April 3rd, 2020
The Arboricultural Association has been in discussions with government to determine the best way forward for our industry in these uncertain times. In our previous position statement of March 25th we recommended that members consider temporarily ceasing activity, wherever practically possible, until further clarification is obtained.
We then wrote to George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) on March 26th seeking clarification for our industry in the light of conflicting government advice.
On April 2nd we received a response from Defra Minister Lord Goldsmith, the key paragraph of which said:
“Arboriculturists should therefore be able to continue with outdoor work, where they can continue to follow Public Health England guidelines. I would therefore like to thank the Arboricultural Association for your work done already to disseminate this information to your members and the sector.”
The full letter can be found here:
Download the Letter
This is consistent with the message of our March 27th publication “Advice for those continuing to work on site during the Coronavirus pandemic”.
In the light of this correspondence we have updated our position statement as follows:
We would advise those in our industry who can work from home, to continue to do so. Those who are unable to work from home, such as contractors and those surveying and inspecting trees, should be able to continue to work outdoors where it is safe to do so in line with Public Health England guidance. However, the Association would like to make it extremely clear that the health of those working in our industry, our customers, families and friends and wider society, is of paramount importance.
All of us, whether a business or an individual, will have to determine our response to carrying out any work on a case by case basis. Everyone must ensure that they are able to fully adhere to the most recent Public Health advice regarding preventative (regular and thorough hand washing and suitable cleaning materials) and protective (PPE) routines and social distancing requirements (not sharing vehicles or tools).
We would urge everyone to regularly check government resources such as businesssupport.gov.uk and Public Health for the latest updates. Please also refer to www.trees.org.uk for the material the Association has produced, particularly Advice for those continuing to work on site during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Further updates will follow. Stay safe everyone.
Chief Executive Officer
Original Position Statement – 25 March 2020
Coronavirus Help for Arborists
Summary of government guidance for all workplaces – England
Here are links to some of the recently updated government for specific work types: a full list of all government guidance can be found at www.gov.uk
The Association will continue to signpost members to the appropriate government guidance via regular updates.
Please note – devolved governments may have different requirements please refer to the links below for further information.
Welsh Government advice
Scottish Government advice
Northern Irish Government advice