British Equestrian COVID update: state of play at 12.04.21

Monday 12 April 2021

British Equestrian COVID update: state of play at 12.04.21

 

With lockdown measures easing across the United Kingdom, including a number of key milestones on Monday 12 April that will enable us to get out and further enjoy our horses, sport and activity, here’s an update from British Equestrian on what you can do. Also included are some key upcoming dates for further easing of restrictions, subject to meeting required targets for each government.

For all activity, participants are reminded that everyone’s health and safety is paramount. Health, hygiene and social distancing measures, and government guidelines, should be observed at all times to make sure we keep each other safe and reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.

England

Current position, as of 12 April, after Steps 1 & 2 of lockdown exit plan:

Outdoor activity

  • All outdoors sport facilities, including riding centres, are able to re-open.
  • Outdoor sport for adults and children is permitted to take place with any number of participants, where it is formally organised and follows COVID-secure guidance.
  • Informal sport and physical activity can take place outdoors, but must be limited to groups of six people or two households.

Indoor activity

  • Indoor riding activity is permitted for:
  • Organised disability sport and activity, no number restrictions
  • Supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, no number restrictions
  • Elite sports people, restricted to athletes on the World Class Programme (P1 and P2)
  • An owner of an animal kept at a riding centre
  • Riding centre employees to care for and exercise horses
  • Activities that form part of the core curriculum of formal education or professional or work-related training and development
  • Individual use or with the participant’s household or bubble groups.

Spectators, leaders and socialising

  • Spectators are only permitted if they are carers for people with disabilities or adults who need to supervise under-18s in a safeguarding role.
  • Lead rein sessions may be delivered at the discretion of the venue/organiser/proprietor with a dedicated risk assessment and appropriate risk mitigation in place.
  • Social gatherings before and after sporting activity should only take place outdoors and in groups of up to six people or two households.

Travel

  • Travel for the purposes of exercise and to take part in both organised and informal sport activity is permitted, but the overall guidance is to ‘stay local’.
  • Overnight stays are allowed in self-contained accommodation (which would include a horse box with facilities) with own household or bubble.

Coaching

  • Coaches are free to travel and deliver sessions. Outdoors, there is no restriction on age or numbers, while indoor sessions are only permitted for under-18s, riders with a disability or one-to-one adult sessions. Because coaches are considered to be ‘workforce’, they don’t count towards number restrictions. Risk assessments, contact sheets and COVID health measures should be always in use.

Competition

  • Competitions may take place outdoors with no number restriction. Any competitions using indoor arenas should be for a single rider only, and indoor warm up areas should operate on a one in, one out basis only.  Competition officials such as judges, writers, score collectors and arena staff/volunteers are classed as ‘workforce’ and do not count in number restrictions.

Other

  • All non-essential retail and close contact services can open.
  • Food may be served in an outdoor setting to groups of up to six or two households or for take away.


Step 3, from 17 May at the earliest:

  • Organised adult indoor group sports and exercise will be able to resume.
  • Indoor arena used will be permitted for all participants, with numbers anticipated as up to six people or two households.
  • Spectators at events will be allowed on the following basis:
  • Indoor events will be able to have 1,000 people or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower.
  • Outdoor events will be able to take place at a capacity of 50% or 4,000 people, whichever is lower.
  • For large, outdoor seated venues, crowds will be permitted up to 10,000 people or 25% of capacity, whichever is lower.

Step 4, from 21 June at the earliest:

  • All legal limits on social contact could be removed, with events taking place at capacity restrictions above those in Step 3. Some hygiene mitigations may remain.

 

Scotland

Position as of 12 April:

Sporting activity

  • Adults (18 years and over) can only take part in organised activity, including training and competitions, within their Local Authority area.
  • For those aged 12 years and over (including adults), an outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble' is restricted to up to 15 people, including coaches.
  • Children under 12 years of age can take part in outdoor contact and non-contact organised sport, including training, group exercise and competition activity.
  • An outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble’ for under-12s consists of up to 30 people, including coaches, at any one time.
  • Lead rein sessions may be delivered at the discretion of the venue/organiser/proprietor with a dedicated risk assessment and appropriate risk mitigation in place.

