You are here: Home > Advice & Information > Coronavirus (Covid-19) > Advice for horse owners in Scotland

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

Please note, while the guidance is current at the point of publication, it may quickly be superseded following further government updates, or changes to the situation. Please bear with us while we make these changes.


Update 13 July 2021:

From Monday 19 July 2021, all parts of Scotland (not currently there) will move to Level 0, subject to certain modifications.

These include:

  • hospitality venues being required to close at midnight.
  • in indoor public places where there isn’t already a 1 metre rule in place, the physical distance requirement will reduce from 2 metres to 1 metre and will apply between different household groups.
  • outdoors - a limit on the size of outdoor group gatherings will be kept at 15. For the next three weeks at least, there will be a requirement for 1 metre distancing between different groups of 15.
  • a gradual return to the office has been postponed until after 9 August at least.

The key points applicable from the 19 July that are relevant to equestrian sport and physical activity can be summarised as follows:

  • Indoor contact sport and physical activity is permitted, this will include the return of lead rein lessons.
  • Indoor physical distancing in other settings will be reduced from 2 metres to 1 metre.
  • Outdoor physical distancing requirements will be removed for bubbles of 15 in informal settings.
  • Organised outdoor events will continue to comply with the size limits and processes previously set out for Level 0 - please see Table A within the guidance.

The mandatory wearing of face coverings will continue after Scotland moves to level zero next week.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-0/

 

Update 6 July 2021:

There will be no changes to restrictions this week, with the current expectation that all parts of Scotland will remain at current levels until 19 July. By that date it is hoped that all parts of Scotland which are not currently in level 0 will move to level 0.

An updated Strategic Framework has been published at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-scotlands-strategic-framework-update-june-2021/

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/timetable/ https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/

 

Update 1 June 2021:

From midnight on Friday into Saturday (5 June):

  • Glasgow City Council will move to Level 2
  • Areas to remain at Level 2: Edinburgh, Midlothian, Dundee, East Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, East Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire and Stirling (in addition to Glasgow).
  • The following areas will move to level 1: Highland, Argyll and Bute, Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Angus, Perth & Kinross, Falkirk, Fife, Inverclyde, East and West Lothian, West Dunbartonshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders.
  • Islands currently in Level 1 will move to Level 0. These are: Orkney, Shetland, Na h-Eileanan Siar, all islands in Highland (except Skye), Argyll and Bute islands of Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree and Ulva.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/
https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels-allocation-to-local-councils-1-june-2021/


Update 28 May 2021:

Glasgow City Council will remain under Level 3 restrictions for another week. It is hoped that it will move to Level 2 by Saturday 5 June 2021 and this is to be confirmed by the 2 June. An update will also be provided next week on the move to Level 1.

Update 26 May 2021:

Spectators:

The issue with spectators was clarified in the most recent Sport Scotland update which states: Spectators are not permitted unless where supervising a child or vulnerable person or where organisers follow Scottish Government (COVID-19): event sector guidance and (COVID-19): calculating physical distancing capacity in public settings and any other relevant guidance.

Competitions with spectators must be organised and take place at premises whose entrances and exits are controlled for the purpose of crowd and capacity management.

https://sportscotland.org.uk/media/6642/return-to-sport-and-physical-activity-guidance-200521-final.pdfhttps://www.horsescotland.org/covid-19support

Update 21 May 2021

Moray Council will move from Level 3 to Level 2 from midnight tonight (21 May). Glasgow City Council will remain in Level 3 for at least a further week. East Renfrewshire Council will remain in Level 2.

You can only leave or enter a Level 3 area for a permitted reason such as going to work or supporting a vulnerable person. Adults living in a Level 3 area should only travel locally or to another Level 3 area to take part in organised sport or physical activity.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/

Travel restrictions to Bedford, Bolton, Blackburn and Darwen – the advice is that people from Scotland should not travel to these areas in England.

Update 14 May 2021

From Monday 17 May, Moray and Glasgow will remain at Level 3 due to the number of COVID-19 cases.

