A tough one to write about and discuss.. Paddling during Lockdown 3.0.. With many outlets including the Canal and River Trust and British Canoeing saying it’s OK to paddle.. Is it? Let’s take a look..
The government guidance states that:
- Outdoor exercise is still permitted, but should be limited to once per day
- Outdoor exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area if necessary to find an open space to exercise (such as a publicly accessible place to launch)
- Organised and structured outdoor sporting activity must not take place
- All indoor and outdoor sports clubs, centres, venues and facilities will need to close
Paddling for exercise is permitted within the government measures, so long as you are:
- Paddling with people you live with
- With your support bubble (if you’re legally permitted to form one)
- When on your own, with one person from another household while following social distancing and I would advise no sharing of equipment
Personal equipment – It has been confirmed that collecting personal equipment belonging to an individual, from a facility such as a boathouse, to enable individual exercise is permitted.
Main Guidance Notes:
Social distancing – Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household. It sounds daft but I would take a face covering out on the board, some people may be isolating on a boat or barge – you just never know..
Outdoor exercise limits – Exercise should be limited to once per day. It is clearly stated on the Gov.uk site under Exercising.
Travel – Outdoor exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area if necessary to find an open space to exercise (such as a publicly accessible place to launch).
Waterways licence – Paddlers are reminded that a waterways licence is required to paddle on licensed waterways. This is paramount as always, regardless of the license provider.
“If you break the rules…”
“The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices)”.
“You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000” – This is a direct extract from the Government website.
Be sensible, those paddles will wait. There is absolutely no need to go exploring right now. Much like the first Lockdown – we are advising Stay at Home and to follow government guidance. You should not be attending waterways you do not know, which in turn could cause further, unnecessary stress on the NHS… Be sensible.
In my opinion and this isn’t guidance..
We are in a National Lockdown so you must follow the Government rules whether you agree or not – not Facebook, not some chaps on Instagram – the Police will simple say you aren’t following the rules and fine you as explained above. Some people will have to accept they cannot paddle right now – harsh reality, but true. Many people that paddle are land locked and cannot get to the waterways – there are other forms of exercise. Looking at the guidance of ‘local’, I would say in your village, or within walking distance.. Driving 15-20+ minutes for water isn’t local, a couple of miles within the same town would seem acceptable but I’ll try to get clarification on this..
When we get more updates through @StandUpPaddleUK we will share them and I will update this post!