returned to the UK since 19 February from Iran, areas of northern Italy, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, South Korea and the Hubei province in China, and call NHS111 immediately to inform them of recent travel.
However, if any employees do begin to show symptoms – fever, coughing and difficult breathing – at work and has links to anybody returning from any of the regions recently, then advice is to get them at least two metres away from other people (preferably a room behind a closed door) and to ensure they cough or sneeze into a tissue that’s disposed immediately or into the crook of their elbow.
The nature of the wholesale business means people will be handling deliveries that arrive from all over the world, with the government advising companies to follow existing risk assessments and safe systems of work, with no perceived risk to handling post or freight from specified areas.
While no plans have been announced announced among the nation’s food and drink wholesalers to contend with potential supply chain issues caused by coronavirus, the UK’s supermarkets have drawn up plans to ‘feed the nation’ if conditions worsen.
The government already has pandemic plans in place and contingency plans on food supply, based on no-deal Brexit preparations last year. A pledge for companies to work together across the food sector through their representative organisations and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to maintain supplies as far as possible has also been in place if there’s an pandemic. However, at the peak, there may be a reduction in choice and accessibility if some local outlets close due to non-availability of staff.
For all the latest information, please visit the government’s website.coronavirus food and drink Government Wholesalers