Following the publication of the UK Government's COVID-19 recover strategy on 11th May, British Rowing has updated its advice to our Affiliated Clubs and Events and detailed the rationale behind these decisions.
The UK Government yesterday (11th May) published its strategy for recovering from coronavirus (“Our Plan to Rebuild”) which included a change to restrictions related to exercise effective from Wednesday 13th May. In line with our planning for a safe return to rowing, we have drawn the following conclusions (based on the rationale set out below):
- Rowing in privately-owned rowing boats from publicly accessible waterway access or with permission of landowners is possible subject to:
- UK Government rules relating to social distancing being adhered to;
- recreational use of the waterway being permitted by the relevant authority*; and,
- an appropriate risk assessment and accompanying measures being in place taking into account any normal, local safety rules or good practice.
- At this stage, we recommend that British Rowing Affiliated Clubs should remain closed (current UK Government advice suggests leisure facilities may open no earlier than 4 July). Therefore, anyone launching rowing boats should do so from publicly accessible slipways/other waterway access or with the express permission of the landowner.
- We do not believe that any rowing activity requiring a coaching/safety launch fits within the spirit of the current UK Government guidance and also British Rowing’s RowSafe guidance (see below).
- Given the current situation and likely outlook, we have taken the decision to extend our suspension of Affiliated Competitions until 31 July – including the cancellation of the British Rowing Offshore Championships & Beach Sprints and British Rowing Junior Championships. We reasonably expect it is likely that this suspension will eventually be extended until at least the end of August.
* At the time of writing, the three major waterway authorities have differing restrictions – please see below for more information.
We continue to monitor and review the latest advice from the UK Government and will update our advice, as necessary, as more information becomes available.
For a safe return to rowing to be possible, we believe that there are three key criteria that must be met:
- Any rowing activity must be carried out in accordance with UK Government restrictions including those related to hygiene, social distancing and travel.
- Any rowing activity must be allowed by the local waterway authority (e.g. Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency, Port of London Authority).
- Any rowing activity must be safe and in line with our Row Safe guidance.
This may be met by relaxation of existing external guidance and/or changes to how we operate as a sport.
More details here