COVID update: summary of changes

  • Written By: British Dressage
  • Published: Wed, 23 Dec 2020 15:46 GMT

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday that placed London, as well as parts of the south and east of the country, under new Tier 4 restrictions from 20 December, further areas have been upgraded to Tier 4 status by the government today. These will come into effect from Boxing Day, 26 December, onwards.

Tier 4 restrictions effectively replicate the national lockdown measures that were in place in England throughout November. Therefore, all organised BD competition and training activity will once again have to be suspended for the duration of these restrictions in Tier 4 areas, until this status has been reviewed and lowered.

Changes were also announced at the weekend by the devolved governments, with Level 4 restrictions implemented with effect from 20 December in Wales and 26 December in Scotland. This means that a full national lockdown is already in place for the whole of Wales, while on the mainland in Scotland organised non-contact sporting activity is now restricted to local areas only, with mandatory travel restrictions in force.

Here is a summary of the latest status for each of the home nations:


Tier 4 restrictions now apply in the following areas:

Effective from 20 December
• Kent
• Buckinghamshire
• Berkshire
• Surrey (excluding Waverley)
• Boroughs of Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings
• London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London)
• Bedford
• Central Bedfordshire
• Milton Keynes
• Luton
• Peterborough
• Hertfordshire
• Essex (excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring)

Effective from 26 December
• Sussex
• Oxfordshire
• Suffolk
• Norfolk
• Cambridgeshire
• Essex (including those areas previously excluded)
• Waverley (Surrey)
• Hampshire

In addition, the following areas will also move into Tier 3 from 26 December:

• Bristol
• Gloucestershire
• Somerset
• Swindon
• Isle of Wight
• New Forest
• Northamptonshire
• Cheshire
• Warrington

Two other areas, Cornwall and Herefordshire, will move into Tier 2.

BD competition and training activity is permitted to continue in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 in England under our COVID protocols, providing all social distancing and hygiene measures are strictly adhered to. However, members who reside in regions with Tier 4 restrictions should not travel out of their area to take part in any BD activity. We also advise those who live in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 to stay local and not travel out of your area where possible.

Venues in Tiers 1, 2 and 3 should not accept entries from any competitors based in Tier 4 areas and judges / officials who reside in Tier 4 are advised not to travel out of the area to officiate.

Further details are available on the government and Sport England websites:

GOV.UK: Tier 4 info

Sport England: Tier 4 info


Level 4 status was implemented nationwide in Wales from Sunday 20 December onwards, which means the entire country is currently in full lockdown. This brought forward the previously planned nationwide restrictions by eight days, which were due to come into effect from 28 December.

Unfortunately this means that once again no organised BD competition or training activity can take place in Wales for the duration of the lockdown. Coaches who are unable to work from home are permitted to travel to do so, but they should deliver training on a one to one basis only and limit travel to the local area only, where possible. First minister statement 19.12.20 Level 4 FAQs

Sport Wales level four guidance


Scotland also has a five level system for managing local lockdown restrictions, although organised competition and training activity is permitted to continue providing all COVID protocols continue to be strictly adhered to.

From Boxing Day on 26 December onwards, Level 4 restrictions will apply everywhere on the mainland of Scotland. Organised non-contact sporting activity can continue, but everyone must remain within their local authority area. These travel restrictions are mandatory by law, so venues should not accept entries from members who reside outside of their area. Festive guidance

BD Christmas Opening Hours

We acknowledge that these restrictions will present difficulties for a large number of members across the country, so we have already been working with our organisers and venues on contingency plans for the New Year. Those members who have qualified for Area Festivals and Regionals are encouraged to still make their entries, as these can then be carried forward to any new dates that are announced, or full refunds will be issued if the show has to be cancelled.

The British Dressage Office will close at 5.00pm on Wednesday 23 December for the festive period and will reopen at 9.00am on Monday 4 January. During this time there will be no BD staff working and the BD shop will also be closed. The team will do their best to answer any questions or queries when they return to the office in January, but your patience and understanding is appreciated during this time due to the increased volume of calls and emails we will be dealing with.

In the meantime, we would like to wish all of our members a relaxing and enjoyable festive period and thank you for your support throughout this challenging year.