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

This advice and information is to help support horse owners and those who care for horses during the Covid-19 outbreak.

NEW INFORMATION BELOW Northern Ireland Update as of 29 June 2020

Relaxation of items listed in Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 of the Coronavirus Executive Approach to Decision-Making

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These include:

Outdoor gatherings of up to 30 people (from 29 June)
On the basis of social distancing between people who do not share the same household.

Indoor gatherings remain at up to 6 people (as announced on Tuesday 23 June 2020)
These people may be from different households and may be a different 6 people each time.  Current social distancing measures should be observed and maximum ventilation measures implemented.

Indoor environments are still higher risk than outdoor meetings. Therefore this easement is accompanied by strong public health advice to limit the duration of visits; ensure good ventilation; maintain good hand hygiene; and practice social distancing where possible. The use of a face covering is also strongly advised.
The relaxation does not permit overnight stays and those who are medically shielding are strongly advised to continue following the advice that remains in place for that group until the shielding period is paused on 31 July.
This easement makes provision for informal childcare arrangements between families and friends to resume.

 

 

Social Distancing to be reduced from 2m(6ft) to 1m with restrictions from Monday, 29 June. The use of face coverings is recommended were appropriate social distancing is not possible.

Further dates for easing of restrictions were announced as follows:- The indicative relaxations agreed by the Executive include:

  • Indoor training for elite and grass roots athletes - 29 June
  • Resumption of contact sport training, 29 June;
  • Opening places of worship from Monday, 29 June;
  • Holiday and tourism accommodation, including holiday apartments, homes, cottages, bungalows, caravan parks and campsites from 26 June;
  • Travel to stay in a second home from 26 June;
  • The re-opening of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and coffee shops from 3 July;
  • The re-opening of visitor attractions from 3 July; 
  • The re-opening of nail, hair, beauty, barbers, tanning salons, electrolysis and acupuncture from 6 July.
  • Reopening of betting shops (3 July)
  • Resumption of further close contact services including tattoo parlours, piercings and spas (6 July)
  • Reopening of indoor gyms (10 July)
  • Reopening of outdoor leisure playgrounds (10 July)
  • Reopening of libraries (16 July)
  • Competitive sports (17 July)
  • Limited numbers of outdoor spectators permitted (17 July) with numbers increased at a later date (31 July)
  • Reopening of seated venues including cinemas and bingo halls (29 July)
  • Reopening of arcades (29 July)
  • Reopening of indoor sports courts and skating rinks (7 August)
  • Leisure centres and soft play areas (7 August)
  • Socially distanced indoor spectators permitted (28 August)
  • Open air museums (late August)

There will be further consideration of weddings and funerals and other gatherings early next week.

Permitting Indoor gatherings of up to 6 people (from Tuesday 23 June 2020)

These people may be from different households and may be a different 6 people each time. Current social distancing measures should be observed and maximum ventilation measures implemented. Indoor environments are still higher risk than outdoor meetings. Therefore this easement is accompanied by strong public health advice to limit the duration of visits; ensure good ventilation; maintain good hand hygiene; and practice social distancing where possible. The use of a face covering is also strongly advised. The relaxation does not permit overnight stays and those who are medically shielding are strongly advised to continue following the advice that remains in place for that group until the shielding period is paused on 31 July. This easement makes provision for informal childcare arrangements between families and friends to resume.

Outdoor gatherings of up to 10 people (from Friday 12 June)

On the basis of social distancing between people who do not share the same household

On the basis of social distancing between people who do not share the same household

This amendment enables house sales and moves and covers the end to end process such as viewing, securing a mortgage and moving house. The Department for Communities has developed guidance on all aspects of the house move process.

Opening up the remainder of the retail market; (from Friday 12 June)

The Executive announced the further opening of the retailer sector from 12 June. The Executive also confirmed today that the further relaxations will also include shopping centres. Guidance from the Labour Relations Agency has been updated and guidance has also been prepared by the British Retail Consortium. The Department for Communities has also prepared guidance on the management of public spaces

Allowing places of worship and community centres to open to provide day-care – (from Friday, 12 June)

Recognising the benefits for the economy if parents are able to return to work, this would operate in line with the definition of key worker for childcare purposes and guidance will be made available.

Allowing training for elite athletes to commence and outdoor facilities to open – Monday, June 15

SportNI has developed a framework which is aligned to the Executive Framework for Decision Making. Coaches and medical personnel working in this field will be able to work under this change. Guidance will be available from sporting bodies.

