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Covid-19: Paddling activity in England

Published 26 March 2021, Updated 9 April

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.

Step 1A of the roadmap commenced on 8 March and included:

Recreational Paddling Activity - people are allowed to leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors either alone, with their household or support bubble, or with one person from outside their household.

Educational Settings - paddlesport activities have been approved under the principles of the government’s framework guidance and is on the list available at grassroots sports guidance for safe provision including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events.

Step 1B from Monday 29 March saw a return to organised and structured sport with outdoor sport facilities allowed to reopen, the return of the rule of 6 or two households for recreational paddling and travel permitted to exercise and to take part in structured and organised sport.

Step 2 from Monday 12 April indoor sport facilities can open to the public for limited use. This applies to most indoor sport and physical activity facilities, including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.

Guidance for the return of sporting activity - steps 1A, 1B and 2

From 29 March, the rules on social contact will change. People will not be required to stay at home, and will be permitted to meet outdoors in groups of up to 6 people, or as two households, for exercise or recreation.

A group made up of two households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same two households (or support/childcare bubbles, where eligible).

Outdoor sport and leisure facilities will be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports. Indoor sport/leisure facilities will remain closed until later in the roadmap.

From 12 April Indoor sport/leisure facilities will open. Facilities can only be used for individual activity or for activities by people from the same household (or support/childcare bubble). There are exemptions to this rule, including for people with disabilities and under 18 activities.

You should minimise travel wherever possible, but you can travel to exercise and to take part in structured and organised sport, where necessary. Car sharing is not permitted.  From 12 April, domestic overnight stays are permitted in certain types of accommodation, within a household or support/childcare bubble.

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 six (the rule of 6) or two households.

You should minimise travel, but travel for informal sport, physical activity and exercise will be permitted. Car sharing is not permitted with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless your journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. Sport and physical activity is not yet an exempt reason.

From 12 April, domestic overnight stays are permitted in certain types of accommodation, within a household or support/childcare bubble.

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. You should not stay away from home overnight for sport and physical activity.

Car sharing is not permitted with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless your journey is undertaken for an exempt reason. Sport and physical activity is not yet an exempt reason. 

From 12 April, domestic overnight stays are permitted in certain types of accommodation, within a household or support/childcare bubble.

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, which previously had guidance approved by the government for the safe playing of their sport - can return for outdoor activity

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 must be adhered to unless being used to facilitate organised sport.

From 12 April 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.

Clubs and facilities with hospitality will be able to open for outdoor service.


Indoor sport facilities

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

Indoor sport facilities can only be used for individual activity or for activities by people from the same household (or support/childcare bubble).  Indoor group activities and exercise classes are not permitted for adults. These exemptions do not apply to people with disabilities and under 18 activities.

Guests visiting an indoor facility must adhere to the rules on social contact. People should not mix with others they do not live with (or share a relevant bubble with) indoors, unless an exemption applies.

Changing rooms can open but their use should be minimised.


Personal Training and Coaching 

Personal training/coaching is permitted outdoors, in outdoor sports facilities, and in private gardens, where it is formally organised and follows COVID-secure guidance and social distancing is maintained.  Personal training should not take place in people’s homes.

Outdoor personal training and coaching sessions are classed as organised outdoor sport, and is exempt from the legal gathering limits, as long as it’s undertaken in line with Covid-secure guidance.

From 12 April, coaching and personal training can take place indoors (however this should not take place in private homes). Indoor personal training can be provided on a 1:1 basis to individuals, or to household groups (or relevant bubbles, where eligible).

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.


Event and Spectators

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 not permitted at events, or in any indoor or outdoor sport facility.

This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space, such as a park, in groups of up to 6 people or 2 households.


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