Important Message Regarding Macra na Feirme's response to Covid-19

Post on: Fri, 13, March 2020

Dear Members,

We are writing today regarding on-going measures being taken by Macra na Feirme with respect to the evolving Covid-19 (Coronavirus) situation. The safety and wellbeing of our members, staff and partners are the priority for our organisation and as such we have undertaken precautions and measures related to minimising the threat posed by Covid-19.

We are acting in accordance with advice from the HSE and the Chief Medical Officer and are monitoring the situation daily. The Board has established a management group to oversee our Crisis Management Plan, and has delegated authority to implement any and all public health advice from the HSE and Government in responding to Covid-19.

After the announcement by Government on Thursday 12 March, the following measures are being taken with immediate effect:

· Competitions

With immediate effect, all competitions are suspended including the National Debating Final scheduled to take place this Saturday evening in Rosscarbery, Co. Cork.  All competition finals will be re-scheduled for a future date when the threat is reduced or eliminated.  Again, we will follow the appropriate public health advice before confirming any rescheduled dates.

· Club & County meetings & events

All club and county physical meetings and events are suspended until at least March 29th while the current advisory is in place.  All club or county executives are encouraged if they want to maintain their meeting schedules, to use technology such as Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or Zoom which all offer limited free audio and video calls.  Training Officers will not be attending physical meetings during the current advisory.  Training Officers can assist clubs and county executives with the use of Microsoft Teams for video/audio calls if necessary.

· National Office

In support of the national advisory, all Macra na Feirme staff have been advised to work from home over the coming two weeks effective to March 29th.   To that end, notices will appear on Facebook, email auto-responses and staff voicemails that the primary way to contact staff will be via email over the coming weeks.  Where possible, national office phone lines will be diverted to individual mobile numbers.  Macra na Feirme staff are committed to maintaining as much service as possible during this time, however patience and understanding would be appreciated.

· Foreign Travel

Foreign travel has been suspended for staff and volunteers who have plans to travel internationally for work over the coming weeks.  Any member of staff or volunteer that has personal travel plans should follow advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs and under no circumstance should travel to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea or other Coronavirus hot spots be considered.

General advice

We are recommending that members continue to monitor the HSE website for the most up to date advice and guidance which can be accessed here https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

For advice on at risk groups please visit, the HSE site here https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html

Members seeking information about Covid-19 in Ireland are advised to visit the HSE website regularly for updates.  The HSE is the authoritative source of information and advice on the situation regarding Covid-19 in Ireland.

Handwashing & Cough Hygiene

For further information on protecting yourself and others including information on proper hand washing technique and proper cough hygiene please see:

https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/protect-yourself.html

We appreciate that this is a significant disruption to Macra activities and normal life.  These measures are taken with the best interests of Macra members and their families in mind.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding at this time, and we will continue to implement the public health advice as it evolves.

Sincerely,

Thomas Duffy                                                                               Denis Duggan

National President 2019-2021                                                  Chief Executive Officer