What does this mean for horse riders and carriage drivers in Northern Ireland?

  • You are permitted to travel your horse for exercise or training to a suitable indoor or outdoor location. There is no restriction on the distance you are allowed to travel.
  • You can exercise your horse indoors in a group of up to six people with whom you do not share a household and in a group of up to ten people outdoors with whom you do not share a household, but you must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures. Maximum ventilations measures should be observed.
  • Within your allowance of six people indoors and ten people outdoors you should include your coach if in attendance.

Please implement the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before you set off.
  • From 29 June keep at least 1 metre away from all other people and if possible 2m distance is better and try to avoid busy times on popular paths or places. Use face coverings where appropriate social distancing is not possible.
  • Take extra care to respect the health and safety of land owners. Respect signage. Follow all reasonable requests to avoid sensitive areas.
  • Think carefully about your route. Can you avoid gates to minimise risk to you and others when touching surfaces?
  • Leave gates as you find them, where there is no livestock. Gates may have been left open to avoid contact.
  • If you do need to open and close gates, wear gloves to minimise risk of you transmitting or picking up CV. Wash your gloves between rides.
  • If you are travelling to a destination bring your own mounting block with you so that you do not have to share with others.
  • Wash your hands on return, regardless of whether you’ve worn gloves. Wash your gloves between each ride off your own property.
  • Please be courteous at all times.
  • With an increase in the number of people accessing outdoor areas for places to exercise, remain aware of the needs of fellow users of open spaces and places where you are allowed to ride or carriage-drive.
  • Ensure you check in your local area before setting off whether access to places you used to ride are open such as beaches and forests.
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

Riding or carriage driving on roads during the coronavirus outbreak

  • Although there may be less traffic on most roads, on some traffic is going faster, and drivers don’t necessarily expect to meet horses, particularly at present.
  • Wear hi-viz, use clear hand signals
  • Keep your wits about you: listen for traffic, don’t use your mobile phone while riding,
  • Respect everyone else on the road, including vehicles, cyclists and walkers.
  • Keep your distance from others. You may need to wait to one side to let others pass safely.
  • Acknowledge careful driving with a smile or a wave.

What does this mean for BHS Accredited Professional Coaches in Northern Ireland?

  • You are permitted to coach up to five people indoors with whom you do not share a household, but you must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures. Maximum ventilation should be provided.
  • From 29 June up to 30 people from different households are permitted to gather outdoors. This will provide further scope for training. Social distancing measures and covid hygiene measures must be maintained.
  • This will facilitate organised lessons.
  • There are no restrictions on the distance you or your clients can travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Education Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Riding Schools in Northern Ireland?

  • You riding school coach/instructor is permitted to provide coaching for up to five people indoors with whom he/she does not share a household, but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures. Maximum ventilation should be provided.
  • From 29 June up to 30 people from different households are permitted to gather outdoors. This will provide further scope for training. Social distancing measures and covid hygiene measures must be maintained.
  • This may facilitate organised lessons to resume.
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • There are no restrictions on the distance you or your clients can travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Livery Yards in Northern Ireland?

  • Your clients can gather in groups of up to six people indoors, with whom they do not share a household, but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures. Maximum ventilation should be provided.
  • Your clients can gather in groups of up to 30 people outdoors on your yard whether to look after their horse(s) or to exercise their horse(s).  This group of up to 30  people may be those with whom they do not share a household but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures.
  • Your clients are permitted to travel their horse(s) for exercise or training to a suitable indoor or outdoor location. There is no restriction on the distance they are allowed to travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

What does this mean for BHS Approved Facility Centres in Northern Ireland?

  • You are able to offer your indoor and outdoor facilities for hire to equestrians.
  • Up to six people, who do not share a household, are allowed to meet indoors to ride or to have lessons. Social distancing and all covid hygiene measures including the provision of maximum ventilation should be implemented.
  • Your equestrian clients can gather out of doors in groups of up to 30 people. This group of up to 30 people may be those with whom they do not share a household but they must maintain social distancing and all covid hygiene measures.
  • There is no restriction on the distance your clients are allowed to travel.
  • You should implement all appropriate risk assessments and procedures (guidance has been communicated to you by the British Horse Society Approvals Department)
  • You and your clients must not share hard surfaces that have not been appropriately cleaned and disinfected.
  • Each person is responsible for acting in an appropriate manner within the guidelines applicable to where you are living and where you keep or exercise your horse.

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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