BD statement: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Sun, 08 Mar 2020 15:17 GMT

British Dressage's position on the outbreak of coronavirus and current advice is as follows. This will be updated as and when required.

We have been asked by a number of members what the official British Dressage position is on coronavirus. As things stand it continues to be business as usual, although we are in close contact with UK Sport, Sport England and the Sport & Recreation Alliance to ensure we act on the latest advice and guidance from the government.

In addition we are liaising with the BEF and FEI with regards to the impact of the outbreak on other infected countries and regions globally in order to advise riders how it may affect international competition and sporting events.

The situation continues to evolve, with 206 cases currently diagnosed with the virus in the UK out of 21,460 tested, as of Saturday 7 March.

However, we remain in the ‘containment’ phase and therefore the government advice is that there is no need to cancel or postpone sporting events at this time.  It is possible that this may change as the outbreak develops, when we move into the ‘delay’ phase.

If you have any concerns, you should check regularly for updated government advice, which can be found on the website. This includes information on the government’s action plan, which outlines the measures being taken to contain the virus.

Travelling abroad

There are some countries and areas where where is a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.  Please refer to the official government advice from the Foreign Office for more information before your decide to travel.

Category 1 areas most severely affected include China, Italy, Iran, Korea, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam.

If you have returned from these specific areas on or after 19 February 2020 you should self-isolate, even if asymptomatic, and call the NHS 111 service to receive advice on what to do next.

NHS Advice

Specific advice has also been provided by the NHS as follows:

Symptoms of Coronavirus

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness that can affect your lungs and respiratory system. Based on cases so far, the elderly and those with respiratory problems or a weakened immune system are most at risk.

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

However, these symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have the virus as they are similar to more common illnesses, such as the cold or flu. If you have recently returned from one of the infected regions, or have come into contact with someone who has visited the countries severely affected then you should contact NHS 111.

How coronavirus is spread

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. It is very unlikely that it can be spread through things like packaging and food.

Do I need to avoid public places?

Most people can continue to go to work, school and attend other public places.  You only need to self-isolate if advised to by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional.  If you are feeling unwell with any of the symptoms outlined above, or fall into one of the high-risk categories, then please seek medical advice before travelling or deciding to attend public events.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds on each occasion.
  • Always wash your hands when you get into work or arrive home.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands), when you cough or sneeze.
  • Dispose of used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands immediately afterwards.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell or displaying any of the symptoms associated with the virus.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth unless your hands are clean.


Further updates will follow when we receive additional information or advice from the government and Public Health England.