Updated 1/06/20 to acknowledge the number of people you can now go fishing with.
Following the Prime Minister's announcement on Sunday evening, and the subsequently issued "recovery strategy", we are updating our guidance for angling under the current lockdown conditions.
From Wednesday 13th May angling can be carried out in England under the following guidance. The guidance for fisihng in Wales and Northern Ireland vary slightly and that guidance is below.
Angling in England
From Wednesday 13th May, it will be permissible to go fishing. You must either:
- Be alone;
- With members of your household, or;
- With up to, but no more than 5 other people outside your household so long as social distancing measures are maintained.
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 must remain at home for 7 days, or 14 as a household.
We would suggest that you exercise common sense when undertaking any fishing trip and that you fish as locally as possible. This is not a requirement, but we would suggest in the interests of limiting contacts and the spread of disease, it is a good code to abide by.To read the latest Government's guidance click here.
Tackle shops must remain closed (as most other sports shops) but can operate remotely via deliveries or ‘click and collect’ services.
Angling in Scotland
Following the publication “Scotland’s route map through and out of this crisis” and the phased approach to outdoor activities, Scotland’s First Minister confirmed angling to be included amongst the outdoor activities allowable under phase 1 with effect from Friday 29th May. A key factor in the resumption of angling remains the Scottish Government regulations on travel for the purposes of leisure or exercise.
During phase 1, suggested limitations on travel may have a bearing on angling activity. People are permitted to travel unrestricted distances for non-contact outdoor leisure and exercise but are advised to stay within a short distance of their local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walking, wheel and cycle where possible.
Anglers and fishery owners are encouraged to exercise common sense and only fish as locally as possible. It is in the interests of limiting contacts and the spread of the disease, and it is therefore a responsible code to abide by.
If you are fishing from 29th May, you must either:
- be alone;
- travel unrestricted distances for non-contact outdoor leisure and exercise but advised to stay within a short distance of your local community (broadly within 5 miles) and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible;
- Observe hygiene guidance when entering through field gates etc.
Angling in Wales
First Minister, Mark Drakeford, announced on Wednesday (13th May) that angling can take place during the new lockdown regulations, provided that it is done locally.
Whilst angling is now permitted, the Welsh Government are still urging people to stay at home.
The First Minister confirmed that angling is allowed under the current regulations, the ones that were passed into law on Monday (11th May), but it must be done locally and people must observe social distancing.
You can read the latest updates made to the coronavirus regulations in Wales, here.
Angling in Northern Ireland
Fisheries Minister Edwin Poots has confirmed that the Public Angling Estate (PAE) will gradually re-open to local anglers, from Monday 18th May.
All PAE’s across Northern Ireland will re-open to the public for recreational use, but anglers should only use the DAERA facilities within their local area, and should not travel long distances. Minister Poots also confirmed that car parking facilities will remain closed until 27 May 2020.
Speaking about the announcement, the Minister said: “In the interests of public health, I shut down the angling estate on 30 March, to discourage unnecessary journeys and protect my staff as well as anglers themselves, given that the majority are in the 50+ age bracket and many have concessionary angling licences due to underlying health issues.
“By its nature, angling is a solo sport or hobby, and its participants can enjoy a day’s fishing without being in close contact with others. The sport has huge benefits for people’s mental and physical well-being and in this time of uncertainty, I know that many people have missed the solitude and peace that angling and being outdoors with nature, brings them.
“However, let me be clear – anglers must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, practice good hand hygiene and walk to their nearest PAE, fishing alone or with a member of their own household. I do not want to see crowds of people near the river banks and fisheries.”