Covid-19 updates May/June 2020

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IMPLICATIONS FOR FIELD WORK AND SURVEYING - MAY/JUNE 2020

The advice below is following the publication on May 21st of the Scottish Government publication ‘Covid 19 – A Framework for Decision-Making: Scotland’s Route Map out of the Crisis’ which gives clear indications of what activities can be undertaken.  An outline of the four phases are set out below.

Scottish Badgers Trustees recommend all members read the above publication and follow the advice below. We want to ensure you are protected by our insurance when carrying out surveying activities so please be aware that stepping outside of the boundaries described could invalidate your protection.

For your personal protection and that of your community against the spread of the virus, please familiarise yourself with the government's advice, 

Please note – always check media and the government website for assurance on these stages – they may change!

LOCKDOWN – The current Scottish Government rules so far state that the only activity allowed is to leave your home, with other members of your household, on foot for exercise. This may allow you to visit a sett if you are compliant with these limits. Physical distancing continues. On Friday, May 29th, we move to:
 
PHASE 1 – This will include driving up to 5 miles radius (advised) from your home for exercise, either alone, or with a household member, or another person, not in your household. Five outdoor sports will recommence, with safeguards. Garden centres will commence opening, and also takeaway food establishments. Physical distancing continues. This phase will be assessed  on June 18th, and if the situation is satisfactory, we would move to:
 
PHASE 2 – This would include ‘local travel’ (distance not specified yet), together with other persons from other households. Other restraints may be eased, and sports centres and playgrounds opened, and maybe sports clubs. Pubs and restaurants can open outdoor spaces.
This phase will be assessed on July 9th, and if the situation is satisfactory, we would move to:
 
PHASE 3 - This would be a move to ‘almost normal activity’, and ‘driving beyond one’s local area’. An ‘extended group’ can meet, and it would seem that with badger surveying, we would be able to operate as long as the participants ensure physical distancing, organise transport in an appropriate way, and have sanitising and other equipment as required. The phase will be assessed on Thursday July 30th, and if the situation is satisfactory, we would move to:

PHASE 4 - This would be a return to ‘very near normal’, with some cafes, restaurants, pubs etc. open, and increased freedom of movement. It might be assumed that some holiday accommodation will be open by then, such as self-catering cottages, static caravans etc.
 
If this calendar is followed, we could see a near-normal survey season in the Autumn, and for this the Trustees will issue updated guidance, on how surveys are organised, the numbers who can take part etc.
 
Please note:

This calendar follows the three-week cycle when the Governments of all four countries must review their arrangements under the Covid legislation. It is never certain that this will be followed.

People may ask ‘why the five mile limit’? The objective is that the public will travel for exercise, and return home, in a time that means they will not have to use public toilets, which have been identified as a high risk for spread of the virus, and may not be open.

There is currently a protocol agreed with Police Scotland for essential travel to assist with incidences (which would apply until Phase 4). Should you require to do this please ensure you contact Emily and myself in advance.


Emily Platt - Operations Coordinator
Eddie Palmer - Chairman Scottish Badgers

Contacts:

For issues related to badger problems, legislation, planning, mitigation, data searches and to log badger records:

Available Monday to Friday

Operations Co-ordinator

T: 07866 844232

E:

For matters relating to our Earn Your Stripes - Building Skills to Champion Wildlife project:

Project Officer

T: 07565 813401

E:

For training and web presence:

Sponsors:

Scottish Badgers (SCIO) Charity Number SCO34297.