THREE workers who absconded from a farm in Herefordshire at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak have been contacted, Herefordshire Council has said.

Officials continue to work with AS Green and Co in Mathon to contain an outbreak of Covid-19 at the farm.

Three workers, one of whom tested positive, left the farm despite being asked to remain on site and isolate. All three of these individuals have been reached through the agency that secured their employment, and all have confirmed they are self-isolating.


Karen Wright, director of public health for Herefordshire, said: “We continue to support the farm to advise their workers to remain on site during the period of isolation and stay within household groups, to reduce risk of spread within the workforce and into the wider community.

"Herefordshire Council is arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site.  

“We’re aware that local residents are concerned about shopping trips made by farm workers, prior to positive cases being identified. The risk to the general public remains low. We encourage people to continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and use face coverings to help protect yourself and others.

“Anyone who has a fever, persistent dry cough, or loss or change in their sense of taste or smell should call 119 or go online to arrange a test.”

On Monday, North Herefordshire MP Bill Wiggin claimed the workers visited four shops before the farm, which supplies beans and broccoli to some of the UK's biggest supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Aldi, Sainsbury's and M&S, went into lockdown.

Mr Wiggin added Public Health England, Herefordshire Council and Worcestershire County Council are working together to track and trace the movements of the workers. 

He said: "I understand that residents of north Herefordshire will be keen to know if they may have come into contact with workers from the farm," Mr Wiggin said.

"Worcestershire County Council have been informed that a minibus took workers to shop in four separate locations in Worcester and Malvern last week. 

"The shops and locations are Worcester's Primark, Iceland and the Romanian store, and Malvern's Morrison’s supermarket. 

"Herefordshire remains well prepared for outbreaks like this and the response so far has been exemplary."