Plans to ease lockdown restrictions in England and Scotland
23 Feb 2021
Plans to ease lockdown restrictions announced in England and Scotland.
The UK Prime Minister and Scotland’s First Minister have outlined their plans for the taking England and Scotland out of the current ‘stay at home’ restriction. Both leaders have given indicative timeframes, which give the equestrian sector a guide for when activity can resume, businesses can open and competitions can recommence.
In Wales, lockdown restrictions continue with the next review due on 12 March, while a lockdown extension until 1 April was recently announced in Northern Ireland, with a review scheduled for 18 March.
While certain details around the easing of restrictions and how they affect the equestrian industry are still awaiting for clarification, below is British Equestrian’s current understanding of the situation.
The key dates and headlines are:
Step One – part A: from 8 March
• Two people can meet outdoors to socialise
Step One – part B: from 29 March
• Six people or two households can meet outdoors
Step Two: from 12 April
• Non-essential retail can open
Step Three: from 17 May
• Many social contact restrictions lifted outdoors
Step Four: from 21 June
• All legal limits on social contact removed
This would indicate that those equestrian centres and other businesses who are education or training providers could start one-to-one sessions from 8 March, while most other activity – sport or leisure – can resume from 29 March.
Our member bodies are working on various ‘return to play’ plans for release in the coming days with specific details for their sectors and stakeholder groups.
Indicative dates and key milestones:
Phase One: 22 February
• Partial return to school for some age groups
Phase Two: 15 March (anticipated)
• Next phase of return of children to school - primary and some secondary pupils
Phase Three: 5 April (anticipated)
• Stay at home restriction removed
Phase Four: 26 April (anticipated)
• All of Scotland return to Level system of restrictions
These details have only just been released and now require further consideration on how they impact the equine industry, but this could signal a restart to activity no later than 26 April. We’ll work with horsescotland and the member bodies, and provide any further clarification if required in the coming days.
British Equestrian CEO Iain Graham commented; “While there is still detail to be clarified, we now have a strong indication from the governments of England and Scotland of when we can return to activity, training, competing and just enjoying our equestrian lives once again.
It’s very welcome news and gives hope to many that an end is in sight, provided of course we all play our part. For our stakeholders in Wales and Northern Ireland, we’ll continue to push for the opening up of activity in a safe timeframe.
Thank you to all of you in the equestrian community, it’s been a difficult 11 months with so many impacted, but now we can look to building our industry back and recover stronger than ever.” We’ll continue to provide updates and further details for the equestrian sector as they are made available to us from governments or supporting bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.Download this page as a PDF documents - CLICK HERE
In the First Minister's statement on 23 February she highlighted the following. At this stage this is all the information we have available. As soon as we have more detail especially from Mid-March around the return to the level system we will update you all.
The statement set out indicative dates to return to a system of levels from the last week of April. The key points, relevant to sport are:
It is important to note that the timings are indicative and any changes will be driven by the data.
It should also be noted that the dates set-out by UK Government on 22nd February do not apply to Scotland.
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