You can only leave or enter a Level 3 area for a permitted reason such as going to work or supporting a vulnerable person. Adults living in a Level 3 area should only travel locally or to another Level 3 area to take part in organised sport or physical activity.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/pages/protection-level-3/

Update 11 May 2021

From Monday 17 May 2021:

The ‘outdoor bubbles / participant maximum numbers’ are now confirmed for Levels 0 – 2:

  • Level 3 – Bubbles of up to 30 with a maximum of 200 participants per day.
  • Level 2 – Bubbles of up to 50 with a maximum of 500 participants per day.
  • Level 1 – Bubbles of up to 100 with a maximum of 1000 participants per day.
  • Level 0 – Bubbles of up to 500 with no participant limit per day.
  • Mainland Scotland and islands not moving to Level 1 will move to Level 2
  • Orkney, Shetland, Na h-Eileanan Siar, all islands in Highland (except Skye) and the following islands within Argyll and Bute will move to Level 1 - Coll, Colonsay, Erraid, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Jura, Mull, Oronsay, Tiree and Ulva
  • Moray is likely to remain at Level 3 for a further period due to the number of COVID-19 cases – this will be confirmed by the end of this week. Financial support will be available to businesses in the area if Moray does remain at Level 3
  • https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-protection-levels/ 

Under Level 2 restrictions:

  • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet in each other’s homes or gardens without physical distancing – this was the limit previously planned for Level 1 but has now been accelerated for areas in Level 2.
  • Up to six people from three households will be able to meet indoors in places such as pubs, cafes and restaurants, while up to eight people from eight households will be able to meet outdoors.
  • Events will resume with a maximum capacity of 100 people indoors, 250 outdoors where there is unrestricted standing and 500 for events with seating. Organisers will be allowed to apply to hold bigger events. Further guidance from Sportscotland is expected regarding spectators at smaller scale events.


Moray

The new rules will apply to all mainland local authority areas with the exception of Moray, which is experiencing a high and increasing number of Coronavirus cases. As a result Moray is likely to remain in Level 3 for a further period, with travel in and out of the area prohibited other than for permitted purposes. A final decision on this will be made at the end of this week. The Scottish Government is working with Moray Council and Grampian Health Board to reduce case numbers, and will provide financial support for affected hospitality and leisure businesses if Level 3 restrictions do remain in place.


Update 23 April 2021

From the 26 April 2021, an outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble’ can consist of a maximum of 30 people including coaches, officials and other support staff at any one time at Level 3 (numbers are subject to further confirmation from Scottish Government for Level 0, 1 & 2). Multiple outdoor sporting bubbles can be used for training and competition up to a maximum of 200 per day at Level 3. In such cases, operators and organisers should undertake comprehensive risk assessments to ensure that these bubbles do not mix at any time including before, during or after an activity. Once an individual has completed their activity, they should immediately vacate the ‘field of play’ and are then subject to household rules.

Full details are available here 


Timetable for easing restrictions

It is expected to move through the levels on the following dates:

  • 26 April: mainland Scotland and islands at Level 4 are expected to move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May.
  • 17 May: all of Scotland will move to Level 2.
  • 7 June (TBC): all of Scotland will move to Level 1.
  • June (late): all of Scotland will move to Level 0.


Facilities:

Operators in Level 4 areas may continue to open outdoor sports areas, courts, pitches and facilities if documented risk assessments are undertaken and all appropriate mitigating actions including the guidance herein is put in place to ensure the safety of participants, staff and volunteers. This includes covered/indoor arenas. Please refer to the BHS Covered Arena Guidance.


Caring for your Horse

In terms of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, horse welfare is critical and the sole carer for a horse should travel to provide care for horses. This counts as essential travel under the current travel restrictions.

Where horses are kept in livery the BHS advises that horse owners respect the protocol put in place by the yard owner or manager and work as a team to agree a care plan for your horse(s). Download our Covid-19 Equine Care.

During the Covid-19 pandemic this is of particular importance. If you are ill or have to self-isolate, you will not be able to attend to your horse. Having a care plan in place will help to give you peace of mind that your horse is cared for and your buddy / yard owner has all the necessary information.

During these times, if you ever need to ask questions of your local authority about trading standards or animal welfare relating to Covid related issues– here is a useful list for your use (PDF)

 

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

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP MORE THAN EVER

The Coronavirus crisis is far from over. We have been able to make a difference, but there are so many more horses that need our support. Even with the lockdown easing, our riding schools are still struggling to pay the bills.

Text HORSE to 70507 to give £5, or you can donate online here.

Please wait while we complete your membership

Processing your details...