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Advice for horse owners in Northern Ireland during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

Coronovirus Regulations applicable to Riding Schools, Equestrian Centres, Competition, Pleasure Rides, Riding Lessons and leisure riders in Northern Ireland

Coronavirus Regulation Changes in Northern Ireland from 12 April 2021

Guidance on activities permissible from 12th April 2021.

From 12th April, structured outdoor sport training for up to 15 people (including coaches) can resume if organised by clubs/individuals affiliated to recognised sports governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity. 

For the purposes of this guidance, recognised sports governing bodies and representative organisations for sport and physical activity is defined as: Organisations that regulate and provide advice and guidance to their members/clubs on matters relating to sport and physical activities. 

These bodies/organisations must have developed Return to Sport Covid protocols and be in a position to engage with their members on the implementation of protocols aimed at ensuring compliance from all participants. 

To comply with the regulations any individual / club organising outdoor sport training needs to be able to satisfy the following criteria:
(a) they are affiliated to or have membership of a body / organisation that has oversight of the standards of their provision
(b) they have appropriate Return to Sport Covid protocols in place

The intention is to enable those who provide sports training in well-regulated environments to play their part in delivering cautious first steps in the return of outdoor sport. Qualified providers with appropriate affiliations and protocols will be able to meet the criteria.

Extracts from The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (health-ni.gov.uk)

Restrictions on sporting events 

11.—(1) A person must not attend a sporting event as a spectator. (2) A person must not organise, operate or participate in an indoor sporting event unless— (a) all of the participating athletes are elite athletes; or (b) the sporting event is for the purpose of physical education in or for a school or schools. (3) A person must not organise, operate or participate in an outdoor sporting event unless— (a) all of the participating athletes are elite athletes; (b) the sporting event is for the purpose of physical education or extra-curricular activity in or for a school or schools (but not including inter-school sport); (c) the number of participants does not exceed ten persons from no more than two households;  (d) all of the participants are members of one household or members of one household and its linked household; or (e) it consists of no more than 15 persons and is for the purpose of training organised by a club, individual or individuals affiliated, in each case, to a relevant sporting body or to an organisation that regulates and provides advice and guidance to members on matters relating to sport and physical activities.

“sporting event” means a gathering for the purpose of exercise, competitive sport, recreational sport or sport training, and dance of any type shall be deemed to be a form of exercise or sport; 

A place is indoor if it would be considered to be enclosed or substantially enclosed for the purposes of regulation 2 of the Smoke-free (Premises, Vehicle Operators and Penalty Notices) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2007(a), and otherwise a place is outdoor;

“elite athlete” means a person who— (i) derives all or the majority of their income from competing in sport, (ii) plays in a professional league or competition, (iii) is a senior representative nominated by a relevant sporting body, or (iv) is on an elite development pathway. For the purposes of the definition of “elite athlete”— (a) “senior representative” means a person who is considered by a relevant sporting body to be a candidate to compete in a major competition; (b) “relevant sporting body” means— (i) the recognised national governing body of a sport which may nominate athletes to compete in a major competition, or (ii) the regional governing body of a sport which may nominate athletes to represent a county in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland in an inter-county league or inter-county competition, where that league or competition is organised by the national governing body of the sport; (c) “elite development pathway” means a development pathway established by a relevant sporting body to prepare athletes to— (i) derive a living from competing in that sport, or (ii) compete in a major competition including the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games, Commonwealth Games, European Championships, World Championships or (in sports without international competition) inter-county competitions organised by the national governing body of the sport; 

 

What does this all mean?

The increase in group size to 15 is only applicable to training and is NOT applicable to exercise.

For exercise the restriction of a maximum group size of 10 persons from 2 households remains in place.

British Horse Society Approved Riding Schools may organise lessons outdoors with groups of up to 15 to include the coach.

A British Horse Society Accredited Profession Coach who is a current member of the BHS Accredited Professional Coach Register may organise lessons outdoors with groups of up to 15 to include the coach.

Horse Sport Ireland Coaches may organise lessons outdoors with groups of up to 15 to include the coach.

No events may be organised unless all the participants are elite (please see the definitions above)

 

Further detailed information relating to households, restrictions and regulations can be found here – these will be updated as the various timeline changes come into play.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations guidance: what the restrictions mean for you | nidirect

Covid-19 measures 2021 - Questions and Answers | The Executive Office (executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk)

The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2021 (health-ni.gov.uk)

Legislation.gov.uk


Further detailed information relating to business support can be found here

https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/campaign/coronavirus-updates-support-your-business

 

 

The BHS Helpline

The BHS Welfare Helpline is here to offer you advice and support with any questions or concerns you may have.

We are here for all our members and supporters and we have extended our working hours to provide a Coronavirus Helpline during these difficult times to help answer your additional queries relating to Coronavirus lockdown.

 Call us on 02476 840517

If you are an APC please call 02476 840565 or an Approved Centre please call 02476 840509

 

 

 
Further Resources

Useful resources for Professionals

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) ADVICE & INFORMATION FOR EQUESTRIANS

Please read our information and advice for horse owners and business owners during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak

 

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