Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Can I have more than one worker in a vehicle when we are moving from field to field?
The Order of the Medical Officer of Health has an exemption for agri-food operations for what is commonly known as the 2m or 6” rule. Travelling from field to field is permitted with more than one worker as long as good practices are followed including frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer. It is strongly recommended that anybody with symptoms not travel with others in a vehicle.
I need to go to PEI for supplies/move animals, am I allowed to do that? Do I have to self-isolate for 14-days?

Each province has different rules for entering the province.  In Nova Scotia, according to the Ordier of the Medical Oficer of Health, you are able to re-enter without self-isolating for 14 days if you are travelling for essential business including farm businesses such as making deliveries or picking up inputs.   

To travel to PEI – farmers are required to get clearance at least 36 hours before travelling to PEI.  This can be done by sending an email requesting permission to travel to publicsafety@gov.pe.ca with the following information:  

  • Name (s) of travelers 
  • Start date of travel 
  • Date and time of arrival at border control point (if driving estimate) 
  • Vehicle make and type 
  • Vehicle license plate (if applicable) 
  • Purpose of travel (with details) 

To travel to PEI through New Brunswickfarmers will also need to have documentation showing where they are travelling to.  An invoice or correspondence with the company you are travelling to is sufficient.

I need to go to New Brunswick for supplies/move animals, am I allowed to do that? Do I have to self-isolate for 14 days?

Each province has different rules for entering the province.  In Nova Scotia, according to the Order of the Medical Officer of Health, you are able to re-enter without self-isolating for 14 days if you are travelling for essential business including farm businesses such as making deliveries or picking up inputs.   

To travel to New Brunswick to deliver food, farmers are required to have documentation from the company purchasing the food to show where they are travelling to.  This could be in the form of an invoice, purchase order or correspondence.  To see if your trip qualifies, please contact Travellers looking for more information can call 1-844-462-8387 on Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

What do I do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?

Planning before a possible outbreak on your farm will help in the unfortunate event that an employee fall ill.  If you employ TFWs and SAWP workers, you are required to have a plan in place and submitted to Perennia.  If an employee on your farm falls ill with COVID-19 or a presumptive case of COVID-19, information on how to address the symptoms is available from different resources.  Information on keeping a clean facility, COVID-19 preventative plan and more can be found on the Farm Safety Nova Scotia website.  Farmsafetyns.ca

TFW Related Questions

How can I pick my workers up at the airport? Can I drive them? Can they drive themselves?
The Government of Nova Scotia approved a document that outlines protocols as they pertain to TFWs during self-isolation.  There are protocols for different transportation methods including farmer or farm employee meeting the TFWs at the airport, allowing the TFWs to transport themselves in a farm vehicle left at the airport or by hiring a third party.

Farm representative transporting TFWs:
If you or someone from your farm drive from the airport to the isolation location, two meter social distancing must be practiced at all times between the driver and the employees. While at the airport, you or your farm rep will meet the TFWs at the luggage claim. It’s very important that there be two metres between the driver and TFWs at all times – this means that TFWs are responsible for putting their own luggage in the vehicle and sit as far back as possible in the vehicle. The driver of the vehicle will drive the TFWs directly to the isolation location – no stops between the airport and the isolation location! Remember – disinfect the vehicle when the workers arrive at the isolation location.

Vehicle left for TFWs to drive themselves:
If the TFWs have a licence to drive and you are able to provide a vehicle, a protocol is in place for them to drive themselves from the airport directly to the isolation location. This protocol includes a second vehicle with either you or a farm rep leading the way to the isolation site. While at the airport, you or your farm rep will meet the TFWs at the luggage claim. It’s very important that there be two metres between the farm rep and TFWs at all times – this means that TFWs are responsible for putting their own luggage in the vehicle. The farm rep will lead the TFWs directly to the vehicle they will be driving. The farm rep will lead the TFWs directly to the isolation location – no stops between the airport and the isolation location! Remember – disinfect the vehicle when the workers arrive at the isolation location.

Third party transportation:

Hiring a transportation company is an option to transport the TFWs from the airport to the isolation location.   Social distancing is required – there must always be at least two metres between the driver and the TFWs.  The driver of the vehicle will drive the TFWs directly to the isolation location – no stops between the airport and the isolation location!  Remember – disinfect the vehicle when the workers arrive at the isolation location.

(More information can be found in Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers employed in the Agriculture and Seafood Sectors)

Who is responsible for paying for groceries during the isolation period?
The farmer is responsible for ensuring the health and comfort of their employees.  This includes arranging groceries or meals during the mandatory self-isolation period.  The pay advance clause in the normal SAWP and TFW contracts allows the farmer to recover the cost of food that would be equivalent or less than a regular pay advance.  A reminder to use this clause: a signed agreement between the employer and worker remains in effect as stated in the Employment Contract.
I don't have enough bunkhouses for social distancing. My neighbouring farm has an extra bunkhouse, can I use it?
You may use your neighbouring farm’s bunkhouse as long as it has passed appropriate inspections under the TFW/SAWP programs; however, your responsibilities as the employer of TFW/SAWP workers remain the same.  You are still responsible for ensuring that your workers have the supplies they need and that social distancing is being followed.
The Nova Scotia Guidance document refers to a housing inspection, do I need to get another one done?
No, this is simply referencing the fact that you have already had housing inspections completed as per the TFW and SAWP program requirements
Regarding TFWs and SAWP workers, doing the off-site isolation means that someone else will look after my workers, correct?
No; as the employer, you are responsible for ensuring your employees’ health and wellness. You may make arrangements for 3 meals per day to be provided to you workers. You are to check-in with your employees daily and ensure their needs are met and complete the daily health screening check. This health screening check and more information on farmer responsibilities can be found in the Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers employed in the Agriculture and Seafood Sectors.
Do the bunkhouses have to allow for self-isolating for the entire season or only during isolation?
Employees in bunkhouses are required to follow guidance from the public health officer in their province throughout the pandemic. Social distancing is only required during the mandatory two week self-isolation period though it is recommended that social distancing and good hygiene habits are followed in bunkhouses afterwards. For example, beds need to be 6’ apart during the mandatory isolation period, but this measure isn’t required afterwards.
How does the $1,500 per TFW funding work from AAFC?
We’re waiting for details on this program. When we know more, our resources page will be updated.
Our workers transfer money home to their families, they usually go into the bank to do this, how do we handle this?
Contact your bank to see what arrangements can be made. Many banks have been very accommodating in supporting workers through this.

 

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7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, N.S.
B6L 2Z2

Phone – 902-893-2293
Fax – 902-893-7063
E-mailinfo@nsfa-fane.ca