Coronavirus Update: Joint BD and BS statement

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Fri, 29 May 2020 17:21 GMT

Across Great Britain, governments have made further announcements to ease the home nations out of coronavirus lockdown.  New guidelines were confirmed yesterday for England and Scotland by the Prime Minister and First Minister, while an update on the restrictions in Wales was also provided this afternoon.

The most significant changes for each region relate to social gatherings:

  • England – groups of up to six people can meet in parks or private gardens, effective from Monday 1 June.
  • Scotland – groups up to eight people from two different households can meet outside with immediate effect, from Friday 29 May.
  • Wales – two households from the same local area (up to five miles from home) can meet in outside spaces, including private gardens, from Monday 1 June.

In all instances, social distancing restrictions apply and people will be required to remain at least two metres apart at all times.  This applies to outdoor spaces only and individuals should not enter other people’s homes or indoor facilities, unless it is to access someone’s garden.  Strict hygiene practices in terms of washing hands should continue to be followed at all times.

What does this mean for equestrianism?

Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, we are currently awaiting more detailed advice and guidance from the government to determine what impact these new conditions will have on riding, coaching and other participation activity in England.  Further details are expected to follow early next week.

For those residing in Scotland, specific supplementary advice was issued around coaching as follows:

  • One to one personal training or coaching is permitted if it is outdoors, physical distancing can be maintained, and is with members of your household and/or members of one other household.
  • A coach or personal trainer should not deliver training to more than one household at any one time or provide training to more than one household per day.
  • When participating in training or coaching, where possible, avoid touching surfaces and sharing equipment and touching your mouth and face.

Members in Scotland can ride as often as they wish outdoors, providing they do this alone, with members of their household or another household.  You can travel locally to exercise your horse within the Scottish government’s recommendation of five miles.  Where two households come together it is up to a maximum of eight people at any one time, maintaining social distancing at all times.  Additionally, members of a household should only meet with one other household per day.

The announcement in Wales only covered meetings between two households, with no specific reference to meeting others for exercise, although there are no exact limits on numbers.  Current restrictions prevent driving for exercise so this limits equestrian activity to riding horses within five miles of the premises where they are kept.  The Welsh government has stated that the position with regards to the opening of outdoor sports facilities will be reviewed on Thursday 18 June.

British Dressage and British Showjumping will issue further updates next week as soon as we receive information on how these regional variations will affect members in each nation.  Once we have the necessary clarification, updated guidance and advice will be published and communicated to our stakeholders.