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Fred Searle

BY FRED SEARLE

Friday 30th July 2021, 12:15 London

Seasonal workers granted travel exemptions in NI

Stormont allows pickers arriving from amber list countries to avoid self-isolation as long as they submit negative test results in days after arrival

Seasonal workers granted travel exemptions in NI

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Migrant workers arriving in Northern Ireland via the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme will now qualify for exemptions from Covid-19 travel restrictions, agriculture minister Edwin Poots announced.

The exemptions come after Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) submitted a request to the Department of Health.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot Scheme for 2021 will allow workers to claim an exemption from post-arrival self-isolation if they have travelled from an amber list country. They will, however, have to take lateral flow tests on days two, five and eight following arrival.

This only applies to seasonal agricultural workers with an offer of employment for specific activities in edible horticulture on a named farm.

Poots said: “Access to seasonal workers is essential to the continued viability of the edible horticulture sector and given the relatively short timeframe of the visas, these exemptions will ensure that there is no time wasted when workers arrive here, and farms can benefit from the extra labour immediately.” 

Further information can be found here.

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