The Angling Trust, as the national governing body, has issued the following guidance for those who wish to go angling in England from 2nd December.
- Angling is deemed a permissible form of ‘outdoor recreation’, it can take place, without time limits, within the provision allowing people “to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation”.
- The Rule of Two is now back to the Rule of Six. This applies both indoors and outdoors in Tier 1, outdoors only in Tier 2 and in Tier 3 only in ‘outdoor public spaces.’ Of course, most angling is, by its nature, already socially distanced, and organised matches and events have their own rules.
- If you do go fishing with someone from outside your household then no equipment should be shared.
You must not go fishing if you have symptoms of Coronavirus and you must remain at home and isolate.
Travelling to fish
The Government’s travel guidance remains advisory rather than a matter of law but the Angling Trust is encouraging anglers to exercise common sense and act within the spirit of the Government’s guidance.
The Government is advising against all unnecessary travel into and out of Tier 3 areas, the exceptions being for ‘work, education, youth services, medical attention or caring responsibilities’. We are lobbying the Government to amend this to include ‘organised sport and outdoor recreation’. In the meantime, travel for fishing within Tier 3 areas is not discouraged.
In all other tiers, travelling to go fishing is fine but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’. Sea anglers should focus on their local beaches and fishing marks, and freshwater anglers should not be travelling hundreds of miles in search of fishing during the current pandemic.
Tackle Shops and Clubhouses
Retail outlets can open in all three tiers meaning that tackle shops are no longer restricted to ‘click/call and collect’. Indoor venues such as clubhouses and on-site cafes serving food and drink can now reopen in Tiers 1 and 2 providing table service is offered. Tier 3 allows only for takeaway service. All outlets must continue to adhere to the appropriate regulations including the requirement to ensure social distancing.
Angling-related businesses, now including those offering accommodation in Tiers 1 and 2, can operate as normal whilst adhering to the appropriate regulations including the requirement to ensure social distancing.
Working parties for fishery maintenance remain permissible and small-scale fishing club meetings can now resume in tiers 1 and 2 as they come within the provision of ‘voluntary services’.
For details of current angling/Covid regulations in Wales, you can find information on the Anglings Trust's Fishing In Wales website.