NEW guidance for meat processing and food production plants in Wales about preventing and managing outbreaks of coronavirus has been issued.

The guidance has been developed with Public Health Wales, unions and other key agencies, including the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive, following recent outbreaks and incidents at three meat and food plants in Wales.

Two outbreaks have been identified in in North Wales, while another incident at Merthyr Tydfil in which more than 30 cases have been identified is being investigated.


The new guidance provides clear advice to the sector on a number of areas, including:

Procedures to manage suspected cases, including information about the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service

Workplace risk assessments

Communication with employees

Shared accommodation and transport to site

Entry to site and physical distancing onsite, including in communal areas

Food hygiene

The guidance also recommends that, wherever possible, employees should be organised into groups built around natural work teams. These groups should work together, take their breaks together, change clothes together, and, if relevant, they should travel to work together.

This will help to minimise the number of people who are in contact with each other at any one time, thereby reducing the potential spread of the virus if there is a case in the workplace.

Health minister Vaughan Gething said: “Following the outbreaks and incidents at these three sites in Wales, I committed to working with Public Health Wales and other agencies to provide new guidance to the sector.

“This provides clear advice and support for the sector to help it prevent and manage coronavirus in the workplace and ensure all necessary safeguards are in place to protect their employees and their families.

“These outbreaks show coronavirus has not gone away. They reinforce the importance of us all following social distancing guidance, continuing good basic hand hygiene and if we have symptoms, staying at home and not going to work.

“By working together, we can keep Wales safe.”