Updated travel guidance for seasonal farmworkers

Seasonal workers coming to work on English farms will need to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before travelling as part of new tighter travel restrictions.

The government has suspended all travel corridors from today (18 January) and will be implementing stricter testing and quarantine rules over the coming weeks.

The test must be carried out 48-72 hours before departure and anyone with a positive result will be refused entry.

See also: Options for farmers to secure migrant labour from 2021

Agricultural workers will also still be required to fill in a passenger locator form with their journey information, contact details, and the address of the farm where they will work and live.

This information must be provided up to 48 hours before they arrive in England.

Government guidance says workers will also need to prove at the UK border they are a worker under the Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme.

Employer letter

If they are from the EU, this will require showing a letter or email from their employer confirming that they are an EU worker and will be employed as a seasonal agricultural worker.

The letter should include their name and date of birth, the name and contact details of their employer, the work start date and the address of the farm where they will be living.

Anyone from a non-EU country will need to show their visa proving they are travelling under the pilot scheme.

The guidance says workers arriving to pick and package fruit and vegetables will continue to benefit from a travel exemption that allows them to start work immediately they arrive on farm if they are living on-site.

However, they must self-isolate on the farm for a minimum of 10 days.

A travel exemption that previously applied to ornamental horticulture workers has now expired (18 January).

The Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme has been expanded for 2021, with 30,000 visas available for workers to come and work on British farmers for up to six months.