The Institute of Auctioneers and Appraisers in Scotland has urged mart-goers to take antigen tests before attending sales.
Scottish livestock auction markets have updated their guidance for customers attending markets in line with changes in legislation and advice from government.
The move comes in light of growing concerns over the Omicron Covid-19 variant as case numbers continue to increase “rapidly”.
According to a statement from the body, the main addition to the current guidance is reintroducing physical distancing throughout premises.
AN IAAS spokesperson said marts are taking the measures for the following reasons:
- To keep people safe;
- Reduce the spread of the virus;
- Protect the livestock trade and its role in the food chain.
The body has asked all personnel to comply with this guidance to help to keep mart attendees and staff members safe.
Continuing, the spokesperson said: “IAAS expects to see an increase in inspections from local authorities and police to enforce these updated measures.”
“Also, we expect market staff to take a strong stance with anyone not complying.”
The IAAS spokesperson said that if you are considering attending a Scottish auction market, please pay particular attention to the following guidance:
- Take a lateral flow test (antigen tests) before coming to the auction mart.
- Only attend if you are fit and well and should not be isolating.
- Pre-notify the market if you are expecting to attend. This will assist with the completion of mandatory test and protect information.
- Attendees MUST wear a face-covering in the market unless exempt.
- Also, attendees MUST use hand washing/sanitising facilities on entry to market and throughout.
- Attendees MUST follow all physical distancing requirements around market premises.
- IAAS strongly recommends that vendors adopt the drop and go policy previously in place.
- Only attend the live ring if you are transacting market business.
- Under 16s can no longer attend the market until further notice.
- Allied industry representatives are asked not to enter the live ring.
- Premises are all different shapes and sizes, and as such one-way systems, physical distancing, and access arrangements are likely to be site-specific. All attendees are asked to follow the guidance and instruction of staff in their local market.
- Please be respectful to all market staff during these challenging times.
“They have been asked to follow the guidelines and the law to make sure everyone stays as safe as possible and to reduce the spread of the virus. Abuse of IAAS members will not be tolerated,” the spokesperson concluded.