COVID 19 ADVICE FOR CONSUMERS OF LIQUID FUELS

24th March 2020

With the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, information and advice from Government can change quickly. For all the latest Government information on COVID-19 and the measures the Government, and Devolved Governments, are taking, please visit the UK Government website, the Scottish Government website, the Welsh Government website or the Northern Irish Government website Advice for those in the Republic of Ireland visit the Irish Government website.

Following the recent Government announcements, we would like to reassure consumers of liquid fuel that as suppliers of essential heating oil and transport fuels, our UKIFDA Full Members are included in the key worker definition. Their core staff continue to work very hard in the face of unprecedented demand – there really is no need for panic buying – and so it would be in the interests of your local community if consumers were encouraged to follow this advice.

  • Be patient – trust your regular supplier.  Tell them when you will run out so that they can prioritise. Be honest.
  • Explain your circumstances – perhaps you are self-isolating or in one of the vulnerable groups classified by the Government or aged 70+.
  • Don’t order if you don’t need oil at the moment. This will help spread demand over a wider time period and better fit to resources available given that any driver who shows signs of the virus must self-isolate.

Many of our members operate the Cold Weather Priority Scheme for those over 75 and some Members are temporarily extending this scheme to offer priority delivery to those in the age bracket 70+ and where possible those who have to self-isolate due to COVID 19. Please check with your UKIFDA member what support they are providing for you.

In the coming weeks, we will be keeping our Members up to date with any developments following further Government announcements. We are also liaising with the relevant government departments to ensure that our Members and their staff are supported to meet the needs of their customers via additional flexibility in working practices and regulations.

The wellbeing of our Members staff and customers remains a priority and our Members are putting in place reasonable and proportionate arrangements to protect their staff (both office based and delivery drivers) and customers. This includes following Public Health guidance including:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water often.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing and putting it in the bin straight away.
  • Not touching your face if your hands are not clean.

Specific arrangements will vary from distributor to distributor – so please check your UKIFDA supplier’s website or ask them when ordering by telephone – but they may include: –

  • Asking customers to keeping a distance from delivery drivers
  • Introducing contactless delivery so customers do not come into contact with a driver’s handheld device or paperwork to confirm delivery/receipt.
  • As part of contactless delivery, advising customers that cheques and cash cannot be accepted as a form of payment.
  • Advising customers not to attend the premises of liquid fuels distributors and to work with members if they request to hold video or telephone meetings in place of face-to-face
  • Asking customers to refrain from shaking hands

This is a rapidly evolving situation, which we and our Members are monitoring carefully. The situation is kept under constant review and any change in guidance will be based on Government and scientific advice.

For further information on the work liquid fuel distributors are doing at this unprecedented time can be found here

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