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England enters lockdown – what equestrians need to know

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Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on Saturday (31 October) evening, 5 November sees the start of a new national lockdown of at least four weeks. Horse&Rider is working to collate the latest guidance – currently we have heard from the British Horse Society (BHS) and await further guidance from British Equestrian (BEF), Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

So, what does this mean for equestrians?

New restrictions will be implemented on 5 November to further control the spread of Covid-19 in England. There’s sure to be an impact on horse owners, livery yards and stables, but it’s crucial that horse care and welfare is treated as a top priority.

The British Horse Society (BHS) has issued the following advice…

  • Riding schools aren’t listed as business required to close in the guidance for the National Restrictions for England. However, stables are identified as business that should close within the legislation which can be found here.
  • Exercise outdoors is permitted and this includes horse riding. This can be undertaken with the people who you live with, your support bubble or one other person
  • You can travel for exercise if you need to make a short journey to do so
  • You’re permitted to leave your home to care or exercise an animal or horse where they’re not kept at home
  • You can leave home to seek advice about the health or welfare of your horse including veterinary, farriery, dentistry and physiotherapy treatments
  • Farriery, veterinary and physiotherapy treatments can continue
  • When visiting a livery yard or stables you should avoid unnecessary social contact and gathering with people who you do not live with
  • You should follow the Covid protocols that are in place and maintain social distancing
  • You should not visit a livery yard if you have coronavirus symptoms, are awaiting a test result, if you live with anyone who is exhibiting symptoms or who has tested positive or if you have been notified to self-isolate via Track and Trace

To find out what this means for riding schools in England, click here. Guidance for coaches can be found here.

Please note

All advice and guidance is subject to change as and when government issues further details. Horse&Rider is still awaiting further guidance from the other governing bodies.

While the guidance above is correct at the time of publishing, the situation is ever evolving. We’ll endeavour to keep everyone up to date, but please follow the GOV.UK website for all the latest general advice.

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