British Equestrian Update: new legal restrictions for England
Thursday 10 September 2020
The government has recently announced new restrictions in England which limit gatherings to a maximum of six people, enforceable by law, which come into effect on Monday 14 September. While this has implications for day-to-day life, British Equestrian has had confirmation via Sport England that equestrian sport and activity taking place in organised conditions under each governing body’s published ‘return to play’ protocols and related guidance, can continue without observing the new restricted numbers.
Riders, drivers and vaulters meeting for informal equestrian activities such as hacking must legally abide by the restriction of six people or fewer as of Monday 14 September in England.
Also coming into law is the requirement for businesses to record customer, staff and visitor contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace programme. Most equestrian centres, venues and operatives should have instigated this within their ‘return to play’ plans, but those who haven’t been must now put a recording program in place in order to comply with the law. Data should be held for 21 days, then safely destroyed, and should be handled in accordance with GDPR.
Currently, there are no changes to numbers who can gather in Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales from those previously published.
British Equestrian’s Head of Participation David Butler commented; “We’ve worked closely with our member bodies to get them prepared for returning to action safely, and most are back up and running under COVID protocols. Having stringent plans in place was vital, but even more so with these new restrictions being made law because our plans mean that activity can safely continue. I’d urge all equestrian businesses, particularly in England at present, to be extra vigilant and rigorously ensure the guidance is strictly adhered to, as well as health and hygiene measures. It's easy to become complacent, but this change reminds us that coronavirus is still very much with us and we must all play our part in complying with the guidance to minimise the COVID risk when taking part in equestrian activity.”