Travel

  • Current, most travel is restricted to within your Local Authority area. From Friday 16 April, you can travel anywhere in Scotland. Crossing the border into England is not permitted.
  • For informal activity, such as hacking or facility hire, adults can travel up to five miles into a neighbouring Local Authority area.
  • Young people (17 years old and under) have an exemption to allow travel outside their Local Authority Area for sport purposes. Where it is a national event, cross-border travel is permitted for organised activity.
  • Overnight stays are not permitted.

Other

  • Four people from a maximum of two households (children u12 not counted). Those aged 12–17 can meet in groups of four from up to four households. From 16 April, this will increase to six adults from up to six households.
  • Only essential shops and stores may open, including hairdressers and barbers (non-mobile).
  • Food may be served for take away only.

The latest update from horsescotland includes the following key changes that are planned as Scotland moves down each of the restriction levels:

Level 3, from 26 April:

  • Adults will be permitted to participate in individual exercise indoors – indoor group exercise will be permitted for up to four people from two households.
  • Outdoor contact sport and activity will be permitted for under-12s.
  • Outdoor sporting bubbles can have a maximum of 30 participants. Multiple bubbles should not come into contact or cross over with each other before, during or after activity.
  • Travel to be opened up to within mainland Scotland.

Level 2, from 17 May:

  • Indoor adult non-contact group activity can restart.
  • Maximum bubble sizes are still to be confirmed for Levels 0-2.  This is currently under review by the Scottish Government.

Please note that for the purposes of this guidance, covered arenas are classified as outdoor sport facilities by the Scottish Government.

 

Wales

Last week, several key milestone dates were brought forward in Wales following a reduction in coronavirus infection rates, which means that a number of restrictions will be relaxed early. The current position is:

Sporting activity

  • Some outdoor sport and activity for under-18s may run with no limit on the number of participants.
  • Outdoor venue hire is permitted within the outdoor meeting numbers, so could include a coach and up to five members of a single household.
  • Riding centres and equestrian venues should liaise with their licencing authority/insurance provider for help on opening for business.
  • Lead rein sessions may be delivered at the discretion of the venue/organiser/proprietor with a dedicated risk assessment and appropriate risk mitigation in place.

Travel

  • Travel is permitted throughout the country and, as of 12 April, you may cross the border into England.
  • Overnight stays in self-contained accommodation is permitted (including horse boxes with facilities) with own household or bubble.

Coaching

  • Coaches may operate outdoors within meeting numbers, which is up to six from one other household. No indoor lessons should be delivered at present.

Other

  • All non-essential retail and close contact services can open.
  • Food may be offered for take away only.

From 26 April:

  • Outdoor attractions, including funfairs and theme parks, will be allowed to reopen.
  • Outdoor hospitality can resume, including at cafes, pubs and restaurants.
  • Organised outdoor activities and sport for up to 30 people can again take place which means equestrian competition may resume.
  • Wedding receptions can take place outdoors but will also be limited to 30 people.

From 03 May:

  • Two households will be allowed to meet and have contact indoors.
  • Indoor gyms, leisure centres and fitness facilities can reopen, which should include the use of indoor arenas. This will include individual or one-to-one training, but not exercise classes.

From 17 May, subject to review on 13 May:

  • Children’s indoor activities will be permitted, with no specified limit on numbers.
  • Organised indoor activities for adults, limited to a maximum of 15 people. This includes exercise classes.

Northern Ireland

As of 12 April, the ‘stay at home’ message has been lifted, which opens up a number of opportunities in the region, including:

Socialising and other

  • Up to 10 people (including children) can meet outdoors. Up to six people from two households can meet indoors in a non-domestic setting.
  • Households can form a bubble with one other household, which can be any size but indoor meetings are restricted to ten people, including children. If you are in a bubble, you shouldn’t have close contact with anyone from a third household.
  • Only essential retail may open, and car, caravan, motorhome and agricultural machinery sales, garden centres/plant nurseries and car washes have been added to this category.
  • Food may be offered for take away only.

Travel and other

  • Travel should be kept to your local area.
  • Food may be offered for take away only.

