BEF update: athlete and essential support staff exemptions

Monday, 05 October 2020

Under government regulations (dated 19 August), British Equestrian and the Olympic/Paralympic governing bodies can make provision for elite athletes and their essential support staff to be exempt from UK quarantine restrictions (subject to England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales rules) should they need to visit any countries inside or out of the travel corridor to take part in elite sport.

It’s important to note that these exemptions will only cover the athlete and support staff to return to training and competition activity. Outside this, all should still abide by the 14 day government quarantine requirement and not leave their premises.

Athletes and anyone covered by the exemption must have a negative COVID-19 test before they compete again if the date falls within the 14 day self-isolation period.

Criteria is in place to define elite athletes and only riders who meet the requirements will be granted an exemption. Exemptions must be applied for for each show attended. Riders and their support staff who do not meet the criteria may still apply for selection to compete but must complete the full quarantine requirements on their return to the UK by law.

Requirements for elite status

British Equestrian: Exemptions may be awarded to athletes on the World Class Government funded Programme at Podium, Podium Pathway and Podium Potential level.

If athletes do not qualify for an exemption under the BEF elite criteria, consideration will be given to elite riders. For the purpose of these exemptions only, ‘elite’ will be classified as:

British Dressage: Riders who have achieved 70%+ in the Grand Prix / Grand Prix Special, or 75%+ in the Grand Prix Freestyle at a CDI/CDIO/CDI-W within the last two years.

British Showjumping: Riders who have been part of a counting 5* Nations Cup squad in 2019/20, qualified for the World Cup Finals in the last four years or were selected for Rio 2016.

British Eventing: No Elite Athlete Competition Exemptions beyond the BEF elite riders.

There is also an International Competitor Return Exemption for eligible riders who travel to compete in a country on the UK Government’s travel corridor list which subsequently becomes non-exempt during the period of the competition.

Athletes and essential support staff will be required to complete a passenger locator form before returning to the UK which needs to be submitted no earlier than 48 hours before you’re due to arrive.

Applications for exemptions by athletes who meet the criteria should be made to the discipline Performance Manager for BEF exemptions or to the member body International Officer at least ten days prior to travelling.

Operator’s License

Drivers of goods vehicles who hold an operator’s license will not need to self-isolate when travelling as part of their job but are required to complete a passenger locator form before travelling to the UK. You will need to show that your travel is part of your job, for example a letter from your employer, consignment note or your operator’s license.

Privately registered horseboxes carrying own goods (horses) do not fall into this category.

British Equestrian and its member bodies cannot emphasise enough the importance of all concerned to strictly follow all current guidance. Keeping equestrian sport running is our priority and, collectively, we all have a responsibility to abide by the regulations. Not only could you risk a substantial fine from the authorities and/or disciplinary action from your governing body but also put the whole sport in jeopardy if the guidance is ignored.