Update on new national restrictions

Following the publication of the new legislation giving the detail of the new lockdown restrictions, we can now confirm what we do know and where there are still areas we are seeking clarification

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Yesterday, the House of Commons passed the legislation setting out the national restrictions for England which has come into force for the period 5 November to 2 December. This legislation, along with various pieces of Government guidance, provides clarity on the impact of these restrictions on some areas of the rowing community. We still have a number of questions outstanding for which we are seeking urgent clarification.

As things stand, we believe that the impact is as follows for grassroots rowing clubs and university rowing clubs:

Club Sporting FacilitiesAll club sporting facilities (including club-owned landing stages) should be closed during the lockdown.
Hospitality FacilitiesClub bars and catering facilities may only operate a takeaway service in line with Government advice for the hospitality sector
On-Water ActivityCrews made up of a single household (including Support Bubbles) are permitted to row, subject to any local navigation authorities, where no access to club property is required for this to safely take place. For the avoidance of doubt, this means you can’t access boats and equipment stored in club boathouses or on racks/trailers on club property and you cannot use club-owned landing stages.
Indoor Club ActivityNo activity is permitted
CompetitionAll rowing competition should cease during the lockdown – virtual competition (i.e. where competitors do not have to meet and can share a result whilst following the guidance above) is allowed subject to adhering to the guidance above.
Club Sporting Facilities
All club sporting facilities (including club-owned landing stages) should be closed during the lockdown.
Hospitality Facilities
Club bars and catering facilities may only operate a takeaway service in line with Government advice for the hospitality sector
On-Water Activity
Crews made up of a single household (including Support Bubbles) are permitted to row, subject to any local navigation authorities, where no access to club property is required for this to safely take place. For the avoidance of doubt, this means you can’t access boats and equipment stored in club boathouses or on racks/trailers on club property and you cannot use club-owned landing stages.
Indoor Club Activity
No activity is permitted
Competition
All rowing competition should cease during the lockdown – virtual competition (i.e. where competitors do not have to meet and can share a result whilst following the guidance above) is allowed subject to adhering to the guidance above.

Clubs are reminded of our advice on managing and securing their facilities during a lockdown, available on page 21 of our Return to Rowing guidance.

There are specific rules for the provision of sports within schools – these allow for the provision of sport as part of the curriculum. Schools can offer extra-curricular activities (e.g. before and after school clubs) but they should only do so where it’s reasonably necessary to support parents to work, search for work, or undertake training or education, or where the provision is being used for the purposes of respite care. Schools are able to work with external coaches, clubs and organisations for curricular activities where they’re satisfied that it’s safe to do so during school hours.  Schools must follow their own measures and protocols to manage coronavirus (COVID-19) and clubs should not feel under pressure to open their facilities to schools if it doesn’t fit with their club’s risk assessment.

There is an exemption to these restrictions for designated elite athletes. In rowing, these are only those senior GB Rowing Team members currently training at the National Training Centre as agreed with UK Sport. At this time these athletes are training at three locations: the National Training Centre in Caversham, Longridge and Bisham Abbey. This elite athlete exemption will not be extended beyond this definition as agreed with UK Sport.

Please note this is our best interpretation of the legislation at this point in time and may be subject to change. Clubs and members should be aware of the large fines that can be used to enforce the new legislation. We will be working to clarify the outstanding questions we have and will provide further updates as soon as we are able to. Sport England has published a number of frequently asked questions in relation to the second lockdown.


As a reminder, we remain committed to supporting the rowing community during this period, including:

  • Our Club Support team are available to support clubs during this period and provide advice and assistance to clubs including how to apply for any Sport England funding.
  • The British Rowing Club Emergency Fund application period will be extended until 1 February 2021 and we will be extending the terms of this to allow applications related to the impact of this second lockdown.
  • As with the first lockdown period, Affiliated Competitions that are required to cancel due to COVID-19 will be able to rollover their Affiliation Fee from 2020 to 2021.

We will hold a webinar next week to provide clubs with the opportunity to ask questions related to the new restrictions. More details to follow shortly.

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