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A Message From Spier CEO Andrew Milne on COVID-19


20 March 2020  -  Spier Wine Farm

The South African government has declared a national state of disaster and announced a range of extraordinary measures designed to minimize the spread of the coronavirus/ COVID-19.

At Spier we are closely monitoring government and industry information and guidelines regarding the corona-virus outbreak and are following these accordingly.
 
We recognise that we are facing a very serious situation worldwide and increasingly for South Africa. This is the time for considered, calm caution to ensure the safety and well being of our guests and staff and remain operating in those areas where we are able to do so.
 
There is no denying the huge challenges that the hospitality, tourism and wine industries are facing collectively. We have implemented extensive protective measures across our farms, in our wine cellar and our hospitality outlets. These are based on up-to-date expert advice and local and international public health guidelines.  The measures include implementing mandatory social distancing, reducing social interaction, and following the recommended hygiene protocols to ensure regular and thorough disinfection.

We have a full time medical advisory team managing a 24-hour on-site screening and isolation facility for the use of both our staff and hotel guests should the need arise.
 
Some of the specific measures we have put in place include: 

  • Strictly following the social distancing guidelines at our hotel, conference centre, restaurants and wine tasting centre: 
    • Group sizes and alcohol restrictions as stipulated by the government will be adhered to at all times.
    • Tables at all of our restaurants have been spaced at least 1.5m apart and guests are encouraged to sit outside.
    • We will run our hotel at a third of its capacity.
    • Staff are being encouraged to avoid meeting in-person and those that are able are working from home.
    • Shifts are being rostered to minimise the number of employees on site at any one time.
    • Where possible, staff meet suppliers and other third parties online or telephonically.
  • Ongoing staff awareness and training is in place.
  • We have conducted additional training to ensure our staff understand the hygiene techniques relevant to decreasing the risk of exposure to this virus.
  • We follow a strict and detailed hygiene regimen to ensure ALL surfaces at Spier are disinfected on a regular basis.
  • We have increased the frequency of the cleaning of our public areas. (including lobby, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.), using disinfectant.
  • We have increased the deployment of hand sanitizers across all areas.

To date we have had no reported cases of COVID-19 at Spier. We have an incident reporting system in place and all management teams are maintaining vigilance.
 
We are fortunate that all of the outlets at Spier, including our hotel, conference centre, restaurants, wine tasting and picnic facilities are spread widely across the farm in surroundings that offer plentiful outdoor options which minimise  the associated possible risks of close engagement.

 We recognise that this is an ever-changing situation. With this in mind, our measures will adapt accordingly; we will continue to keep our guests and staff updated as we strive to keep them safe.
 
Andrew Milne
Spier CEO