We hope you are keeping well and safe. We are aware of the difficulties you are facing in terms of living through the current situation with its inevitable effect on your mental and possible physical health and the anxiety related to reduced income. We do appreciate the professionalism and social conscience you have demonstrated so far during the lockdown in only seeing urgent and deteriorating cases. A couple of days ago Boris Johnson said that now is not the time to start loosening the restrictions that are currently in place. The RCVS and BVA have not changed their advice since I last wrote to you so please consider our messages from then:
Public Health is a priority; there are no risk free situations when you leave your house; and unless there is a definite, and not nominal, animal welfare benefit or it is work related to maintaining the food chain then the work should not be done.
You should only attend an animal if it has been assessed by a vet who decides it needs urgent treatment, this will include new cases and possibly new clients; or you should only attend an existing client’s animal if consideration of the case by you and the vet results in a decision that physical therapy treatment is required at this stage. You must get either scenario confirmed in writing.
You should check with your insurance company that you are covered to do this during Government advice to stay at home as you will not be classed as a critical business and your insurance may not cover you.
Make your own professional judgement in each case.
Assess your own safety and that of the client you are going to see. Have they been self-isolating, is there anyone ill at the premises, are they classed as vulnerable?
Make sure you follow strict biosecurity and social distancing as advised by the Government.
The HMRC are running webinars on the Coronavirus self-employment income support scheme which you may find useful, you can register here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/help-and-support-if-your-business-is-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19 (scroll down the page).
In this afternoon’s briefing Boris Johnson announced that we appear to be passed the peak of the epidemic and thankfully the NHS has not been overwhelmed due to the country’s adherence with the restrictions imposed on travel and social contact. He announced that with the next Government review of the lockdown (7 th May) he intends to introduce measures that will start to help boost the economy, get children back into school and introduce safe travelling and work practices. It would appear that there is light at the end of the tunnel, so please continue to observe our guidance as written above.
Once we have further information from the review we will of course update you as soon as possible. In the meantime do take care of yourself and your loved ones.