COVID update: restrictions reviewed in all three nations

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  • Published: Fri, 16 Jul 2021 17:55 GMT

The governments of England, Scotland and Wales have outlined the next steps for the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the coming days and weeks.

In England, there is a full lifting of restrictions from 19 July, while in Scotland and Wales there will be a more gradual relaxation, with some changes coming in on 19 July for Scotland and 17 July in Wales, and other restrictions removed in early August.

However, please note that British Dressage protocols will continue to remain in place during the current wave of infections.  Our guidance changes from mandatory restrictions due to legal requirements, to an advisory approach, but it is still incumbent upon all members and stakeholders to continue to act responsibly in order to protect all of the sport’s participants.

Our protocols for competitors, organisers, judges and coaches have been updated to reflect these changes but our overarching guidance will be:

  • Vaccination is encouraged for those who can, in order to maximise protection for yourself as well as those around you.
  • Take advantage of the free NHS lateral flow tests which help you interact safely and minimise your personal risk.
  • Do not travel for competition and training if you have any COVID symptoms.
  • Familiarise yourself with the restrictions that remain in place at venues – they are there to protect you, other competitors, staff and officials.
  • Spectators at British Dressage competitions can return within permitted numbers, but these should be managed in a way that provides a safe environment for everyone in attendance.
  • Face coverings in indoor environments where people are in close proximity continue to be recommended.
  • Continue to comply with social distancing where this remains in place – please note that the two-metre rule applies until at least 7 August in Wales and 9 August in Scotland.
  • Respect other members and show officials in their choices and follow the guidance in place at all times.


On Monday 19 July, England moves into Step 4 of the Covid response roadmap which lifts most legal restrictions:

  • Social distancing requirements will end and there will be no number restrictions on indoor or outdoor gatherings.  The recommendation will be to limit contact with those you don’t live with and minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts.
  • The requirement to wear face coverings in law will be lifted but the guidance is to continue wearing face coverings in indoor spaces where people will be in close proximity, such as public transport.
  • Employers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider including:
    • Cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly.
    • Making sure that hand sanitisers are still readily available.
    • Identifying poorly ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow.
    • Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue.
    • Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place and clearly displaying any ongoing guidelines.


All remaining local authorities will move to Level 0 guidance on Monday 19 July:

  • Up to eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at home.
  • Up to 10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor space.
  • Up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors – whether in a private garden or public place (children aged 12 and under not counted). No social distancing required within the group, but a minimum of 1m is required between different groups.
    Indoor sport and physical activity is permitted.
  • Indoor physical distancing in other settings will be reduced from 2m to 1m.
  • Outdoor physical distancing requirements will be removed for bubbles of 15 in informal settings.
  • Number limits for participants on an outdoor field of play will be 500.
  • Capacity limits for an indoor space will be based on a maximum occupancy of 7sqm per person.
  • Outdoor organised events will continue to comply with the size limits and processes previously set out for Level 0.  Capacity at events rises to 2,000 seated outdoors, 1,000 standing and 400 indoors.

The following restrictions will continue to remain in place:

  • Masks compulsory on public transport and in shops "for some time".
  • Hospitality venues to close at midnight.
  • People should continue to work from home where possible.

The government has indicated most of the remaining restrictions will be lifted on 9 August.


The country will move to Alert Level 1 from Saturday 17 July which now means:

  • Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation
  • Organised indoor events for up to 1,000 seated or 200 standing can take place, subject to risk assessment and taking reasonable measures to protect those in attendance.
  • Restrictions removed on the number of people who can gather outdoors.
  • The limit on organised activities for adults will increase to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors. These limits on numbers do not apply if the organised activity is specifically organised for the development or well-being of children.
  • All organised activity should be consistent with the Welsh Government’s guidance regarding health, social distancing and hygiene
  • Face coverings still a legal requirement in all indoor public places, with exceptions for education settings and hospitality.
  • From 19 July, adults returning from amber-list countries will no longer have to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated in the UK, and nor will under-18s travelling with them.

If conditions allow, Wales will move to Alert Level 0 from Saturday 7 August which facilitates the following changes:

  • Legal restrictions on the number of people who can meet indoors, including in private homes, public places or at events will be removed
  • All businesses and premises can open, including nightclubs.
  • The laws on social distancing will no longer apply, but venues will have to assess risk.
  • People should still continue to work from home wherever possible.
  • Face coverings will remain a legal requirement indoors, with the exception of hospitality premises. This will be kept under review.

BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented; “The further easing of restrictions across the home nations brings us a step closer to returning to training and competition as it was pre-pandemic and the return of spectators at BD events will certainly be welcomed by everyone.  However, I would urge all members to take a sensible and responsible approach in order to protect themselves and others in our community.

“We’ve collectively seen the sport through some difficult times over the last 18 months and we should continue to exercise caution, especially during this latest wave of COVID infections.  Our protocols have been updated to take into account the latest government changes, but advisory guidance remains in place to safeguard our sport and ensure that activity can continue safely.

“We have a duty of care to all of our members, officials and staff working at venues, so your continued support and patience is very much appreciated.  We have a packed summer ahead, with plenty to look forward to, and by working together we will continue to make good progress back towards some semblance of normality.

“We have been delighted with the way that our members have enthusiastically embraced the resumption of activity, with record starter numbers during April, May and June and membership already exceeding pre-pandemic levels.  But there’s no room for complacency and protecting the health and safety of everyone in the dressage community will always be our first and foremost consideration.”