Sporting activity

  • Outdoor sports facilities may open for training, with up to 15 people (including coaches) able to take part in structured training through clubs or individuals affiliated to a recognised sporting governing body. Up to 10 people (including children) from a maximum of two households can meet for casual outdoor exercise or sport activity.
  • Lead rein sessions may be delivered at the discretion of the venue/organiser/proprietor with a dedicated risk assessment and appropriate risk mitigation in place.
  • Sporting events with return to sport protocols from a sport governing body may only be held for elite athletes (indoor and outdoor).
  • Outdoor sport for the purpose of physical education or extra-curricular activity for a school (outdoor only) is permitted.
  • Any sporting activity must be done behind closed doors, no spectators permitted.
  • Exercise may be done with up to 10 people from two households.
  • Indoor facilities should remain closed.

An indicative timeframe for further relaxations is due to be announced by the government this week.

 

Summary of permitted activity

 

As of 12.04.21

England

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Meeting outdoors

Groups of six or two households

Four people from a maximum of two households (children u12 not counted). Those aged 12–17 can meet in groups of four from up to four households.
 

Groups of six or two households (children u11 not counted)

Groups of ten (including children) from no more than two households.

Meeting indoors

Not permitted – likely to be 17 May

Not permitted – likely to be 17 May for four people from two households

Not permitted – likely to be 3 May for two households

Up to six people from a maximum of two households in a non-domestic indoor setting.
 

Travel

No restrictions, but urged to stay local. Cross-border travel to Wales permitted.

Travel for sport and exercise must be within Local Authority (LA) area –requirement being lifted Friday, 16 April. No travel restrictions for u17s.
 

No restrictions, cross-border travel to England permitted.

No restrictions, but urged to stay local.

Riding outdoors

Groups of six or two households

For informal activity, such as hacking or venue hire, travel may extend five miles into neighbouring LA area.
 

Groups of six or two households (children u11 not counted)

Groups of up to 15 people including coaches for structured activity, ten from two households casually.

Riding indoors

Permitted for:
- Elite athletes
- owner of a horse kept at a riding centre
- Riding centre employees to exercise horses
- Organised disabled sport and activity
- Supervised activities for u18s
- Core curriculum activities
- Individuals or household or bubble groups.
 

Permitted – covered arenas are classified as outdoor sport facilities by the Scottish Government.

Not permitted except the use of own facilities. Likely to be 3 May for individual or one-to-one activity.

Not permitted except the use of own facilities.

Venues riding

Lessons and facility hire permitted, with restrictions on indoor usage and group numbers. Lead rein sessions at centre discretion.

Lessons and facility hire permitted, with restrictions on travel and group numbers. Lead rein sessions at centre discretion.

Outdoor facilities open for hire. Riding schools should contact their licencing authority/insurance provider for help. Lead rein sessions at centre discretion.

 

Outdoor lessons and facility hire permitted, with restrictions on numbers. Lead rein sessions at centre discretion.

Venues competition

Competitions permitted, with restrictions on indoor usage.

Competitions permitted, up to 30 participants for u12s, up to 15 participants including coaches for over-12s and adults, travel restrictions apply.

 

Competitions not permitted, likely to be 26 April with numbers of up to 30 participants.

Outdoor and Indoor competitions only for elite athletes.

Coaches

No travel restrictions and no limit on numbers outdoors. Indoors, one-to-one or single household/bubble for adults, or u18 or disabled riders with no number restrictions,.

No limit on sessions per day or travel. Maximum of 14 participants for over 12s and a maximum of 30 for under 12s.

Riding school coaches should follow the advice for venues above. Freelance coaches can deliver lessons outdoors within the six people from two households requirement (coach is one household).

 

Permitted numbers are 10 from two households so can teach groups of up to nine from one other household as coach is one household. Structured outdoor training must be organised by an NGB/affiliated club or individual and take place in groups of up to 14 plus the coach.

Overnight stays

Permitted in self-contained accommodation.

 

Not permitted except for essential workers, likely to be 26 April.

Permitted in self-contained accommodation.

Not permitted except for essential workers.

Practitioners

Free to work with COVID security measures in place.

Free to work with COVID security measures in place.

Free to work with COVID security measures in place.

Free to work with COVID security measures in place.

 

Guidance link

Sport England

sportscotland

horsescotland

Sport Wales

Sport Northern Ireland

 

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