Show search form

Covid-19: Paddling activity in England

Published 26 March 2021, Updated 17 May

Introduction

The government has issued guidance that applies to England on the four-step roadmap out of lockdown.

Bc England

We recognise that decisions that apply to activities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be taken by the devolved administrations. For further information and current advice contact Scottish Canoe Association, Canoe Wales and Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.

The government’s roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England consists of four steps.

In England, from Monday 17 May, some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will change as the roadmap moves into Step 3.

Step 3 - From 17 May:

  • Up to 30 people will be able to meet outdoors for informal gatherings, including activities such as recreational paddling
  • Indoor gatherings will be limited to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible).
  • Organised indoor sport will be able to take place for all. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission.
  • Indoor and outdoor events will be able to permit spectators, subject to capacity limits and following specific guidance
  • Clubhouses and facilities that provide indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, bars and cafes can reopen
  • All holiday accommodation will be open. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible)

As previously announced, organised outdoor activity can take place and be delivered by Coaches, Leaders, Clubs and Delivery Partners for an unlimited number of participants, provided that appropriate steps are taken to make it Covid secure.

Following advice issued by DCMS and Sport England we have updated the following guidance for our members and the paddling community.  Headlines are listed below.

Full details can be found in our document Covid-19 Action Plan for the return of paddling in England

Recreational Paddling Activity

Informal paddling can continue outdoors in groups of up to 30 people.

You should minimise travel, but travel for informal sport, physical activity and exercise will be permitted.

Car sharing will be permitted from 17 May for sport and physical activity. The guidance for safer travel will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this.

From 17 May all holiday accommodation will be open. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible)

Club associates are only covered by British Canoeing insurance when they are taking part in organised and structured activities organised by an affiliated club, and not informal recreational paddling activities.

 

Structured and Organised Paddling Activity

Covid secure structured and organised outdoor activity can be delivered by Coaches, Leaders, Clubs and Delivery Partners - for an unlimited number of participants, provided that appropriate steps are taken to make it Covid secure.

Organised and structured activity must be formally organised by a qualified personal instructor or coach, NGB, club, company or charity and follow British Canoeing guidance.

Clubs must be currently affiliated with British Canoeing for their club activity to be recognised as ‘organised and structured and covered by British Canoeing insurance.

You should minimise travel wherever possible, but you can travel to take part in structured and organised sport where necessary.

Car sharing will be permitted from 17 May for sport and physical activity. The guidance for safer travel will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this. 

From 17 May all holiday accommodation will be open. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible)

Where paddling is not formally organised (i.e. not adhering to the guidance in this document) it can only take place within the rules on social contact above - in groups of up to 6 people, or two households.

Further details to support providers of structured and organised activity can be found in our Covid-19 Action Plan

 

Team Sports

Team sports and activities  such as canoe polo and raft racing, have guidance approved by the government for the safe playing of their sport. More details are available at

Guidance for Canoe Polo

Guidance for White Water Raft Racing

 

Outdoor sport facilities

Outdoor sports facilities can reopen (including boat storage areas) and can be used for sport, physical activity and exercise.  Gathering limits for unstructured and recreational activity must be adhered to, unless being used to facilitate organised sport.

Changing rooms can open but their use should be minimised. If you do need to use changing rooms, you should minimise time spent inside. Toilet facilities can be accessed. Members/customers should shower and change at home where possible.  


Indoor sport facilities

Since 12 April, indoor sport facilities have been open to the public. This applies to most indoor sport and physical activity facilities, including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.

From 17 May organised indoor sport is exempt from the gathering limits for adults and children where it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follows measures including COVID-secure guidance. 

Organised indoor sport must adhere to the relevant capacity restrictions for indoor sport facilities including allowing a minimum of 100sqft per person for all people in the venue. This applies to organised indoor (individual and team) sports, indoor exercise classes and organised sports participation events. It also includes indoor childcare and supervised activities.

Informal or self-organised sport can only take place within the rules on social contact - in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles.


