by Countryside Alliance

The Government has announced that from Wednesday 6 January national lockdown rules will be in force across England in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Yesterday (06/01) we published advice based on preliminary interpretations of the guidance set out by Government.

However it has now been confirmed that fishing is allowed as exercise 'so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors'.

This has also been confirmed by DEFRA:

'Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.'

Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines, which they will publish shortly:

  • This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May.
  • We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.
  • The Government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.
  • Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.
  • The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.
  • To remain within the law you should follow the Government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.

Sam Carlisle a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance said: " This in an excellent piece of news at an otherwise bleak time. The benefits of fishing for physical and mental health are well documented. Going forward, all anglers must strictly adhere to the new rules set out."  

He added: "We would like to thank the Angling Trust for pursuing this matter." 

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