The Livestock Auctioneers Association (LAA) says UK marts must continue to operate on a traders-only basis until at least 21 June – with attendance restricted to people directly conducting business.
Covid-19 restrictions are being eased in some sectors but, under the government’s roadmap, livestock marts must operate as “business-only” facilities.
The LAA is calling for “continued patience” from farmers and other clients.
Its executive secretary Chris Dodds said the priorities were to protect public health while continuing to supply the food chain.
“We await announcement on the lifting of further restrictions on 21 June 2021 when, it is hoped, our marts can return to a nearer ‘normal’ operation.”
From 17 May, cafes and canteens reopened at some marts for seated dining, instead of takeaway only – at the discretion of the site operator.
The LAA reminded mart users that face coverings must be worn at all times in enclosed spaces and that they were not to be seen as a substitute for social distancing.
As each market’s facilities are different, it is up to individual operators how Covid-19 protocols are managed, he added.
Some had retained a “drop and go” policy and others allowed vendors to return on a business-only basis.
The LAA urged buyers and vendors to contact their local auctioneer for details on measures specific to their mart.