Hospitality

From 17 May May clubhouses and facilities that serve food and drink can open both indoor and outdoor hospitality. The guidance on hospitality settings will be updated ahead of Step 3 to provide further information about this.  


Personal Training and Coaching 

Indoor and outdoor coaching and personal training can take place in any number, provided it is formally organised (for example, by a qualified instructor).

Coaching and personal training can take place indoors, including in private homes. If training needs to take place in private homes, take steps to improve fresh air flow, for example by opening windows and doors.

Social distancing should be maintained between trainers / coaches and participants wherever possible.

British Canoeing Qualifications and Awards can be delivered.

A thorough safety and COVID-19  risk assessment for all activity and appropriate safety frameworks should be in place. Coaches are reminded of the principles of British Canoeing’s safeguarding policy and put in place appropriate measures for safeguarding children, adults at risk and lone working.


Events and Spectators

Organised sport participation events can take place outdoors and are exempt from legal gathering limits. However they must follow the measures for organised sport participation events set out in the guidance on safe provision of grassroots sport. Further guidance is available in the event guidance for local authorities, which includes information on assessing applications (where an application needs to be made) and the factors that should be considered.

Organised paddling events, can take place and are exempt from legal gathering limits. They must be organised in accordance with the guidance in our Covid-19 Action Plan.

Spectators are permitted at indoor grassroots sport events, but capacity limits apply. At indoor grassroots sport events, no more than 1,000 spectators are permitted, or 50% of a venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. 

Organisers should also ensure that events taking place in indoor sports facilities adhere to ventilation requirements. This means that a minimum of 100sqft per person should be provided to all people in the venue (excluding venue and event staff).

Outdoor grassroots sport events can have up to 4,000 spectators or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity, whichever is lower. Organised sport participation events which are not subject to the limits on participants, but they are still subject to limits on spectators.

Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits. Outdoors, spectators can gather in groups of up to 30. Indoors, unless an exemption applies, spectators may only gather in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).

Paddling for people with disabilities

People with disabilities can participate in organised outdoor and indoor sports, including indoor facilities for individual fitness activities, without being subject to social contact limits.

Non-disabled people are not permitted to participate, except where necessary to enable the activity to take place (such as a carer or coach helping the disabled person to exercise).


Activities for children (those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020)

All children can take part in indoor childcare and supervised activities, including sport and physical activity (such as community sport clubs), which can take place in any number.

Parent and child groups can also take place indoors and outdoors with a limit of 15 attendees (children under five years of age do not count towards the attendee limit.)

Children’s activities can take place indoors in line with Department for Education and Out of School Setting guidance


Elite sport

Elite athletes and their support staff can use indoor and outdoor sport facilities for training and competition.  Elite sport events can continue to take place in sport facilities, where permitted in line with guidance on elite sport.

Elite sport training has been identified as an exemption and is defined by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to include professional sport and lottery funded athletes within Olympic and Paralympic sports.

This does allow for National Lottery funded athletes in the sprint, slalom and paracanoe World Class Programmes to continue to train, subject to full compliance with a number of detailed Covid-19 requirements laid out in the new government measures. 


Check for COVID-19 symptoms and health conditions

Before attending any sporting activities, all participants, officials and volunteers  must self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste

If you have one or more of these symptoms you should not attend any sporting activity, and must follow NHS and PHE guidance on self-isolation.

People with health conditions that put them at increased risk should consider the risks of participating in group activities like sport and physical activity.

 

Staying Safe

British Canoeing encourages all of our members to paddle responsibly and follow the government guidelines at all times, when paddling for exercise. We fully advocate staying safe on the water

Social distancing must be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble. Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).


Face coverings

People are not required to wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity. All forms of face coverings may restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used during exercise except on specific advice from a physician.

Visitors are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however they should be encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public areas when not engaging in sport or physical activity.


Further guidance

HM Government - COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021: roadmap out of lockdown

DCMS - Coronavirus (COVID-19): grassroots sports guidance for the public and sport providers

DCMS - Coronavirus (COVID-19): grassroots sports guidance for safe provision including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events

DCMS - Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the phased return of elite sport

Sport England - Coronavirus information and support