With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting so many businesses, many growers are worried about the H-2A program shutting down. At this time, however, the program is on schedule and workers are still entering the U.S.
“There is no sign of hold-ups at the border,” says Kerry Scott, Program Manager with MAS Labor.
His counterpart in Mexico, Lydia Hock with Labormex, says the country has few cases of COVID-19 infections and the flow of labor is on track.
Labormex is concentrating on reassuring U.S. employers that its workforce will arrive healthy.
“We are having workers fill out a self attestation with the common symptoms, taking their temperature, providing hand sanitizer, and minimizing group sizes as well. As of now we have had no cases thankfully.”
Labormex is also handing out a flyer to all workers explaining what to watch for in their own health regarding COVID-19.
The U.S. Embassy in South Africa has placed non-immigrant visas on hold through May 19, a move that will affect some growers.
The GrowingProduce.com staff will continue to report on any impact COVID-19 has on agricultural labor. If the pandemic has affected your operation in either a negative or positive, please submit a reader comment below.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced late March 16, 2020, that it would suspend visa processing starting on March 18, 2020. This is a rapidly developing story, and GrowingProduce.com will continue to investigate and report on the situation.