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FAQs about Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business

FAQs about Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business

Updated 13 July 2020

The Government has announced a new phase of reopening Ireland.  This allows for the reopening of most businesses and the return to work for most employees, but recommends the continuation of working from home where possible.  Nationwide travel is now permitted.

DAFM

Is the Department open for business?

The Department remains open for business though  the public offices are closed to public visitors for the present. The Department can be reached at the normal contact numbers, or by e mail. There is a specific COVID-19 Information Line at: 076 1064468

Our phone lines are open from 9:30am to 12:30pm and from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.  A range of online facilities are also available

For more information, please visit www.Gov.ie  and click on the ‘Agriculture’ box towards the bottom of the page or visit our dedicated COVID-19 page on www.agriculture.gov.ie.  Both of these sites have a great deal of information which may answer your questions. The websites also contain many Information Line numbers for our various schemes.

Do farmers or other essential workers aged over 70 have to cocoon?

Cocooning is no longer deemed necessary but it is strongly recommended that everybody should practice social distancing, good hand hygiene and that masks are worn in places where social distancing is not possible. If there are essential tasks on the farm which require more than one person, older farmers should not hesitate to ask for help from family and neighbours but should ensure that social distancing is possible, that is stay at least 2 metres apart.

If an older farmer needs additional help or has any concerns, they should ring the local community support Information Line (there is one in each local authority area) or the local Garda station. Anyone who visits the farm, including farm workers, contractors and farm relief services, should ensure that they maintain 2 metre physical distancing.

Are Marts open?

The Department has agreed protocols to allow marts to continue to operate, albeit on a limited and controlled basis, so that livestock sales could continue during the period of restrictions. Mart services including public auctions recommenced with appropriate protocols in accordance with the Government roadmap on 8th June.

Schemes, Payments, Inspections

Will farm payments be made on time?

DAFM has introduced a range of measures for handling scheme applications and payment processing to take account of  the latest public health guidelines ( with a strong focus on telephone, text messaging and online interaction with customers).  These measures are being kept under review. Ireland has also sought and achieved flexibilities at EU level to allow scheme payments to be delivered later this year as usual even though all  the  regulatory checks and controls may not be completed on time.

Will farm inspections continue?

The Department has recommenced routine on-farm visits in order to minimise any delays in payments and to meet scheme requirements. Our priority remains unchanged.  The health & safety of our customers, our staff and their families is paramount.  Our Inspecting Officers are required to follow best practice and  the latest HSE guidelines on Hygiene throughout the inspection process.