The four home nations of the United Kingdom have now released a number of updates that outline the easing of lockdown restrictions across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Working with our member bodies and government agencies, British Equestrian can update the equine community as we build towards a full range of activity, training and competition for our riders, vaulters and drivers, workers, coaches and other stakeholders.
The rules on meeting people outdoors have been relaxed as of today (12 March), whereby four people from two households may now meet, which has opened up the opportunity to take part in training and sport. Specifically:
There is still a requirement for adults to stay within their local authority boundary for exercise and organised activity, while those aged 12–17 may cross into other areas. Sportscotland and horsescotland advice also indicates that anyone may travel up
to five miles into a neighbouring local authority area for informal activity such as hacking or facility hire without a coach.
We also know the following indicative dates and information:
FROM 5 APRIL
FROM 26 APRIL
However, these changes will be based on scientific data and meeting certain requirement, so are provisional at this stage.
USEFUL INFORMATION LINKS FOR SCOTLAND
From Saturday 13 March, restrictions were lowered in Wales, with the message moving from ‘stay at home’ to ‘stay local’, where possible. As in Scotland, up to four people from two households may meet outdoors to exercise or socialise, including in private gardens,. The guidance for local travel is to stay within five miles of home, although those living in more remote rural areas can travel further for reasonable journeys.
FROM SATURDAY 13 MARCH
Up to four people from two households will be able to meet outdoors in their local area, including in private gardens. Children under 11 and carers do not count towards this limit. There must be no mixing indoors and social distancing should be followed at all times outdoors.
Outdoor sports facilities can reopen, with a maximum of four people from two households permitted to take part in activities using local facilities at any one time. Equestrian venues could open for hire and activity on this basis, provided that they operate within the meeting number and travel restrictions.
FROM MONDAY 22 MARCH
PROVIDED THE COVID DATA IS POSITIVE, FROM 27 MARCH
The review on 1 April will consider whether all remaining shops and close-contact services can reopen on the 12 April. We are working with Sport Wales to gain further clarification on what these revised restrictions will mean across equestrianism and will update in due course.
USEFUL INFORMATION LINKS FOR WALES
The government has released a road map of clear steps, but with no specific dates for easing lockdowns. Reviews will be carried out at four-week intervals and are scheduled for 16 March, 15 April, 13 May and 10 June.
Indications have been made that some outdoor sports where social distancing can be maintained could resume once the lifting of lockdown restrictions begins. There is a section dedicated to sport in the recovery plan and the resumption of outdoor sport is covered in step two.
USEFUL INFORMATION LINKS FOR NORTHERN IRELAND
In England, the main relaxation in lockdown restrictions is that two people can now meet outdoors to socialise. All pupils return to school on Monday 8 March, which included approved further education equestrian training providers. The countdown is now on to 29 March, when opportunities further open up.
FROM 29 MARCH
This indicates that organised competition, training and activity can resume from this date onwards. All equestrian centres and riding schools will be allowed to re-open, with arena hire also permitted.
FROM 12 APRIL
Overnight stays for competition or training purposes would be permitted at this stage.
FROM 17 MAY
Spectators will once again be permitted at shows, albeit with limited numbers, and restrictions on international travel could be lifted.
FROM 21 JUNE
USEFUL INFORMATION LINKS FOR ENGLAND
Activity may be permitted, but venues must work within meeting number and travel restrictions, which could impact on the viability of opening for some businesses. The above table is a summary only and you are advised to seek full advice from your local authority.