BD update: Changes for England and Scotland

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 30 Oct 2020 15:10 GMT

The national governments for England and Scotland have this week announced a number of changes to how they are managing coronavirus restrictions at local level. For England this means that the risk status has been upgraded in several areas, while Scotland has also had a new tiered system to manage restrictions introduced.


The three tier system that has been in operation in England since Wednesday 13 October, puts areas into Tier 1 (medium), Tier 2 (high) and Tier 3 (very high) risk categories, with different restrictions applicable in each case.

While organised competition and training activity can still continue, in accordance with government restrictions and COVID protocols that have been put in place, members are reminded to check with their local authority as to what is permitted in their local area. In particular, in Tier 3 areas people are advised to avoid travel unless it is for work or education purposes, or to undertake caring responsibilities, although this is not mandatory.

This week has seen a number of changes, with several areas moving into Tier 2 or Tier 3 status. Those areas now categorised as very high risk (Tier 3), as of Friday 30 October, are as follows:

  • Greater Manchester
  • Lancashire
  • Liverpool City Region
  • Nottinghamshire
  • South Yorkshire
  • Warrington

West Yorkshire, including Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield, will also go into Tier 3 with effect from Monday 2 November.

Elsewhere a number of other areas, including parts of the Midlands, Staffordshire and Lincolnshire, are also due to move into Tier 2 from Saturday 31 October. The full list is as follows:

  • Amber Valley
  • Bolsover
  • Charnwood
  • Derby City
  • Derbyshire Dales
  • Dudley
  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • High Peak
  • Kingston-Upon-Hull
  • Luton
  • North Lincolnshire
  • North East Lincolnshire
  • Oxford City
  • South Derbyshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Telford
  • Wrekin

Due to the COVID secure protocols and procedures we have put in place, organised BD activity can continue in all areas in England, providing that the social distancing and hygiene measures continue to be adhered to at all times. The main points for each tier can be summarised as follows:

Tier 1 (medium)

• Organised sports that have been through return to play protocols can continue, while adhering to the 'rule of six', which means in groups of no more than six people.
• Exemptions include under-18s, disabled people and for educational purposes for over-18s, who can continue to play in any number.
• Other indoor activity, such as training, can continue in larger numbers based on the size of the venue, provided that people are in separate groups of up to six people, or larger groups if they’re from the same household or support bubble, which do not mix.

• National governing body-approved organised sport, classes and participation events can happen in any number providing they are in line with COVID-secure guidance.

Tier 2 (high)

• Organised individual and team sport must be played by a single household or support bubble.
• Exemptions laid out in Tier 1 on specific groups of people who can play in larger numbers continue to apply.

• No change to the guidance for outdoor sport and physical activity – Tier 1 rules still apply.

Tier 3 (very high)

• Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 2.

• Sport and physical activity can be played as per the guidance under Tier 1.

Members can still travel for competition and training activity within a Tier 3 restricted zone, depending on local authority restrictions, but they should not travel into or out of this area unless for work or school. The restriction on non-essential travel is advisory, not mandatory.

Full details on how this tiered system for restrictions affects sporting activity can be found on the Sport England website.


Scotland also announced a five tier system this week, ranging from Level 0 (for no restrictions) to Level 4 (full lockdown), which will come into effect from Monday 2 November. All areas are categorised as Level 1, 2 or 3 currently, with the full list as follows:

Level 3

Under this new system, Level 3 restrictions see cafes, pubs and restaurants allowed to open until 18:00 to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks. Alcohol sales are not permitted indoors or outdoors. All leisure and entertainment venues are closed at this level, including cinemas. No non-essential travel is allowed out of a Level 3 area. Indoor exercise, which includes gyms, will be restricted to individual and not group exercise.

  • Glasgow City
  • Renfrewshire
  • East Renfrewshire
  • East Dunbartonshire
  • West Dunbartonshire
  • East Ayrshire
  • North Ayrshire
  • South Ayrshire
  • South Lanarkshire
  • North Lanarkshire
  • Inverclyde
  • City of Edinburgh
  • Midlothian
  • East Lothian
  • West Lothian
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Falkirk
  • Stirling
  • Dundee

Level 2

In this tier no in-home socialising is allowed and up to six people from two households can meet outdoors and in hospitality settings. Licensed premises can only serve alcohol indoors with a main meal - and then only until 20:00. Outdoors, you can be served until 22:30. Most leisure and entertainment premises are closed except gyms, cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades.

  • Aberdeen
  • Aberdeenshire
  • Angus
  • Argyll & Bute
  • Borders
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Fife
  • Perth & Kinross

Level 1

Level 1 offers a "reasonable" degree of normality. Hospitality has a 22:30 curfew. Events, like weddings, will be restricted to a maximum of 20 people. Indoor contact sports for adults are not permitted. Only those unable to work from home should go to their place of employment.

  • Highland
  • Moray
  • Orkney
  • Shetland
  • Western Isles


Wales are in the middle of a national lockdown until Monday 9 November, so all BD training and competition activity remains suspended until this date. Details of the Lockdown Business Fund have now been released for any business impacted by this lockdown. 

As a reminder, our protocols for managing activity in areas with local lockdown restrictions in England, Scotland and Wales are as follows:

• Members, organisers and officials who live in any of the areas with local restrictions should strictly adhere to all government regulations that are put in place.
• Where BD organised competition and training activity is permitted to continue, all COVID guidance and protocols must be implemented fully and followed correctly.
• Venues are required to conduct thorough risk assessments to mitigate risks and take all necessary precautions to ensure that activity is run in a COVID secure environment.
• Any venue that falls within an area with travel restrictions in place should not accept entries or bookings from members outside of that area, unless they have put additional mitigations in place and have received local authority approval.
• Organisers should not accept bookings for training or competition entries from members who live in areas with mandatory travel restrictions.
• Judges, stewards or officials who reside within an area with mandatory travel restrictions should only visit venues or clients for work purposes.
• Where activity takes place within an area under local travel restrictions, coaches and judges should only conduct training or test riding for members who reside within that area.
• Members are strongly advised not go into or out of an area with travel restrictions to take part in organised competition, training or test riding activity, while the local lockdown remains in place.
• Staff, contractors and suppliers should only travel to / from venues within restricted areas if deemed essential for work purposes and they are unable to work from home.
• With many areas of the UK subject to different and rapidly changing restrictions, it is the responsibility of individual members to ensure that they check the latest situation in the area they are living in, or travelling to, to ensure that they are complying with all requirements.

If you’re unsure whether you fall into one of the above areas, please use the post code checker on the government’s website.

It’s imperative that members follow both government and British Dressage guidance in order to keep yourself and others around you safe. Our COVID guidelines for competitors, organisers, coaches and officials ensure that our sport can still operate, but we need everyone to comply with these regulations, by maintaining social distancing and following good hygiene practices in order for BD activity to continue. We thank you all for your ongoing co-operation, support and understanding.