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Centres and training facilities

Relaxation of lockdown restrictions across the home nations now permits venues that provide outdoor sports and physical activities to reopen. For the equestrian industry, this includes riding centres with outdoor arenas, outdoor training facilities and venues, cross-country courses, farm rides and the like. In addition, the use of indoor arenas is permitted in Northern Ireland (from 23 June), Scotland (from 29 June) and England (from 4 July). At present, the use of indoor arenas is not permitted in Wales. 

Here is the current situation across the home nations... 

(correct as of 7 July 2020) How many people can meet? Where can riding take place? Are travel restictions in place?
England Up to six people from separate households, including a coach Any indoor or outdoor facility or training venue. No travel restrictions
Scotland Sessions of up to four households at a time, with a maximum of 15 people, in an outside setting. Sessions of up to two households at a time, with a maximum of eight people, in an indoor setting. Centres can host a maximum of four households per day.  Any indoor or outdoor facility or training venue. Some postcodes in the Dumfries & Galloway area (DG 1, 2, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 16 – Scottish control only) have a five-mile restriction in place
Wales Groups of up to 30 people in a supervised outdoor setting.  Outdoor training facilities or venues only No travel restrictions
N. Ireland Up to six people from separate households, including a coach Any indoor or outdoor facility or training venue. No travel restrictions

 

Venues that are reopening

Outdoor venues should reopen only when they are confident they can fulfil the requirements, and are in a position to reduce any risk of transmission for their staff and clients. This includes:

  • Any activity should fully align with government guidance regarding public health, social distancing and hygiene
  • All attendees can maintain the social distancing standard of two metres
  • Good hygiene practice is implemented throughout opening, including hand washing facilities and/or hand sanitizer stations, and regular cleaning
  • Anyone involved who is symptomatic or suspects they have been exposed to the virus does not take part and remains at home.
  • Participants should be individuals, members of the same household, or two from different households with social distancing at all times. Any coaching activity must be on a one-to-one basis.
  • Organisations/venues should publish an action plan detailing their plans to re-open safely and how they’re managing risk
  • Organisations/venues should be flexible and able to quickly adapt to any changes in government guidelines
  • Car/lorry parking should be conducted to allow adequate social distancing
  • Booking and payment should be done online or over the phone to reduce contact
  • Any shared equipment should be sterilised before each use and measures should be in place to reduce the risk of contamination.

Horses can be transported to venues freely, provided that all participants adhere to restrictions on distance travelled, the size of the gathering and the number of households that may be involved. All those involved must adhere to social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Please be aware that, due to coronavirus, some centres may not currently be open, or may be running a reduced or altered service, so please contact them in advance of a visit so you're prepared of any restrictionst that might be in place. 

Useful resources

British Equestrian advises any operators looking to open their premises to read the full guidance available: