Angling Trust: Covid-19 Roadmap Out Of Lockdown: What it means for angling

The Angling Trust has responded to today’s government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions in England saying: “Although it’s positive that the government have accepted the case that outdoor activities such as angling should be first to fully open up it looks like no real change for us until March 29th when restrictions are lifted and outdoor sports can resume.

“The Stay Home message and travel restrictions remain in place until then with the exception of a provision for outdoor recreation as well as exercise. Since angling has been deemed ‘permissible exercise’ throughout lockdown this is unlikely to affect us. We will know more when the regulations and DCMS guidance are published in the coming days and will update everybody if anything changes.

“Having a clear date at least means that anglers, clubs and fisheries can plan for the forthcoming season with more certainty and we can all look forward to once again being able to fish our favourite waters in a manner of our choosing”.

Currently anglers are restricted to fishing locally once a day, as a form of exercise, with one other person and no organised gatherings or competitions. Most other sports remain prohibited. The Angling Trust submitted a case to government for the early and full resumption of all forms of angling including night fishing and competitions. These will now be possible from March 29th.
 
The Angling Trust submission can be found HERE
 
Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO said: “Whilst many anglers would have liked to have to seen angling fully opened up earlier we have to accept that the timing was always a matter for government acting on public health advice. Our job was to set out how our sport can be conducted safely and why we should be in the first tranche to resume without travel restrictions and with both competition and night fishing back in place. This all looks set to happen on March 29th and it’s good to see a widespread acceptance that healthy outdoor activities such as angling will be the first to return to some form of normality.”

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Angling Trust submits case for removal of travel restrictions and a resumption in match and night fishing when lockdown is eased

For the fourth time in ten months, the Angling Trust is making a detailed submission to Government outlining the case for angling. This time, as Ministers meet to consider which Covid restrictions to ease, the Trust is pressing for the resumption of competition and night fishing as long as guidelines are followed.

Currently, angling is only permitted as part of ‘daily exercise’ and can only take place ‘locally’. No organised recreational activities can take place and fishing through the night risks incurring hefty fines.

In their submission to both the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Cabinet Office, entitled Fishing out of Lockdown, the Trust states:

We need to move as quickly as possible to opening up safe outdoor recreation along the lines of last summer in order to deliver health, well-being, social and economic benefits. Our preference is for a national system but should the Government decide to retain a tiered system of restrictions the Angling Trust has appropriate guidelines in place to drive compliance.

The key benefits claimed for angling during the pandemic include:

  • being a largely solitary sport where social distancing occurs naturally
  • proven benefits for mental health and physical well-being
  • angling appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds and engages able-bodied and disabled participants alike
  • evidence that non-contact outdoor activities will not increase infection rates
  • a reduction in pressure on other public open spaces.   

The paper also highlights the economic benefits of allowing angling to continue:

The decision by Ministers not to place unnecessary restrictions on angling has undoubtedly protected the £4bn a year angling trade which supports up to 40,000 jobs in the UK. In fact, since May last year there has been a near 20% increase in rod licence sales, significant rises in angling club membership and a corresponding boost in sales of fishing tackle, outdoor clothing and ancillary products. This has been welcome news indeed at a time when many other businesses are facing financial ruin.

The four key areas where the Trust is seeking changes are:

  • the resumption of socially distanced match fishing to Covid Guidelines
  • the return to ‘outdoor recreation without time limit’ to allow night fishing
  • an end to the current travel restrictions for outdoor recreation
  • the resumption of private and charter boat fishing as previously

The Angling Trust has once again made clear that their submission is focussed on why and how a full return to angling can safely occur. The decision on timing is a matter for Ministers acting on public health advice.

Anglers are invited to register their support for the full resumption of fishing as set out in the Trust submission by going to www.anglingtrust.net/fishingoutoflockdown

The paper concludes:

Recreational fishing has provided a valuable lifeline for many thousands of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds throughout this pandemic. It has been conducted safely and responsibly with strong guidelines in place covering every aspect of our sport. There are multiple benefits to be had in permitting a full return as soon as any restrictions can be lifted.

Angling Trust Head of Policy, Martin Salter said: “This is the fourth submission from the Angling Trust to Government and follows on from our highly acclaimed When We Fish Again proposals last April which saw angling resumed ahead of nearly every other sport as we emerged from the first National Lockdown. We are hopeful that by setting out the case for angling in a measured and responsible manner which emphasises the multiple benefits in terms of individual health and mental wellbeing during these difficult times, Ministers will once again see us as part of the solution rather than the problem.”

Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said: “Experience over the last 10 months has shown that socially distanced outdoor recreation activities such as angling can be conducted safely and responsibly. The Angling Trust Covid compliant guidelines have been widely accepted across the sport and to the best of our knowledge there have been no known examples where angling has led to the spread of the virus. Our submission makes it crystal clear that when the time is right there is no reason why all disciplines of angling, including match fishing, angling at night and charter boat fishing, should not be up and running successfully.”

The Angling Trust submission is supported by high profile angling experts from all branches of the sport.

England match angler Steve Ringer: “Angling has proven to be a real lifeline to people throughout this pandemic, so when restrictions start to lift I really see no reason why fishing shouldn’t be included and even encouraged.”

Korda carp specialist and broadcaster Ali Hamidi: “When fishing was allowed back last May, along with Night Fishing, and Match Fishing a couple of weeks later, the ‘R’ value across the country continued to be driven down by the nation. We are primarily an isolated outdoor pursuit and that means whether someone fishes for one day or three nights consecutively in their bivvy, it needs only the same amount of travel time. Along with the low risk factor of fishing, the benefits for the many include not only physical health improvements, but more importantly vitality for mental health.”

Specialist angler Dai Gribble: “All the evidence indicates that angling presents an extremely low risk of spreading Coronavirus. I would welcome the current restrictions being lifted to allow anglers to fully benefit from all the positives angling provides in these difficult times.”

Sea angling journalist Dave Barham: “A return to the same guidelines that we came out of lockdown one with would mean so much to sea anglers. There are hundreds of thousands of us who have not been fishing during the current lockdown, due to travel restrictions, either from the shore or boat. It would also mean a lot for charter skippers to be allowed to operate with five paying anglers on board again.”

Flyfishing expert Charles Jardine: “Since the first Lockdown and resumption of angling, the sport has proven to be a natural source of  pleasure and well being for many thousands of people – both in terms of mental and physical health. Also, the boost to rural economies should not be overlooked especially as many have been hit hard by the effects of Covid on their various businesses.”

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England team members wanted for 2021 World Masters Championships in Czech Republic

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Lockdown Fishing: Updated Guidelines Published

The Angling Trust reports: Anglers flock to join Angling Trust in record numbers since lockdown

After a hectic and successful week navigating the consequences for angling of the government’s decision to impose a third National Lockdown in England in response to the rise in coronavirus infections, the Angling Trust has published new comprehensive guidelines and FAQs to help anglers fish safely, locally and responsibly without falling foul of the law.

The news that fishing was to continue, when most other sports could not, was greeted enthusiastically by anglers with over 2,000 new members signing up as members of the Angling Trust in the last week (a new record) and staff working long hours responding to the mass of enquiries.

As well as the updated FAQs, which now includes advice on interactions with the police, Angling Trust Policy Chief Martin Salter, who has been at the centre of our campaign to keep us fishing during lockdown, has published a new blog telling the full story on how we got angling over the line, together with some essential reading on how to stay the right side of a very confusing set of rules.

The key messages are:

  • This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May. Read the government guidance
  • Angling is a ‘reasonable excuse’ recognised by Government as evidenced by Sport England
  • You should be able to show that your travel to go fishing is in accordance with the government’s  instruction to stay local and you are following the Angling Trust’s travel guidelines
  • We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply
  • Should a police officer decide to issue you with a direction order or fixed penalty notice you should accept it and pack up immediately and return home if so instructed
  • Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing
  • The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever
  • To remain within the law you should follow the travel guidance and only fish locally
  • Avoid fishing in crowded places where social distancing could be difficult and might give rise to concerns over public health
  • We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.

Martin Salter said: “Covid has caused an unprecedented and deadly global pandemic costing thousands of lives and putting our NHS staff under intolerable pressure. We are clear that angling must be part of the solution and not a cause of problems or concern. Getting ministers to recognise the case for local fishing was a huge achievement but it has understandably triggered hundreds of enquiries and requests for clarification. Foremost was to define ‘local’ – hardly an easy task since the government has not done so in the regulations as the Police have been pointing out this week and the Prime Minister has demonstrated with his recent seven-mile cycle ride. By bringing everything into one document we hope that we’ve provided everything anglers need to know in order fish safely, locally and responsibly during the lockdown without falling foul of the law.”

Scott Mann, North Cornwall MP and a keen angler, welcomed the continuation of angling saying: “We have seen over the last 12 months the positive impact angling can have on people’s mental health. As a solitary pursuit it can be enjoyed without concerns about distancing from other, so I am glad we are now able to fish once again.”

Jamie Cook, Angling Trust CEO, added: “I couldn’t be prouder of the leadership role played by the Angling Trust throughout the Covid crisis. We have acted responsibly, professionally and effectively, much to the envy of many other sports, as has been acknowledged by Sport England, the Environment Agency, government ministers and officials and the thousands of anglers who have sent us messages of support or joined us in record numbers. But I must stress that the spotlight is on us like never before and we must all conduct ourselves responsibly and fish safely. Please remember we are extremely fortunate to be able to fish at all and we must all act as ambassadors for our sport.”

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Fishing to be allowed during England’s national lockdown – Angling Trust announcement

The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.

The DCMS Sports Team confirmed the following:

“fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors”

This has also been confirmed by DEFRA:

“Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”

And by Sport England – see here

We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.

Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly on the Angling Trust website:

  • This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May.
  • We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.
  • The Government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.
  • Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.
  • The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.
  • To remain within the law you should follow the Government’s guidance, and only fish locally. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways. Full Government guidance on travel can be found here.

We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.

I would ask all anglers who are not members to join the Angling Trust and give us your support. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and that is only possible thanks to the support of our new and existing members. I would ask all anglers who value their ability to go fishing to make the same commitment as your fellow anglers have and join the Angling Trust. We are stronger together!

Join the Angling Trust today

Stay safe and very best fishes

Jamie Cook
Chief Executive, Angling Trust

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Statement from the Angling Trust on the national lockdown rules

Whilst the regulations have not yet been published we have been informed this evening by the Cabinet Office that the Government have taken the decision that fishing in England will not be permitted during this national lockdown period. Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place; to help save lives and support the NHS.

Individuals should not go fishing from midnight tonight (5th January) and clubs and fisheries should close their waters to anglers. We will be publishing more detailed guidance on specific areas like bailiffing and fishery maintenance once the Government regulations have been published. Please check the Angling Trust website over coming days.

Over the past few weeks we have been in communication with the Government at the highest possible level. We have presented a strong case on how fishing could continue safely during the third national lockdown. We have explained that fishing benefits physical health and mental wellbeing and that it is regularly the only form of activity individuals undertake. You can read our representations to Cabinet Ministers here.

My team and I have consistently presented the arguments ahead of the changing Government guidelines, which have allowed fishing to remain permitted continuously since the first national lockdown was lifted in May. We have been successful when other sports have not as all anglers will know.

However, with 60,000 new infections announced today, the Government have taken the decision that leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period.

I thank you for your support and for being a credit to our sport. As members, you can rest assured that the Angling Trust will continue to represent our sport at the highest level and will present proposals for the resumption of angling when it is safe and sensible to do so. We will come through this period of national crisis. We will fish again, but until then, please, stay safe.

Jamie Cook
CEO, Angling Trust

Wales:

Details of Covid restrictions and how they affect angling in Wales can be found on our Fishing In Wales website here.

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Covid Update: Angling Trust guidelines for fishing in Tier 4

The Angling Trust reports: New Covid Guidance for Tier 4 in England was issued on 19th December 2020, following the Prime Minister’s announcement, and the regulations were published the following day. We have taken advice and can provide these formal Angling Trust guidelines for the benefit of anglers, angling clubs and fisheries who now find themselves in a Tier 4 area or who have fisheries in multiple tiers. All national governing bodies are tasked by Sport England with this responsibility.

In drawing up these guidelines we have examined carefully what is specified in the regulations and what remains as government advice. However, we urge all anglers to act within the spirit of the collective battle against this dreadful Coronavirus which is having such a devastating impact on our lives, our economy and our NHS. We are fortunate that even under Tier 4 restrictions angling remains a permitted activity. It is important that as anglers we continue to practice our sport safely and responsibly and maintain social distancing at all times.

The Tier 4 regulations are broadly similar to the 2nd national lockdown in that it is an offence to leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’. Among the 16 categories set out is the provision for ‘Exercise and Recreation’. More specifically ‘outdoor recreation’ in parks, countryside and outdoor public spaces with one other person, not in your household or support bubble. It is under this provision that angling remains a permissible activity and a ‘reasonable excuse’ to be outside of your home. Once again no time limits have been placed on how long you can fish, although you should return home at the end of your trip.

As in the national lockdown, the Government have banned virtually all grass roots sporting competitions in Tier 4 areas. So unfortunately, and regardless of the ability to run angling competitions with no form of ‘gathering’, the new regulations mean that any form of competition including more than two people from different households is prohibited.

The Government have made clear in their guidance, rather than in regulation, that they do not wish to see travel into or out of Tier 4 areas and we encourage anglers to respect this, notwithstanding the obvious anomalies where a County boundary might divide a fishery or separate a club carpark from the water it serves.

The guidance states that you can leave home for the purpose of: “spending time or exercising outdoors. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)”. We want anglers to continue to enjoy their fishing safely but please do so as locally as possible whatever tier you are living in.

Full Government Guidance here

Please be aware that the new Tier 4 regulations give a specific power to police constables and police support officers (PCSOs), where they ‘consider that a person is outside the place where they are living’ in contravention of the restriction on movement, to ‘direct that person to return to the place where they are living’. So even if commonsense dictates that visiting your local fishery situated just outside your Tier 4 area is more sensible than driving a further distance in the opposite direction it is possible that a police officer may take a different view. Failure to comply with a direction could make you liable for a fine.

Jamie Cook, Angling Trust & Fish Legal CEO, said:

“The Angling Trust is pleased to see that, despite the severity of the situation, Ministers have recognised the value of allowing people to continue to pursue safe, beneficial and naturally socially distanced outdoor activities such as angling and golf. Throughout this pandemic outdoor recreation has been a lifesaver for many and we know that the safest place to spend time is outside in the fresh air and as far away from other people as possible.”

IMPACTS ON ANGLING IN TIER 4

  • Outdoor recreation remains a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home so going fishing locally with one other, outside of your household or support bubble, is permissible.
  • The regulations are a return to lockdown in Tier 4 meaning no sporting gatherings including fishing matches.
  • Travelling to fish should be local ‘wherever possible’ and entering or leaving a Tier 4 area is actively discouraged within government guidance.
  • Tackle shops and other stores can still remain open to operate a click and collect service.
  • Outdoor facilities such as fisheries can remain open.
  • No time limits have been placed on outdoor recreation so night fishing remains permissible, as previously confirmed in writing by both DEFRA and DCMS.
  • Voluntary or paid fishery management work, including bailiffing and maintenance work, remain a legitimate reason to leave home.
  • Charter boats can continue to operate in Tier 4 areas but with only one client.
  • Angling coaching and guiding can continue to operate in Tier 4 areas but with only one client.
  • The police have powers of direction to order people in breach of the regulations: ‘to return to the place where they are living’.

You can download a copy of these Tier 4 guidelines here.

The rules for Tiers 1, 2 & 3 remain in place and can be found here.

You can download and store on your mobile a copy of our ‘Angling and the Law in England under Covid rules’ – useful to refer to if challenged on travel or night fishing.

Details of Covid restrictions and how they affect angling in Wales can be found here.

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Angling Trust forced to suspend national angling competitions for two months

Government urged to amend travel guidance for outdoor sport

The Angling Trust is pleased that the Government has confirmed the resumption of grassroots sports from today (Wednesday, 2nd December) but disappointed that the Government’s travel  guidance has not included sport or outdoor recreation as an acceptable reason to leave or enter a Tier 3 area. This means their much vaunted pledge to allow the resumption of grassroots sports in all tiers has turned out to be rather hollow.

By not including travel for sport, thousands of sporting enthusiasts, covering around a third of the country, could find themselves unable to compete in regional competitions or national qualifiers for fear of breaching the Covid travel guidelines. Both the Angling Trust and England Golf have written to DCMS Secretary of State Oliver Dowden calling for the travel advice to be amended.

In a recent Government press statement Oliver Dowden said:

“This is a big step forward for sport. Bringing grassroots sport back was my number one priority so I’m pleased we are reopening sports and gyms in every tier, in recognition of the significant health benefits.”

The reality is for residents in Tier 3 areas that their return to grassroots sport is confined within their own local authority areas making many competitive activities, which require an element of travel, simply unviable. The Government’s current travel guidance states:

“…avoid travelling to other parts of the UK, including for overnight stays other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.”

The amendment suggested by the Angling Trust and England Golf would add the words [organised sport and outdoor recreation] which would include match fishing and golf tournaments.

Whilst club matches and open competitions can run in all tiers, the Government’s new shifting system of tiered restrictions makes it unviable to run national competitions fairly without falling foul of the travel guidance against entering or leaving a Tier 3 area. Qualifying matches could only continue for competitors in Tiers 1 and 2 which would be unfair. Even if special Tier 3 qualifiers were organised, these would be restricted to local authority areas with a Tier 3 designation which are subject to a review every two weeks, making forward planning impossible. Unless the travel guidance is changed, qualifying for a national final from Tier 3 would be pointless since these competitors would technically be unable to leave their area to take part.

The Angling Trust Winter Leagues are part way through but the current travel restrictions make many of these problematic due to the wide areas from which the teams are drawn. However, should circumstances and Government guidance change it may be possible to resume the programme.

Martin Salter, Head of Policy at the Angling Trust commented: “The Government clearly hasn’t thought this through properly as it’s a nonsense to think that competitive grassroot sports, like golf, angling and many others, can operate properly if confined within tightly drawn local council boundaries. It’s one thing being restricted to an entire county but quite another if people are told they shouldn’t leave a built up urban area to take part in a safe, socially distanced sport like fishing.

“You can’t have many grassroots sports without grass and we certainly can’t expect anglers in these areas to welcome or respect travel guidance that is illogical and unfair. For many outdoor sports people in Tier 3 the new regime is actually worse than the recent lockdown.”

Jamie Cook, Angling Trust Chief Executive, said: “I want to be clear that Club and Open matches remain entirely permissible within all three tiers. However, in common with other responsible national governing sporting bodies the Angling Trust cannot be seen at this time to be organising events which would result in travel into and out of Tier 3 areas. And we certainly cannot continue to run national competitions culminating in a final where qualifiers from a third of the country could not attend. This would be monstrously unfair.

“Therefore, it is with regret that I must announce the suspension of all national Angling Trust competitions for two months or until travel guidance is amended, when the situation will be reviewed. This aligns with the new tier restrictions which expire on February 3rd.”

The Angling Trust will be contacting all participants and automatically roll over all ticket monies for postponed events or offer refunds where cancellations prove to be permanent. A review in early February of a hopefully improving situation would allow for the resumption of the Winter Leagues, Silverfish, Pike Championships and Fishomania. We will continue to review our programme of competition and update our competition pages with any events we are able to run compliantly.”

Andre Grandjean, Chairman of the AT Coarse Competitions Committee, said: “The AT Competitions Committee have discussed this at length since the new tiers and restrictions were announced and we are in agreement that it would be totally irresponsible to continue with running matches that may encourage participants to travel across Tier 3 boundaries.  It was also considered grossly unfair on many, that matches in Tiers 1 and 2 could go ahead and matches in Tier 3 were either restricted or cancelled.  Therefore, we have come to the only rational and fairest conclusion possible and that is to postpone all Angling Trust matches until we can see a clearer path ahead.

“Match fishing is permitted in all areas on a local basis, you can still compete in the sport we all love. Take care and stay safe.”

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Angling Trust’s response to the Government’s Winter Covid Plan

The Angling Trust reports:

What it means for angling

The Angling Trust has now had an opportunity to consider the government’s comprehensive, 64-page Winter Covid Plan which will introduce a revised three-tier system from Wednesday, December 2nd.

Full details can be found here

We are pleased that ministers appreciate both the importance and safety of outdoor recreation and organised sport and that the plan opens more opportunities for more people to enjoy leisure and recreation. Although anglers have been in the fortunate position to be able to fish continuously since May 13th, there have been a number of restrictions in place during the latest lockdown which will now be lifted. Tackle shops can open up fully, competition fishing can resume as can coaching and charter boat fishing with up to six participants in total. This is all positive news for our sport.

Meeting people The Rule of Two is now back to the Rule of Six. This applies both indoors and outdoors in T1, outdoors only in T2 and in T3 only in ‘outdoor public spaces’. Of course, most angling is, by its nature, already socially distanced, and organised matches and events have their own rules.

Travel Once again, we expect the travel guidance will be advisory rather than law but the Angling Trust will be urging anglers to exercise common sense and act within the spirit of the government’s guidance.The government is advising against all unnecessary travel into and out of T3 areas, the exceptions being for ‘work, education, youth services, medical attention or caring responsibilities’.  Travel for fishing within T3 areas is not currently discouraged.In all other tiers, travelling to go fishing is fine but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’. Sea anglers should focus on their local beaches and fishing marks, and freshwater anglers should not be travelling hundreds of miles in search of fishing during the current pandemic.You absolutely must not leave home to fish if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.

Tackle Shops and Clubhouses Retail outlets can open in all three tiers meaning that tackle shops are no longer restricted to ‘click/call and collect’. Indoor venues such as clubhouses and on-site cafes serving food and drink can now reopen in T1 and T2 providing table service is offered.  T3 allows only for takeaway service. All outlets must continue to adhere to the appropriate regulations including the requirement to ensure social distancing.

Fisheries Angling-related businesses, now including those offering accommodation in T1 and T2, can operate as normal whilst adhering to the appropriate regulations including the requirement to ensure social distancing.

Match Fishing With the rules on gatherings likely to be revised to once more allow sporting events and outdoor activities, match fishing can resume as long as appropriate risk assessments are in place. Participants and organisers still need to follow the published Angling Trust guidelines to ensure compliance with social distancing and to minimise the risk of infection.To comply with the travel guidance in the Winter Plan, match organisers will need to revise any planned competitions which could result in participants seeking to enter or leave T3 areas. Local competitions within T3 areas remain within the parameters of the government’s travel guidance.

Night Fishing There are presently no limits on the time that can be spent on outdoor recreation, anglers are able to continue fishing into and through the hours of darkness providing the other rules are observed. Night fishing will continue to be permitted under the re-introduced tier system.

Coaching The Winter Plan allows for angling coaching to resume at our recommended ratio of 1:4 and in accordance with our previously published guidelines. The Winter Plan specifically identifies ‘classes and organised sport’ together with ‘organised activities for …under 18s and disabled people’ as something that can take place outside in all three tiers.

Charter Boats Charter boats can resume their previous operations in accordance with the Rule of Six – so a skipper plus five clients.

Tackle Shows and Game Fairs The Winter Plan takes the first steps on the road back to restarting major events. In T1 this is limited to 50% capacity or 4,000 persons outdoors and 1,000 indoors. In T2 this reduces to 2,000 outdoors and 1,000 indoors. The only large-scale events permissible in T3 are drive-ins. We are hopeful that planning can now begin for the resumption of tackle shows and events involving angling in the latter half of 2021.

What happens next? The regulations will be published in advance of a vote in Parliament on Thursday and following the vote further guidance and FAQ’s are likely to be produced by the various government departments. Once we have seen the details of regulations we will update, where necessary, our published guidelines and distribute to our members and to the wider angling community.What we will not be doing is seeking to police the government’s regulations as that is not our responsibility. People wishing to report breaches of the regulations should contact the police via the 101 telephone number. Our job, as the recognised national governing body for angling, is to provide advice and guidance on how these regulations affect our sport and to ensure that anglers can continue to enjoy their fishing safely. However, we will take a stand against any conduct or practices that bring our sport into disrepute and threaten the good name and reputation that angling has built over many years and throughout this pandemic. 

Jamie Cook, CEO of Angling Trust & Fish Legal, said: “Angling has conducted itself safely throughout this pandemic and must continue to do so. These new restrictions are good news for angling as a whole and we urge all anglers to continue to fish responsibly and not to put themselves or our sport at risk. The Angling Trust will continue to monitor guidelines published by the government and keep members and informed as to what they will mean for angling.”

The Angling Trust will publish updated guidance on its Covid-19 Support Hub:
https://anglingtrust.net/covid-19/

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2021 Spring & Autumn Loch-style Internationals, plus Rivers International, postponed to 2022

Spring and Autumn Loch-Style 2021 Internationals and Rivers 2021 International.

The Angling Trust reports: The International Fly Fishing Association (IFFA) have announced that there will be no Loch-style or Rivers Internationals in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that the Spring and Autumn Loch-style teams, and Rivers team, who qualified in 2019 will now rollover to form the teams for 2022. The host nations for each international remain as they were for 2020; Ireland hosting the Spring Loch-style International, Wales hosting the Autumn Loch-style International, and Scotland hosting the Rivers International.

AT TEFF are now formulating an exciting competition programme across all fly fishing disciplines for 2021. Further details will follow early in the new year.

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