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Coronavirus: Watton

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL9839, tabled on 2 November 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what help and support they are providing to authorities in Norfolk dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak at a meat processing plant in Watton.

Answered on

24 February 2021

Regional officials worked closely with the local and district authorities, the Director of Public Health for Norfolk and the company in Watton to support the Incident Management Team’s (IMT) meetings and facilitate the deployment of mobile testing units (MTU) to enable testing of the workforce to take place.

The outbreak was escalated by the Norfolk local authorities to the Joint Biosecurity Centre Regional Lead for the East of England and to the Escalation and Response Unit.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs set up an animal welfare cell as part of the IMT to mitigate the impact of the public health measures on animal welfare where possible. The factory is being supported to participate in the lateral flow testing scheme. This will allow the company to carrying out routine testing and help reduce the risk of further workforce outbreaks at the factory.