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Scotland gets the go-ahead for ‘covered arena’ use

Riders in Scotland will be able to use “covered” arenas from the end of month.

Following first minister Nicola Sturgeon’s update on 18 June announcing that Scotland would move to phase two of the route map out of lockdown on 19 June, new guidance for equestrians has been released by Horsescotland and the British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland today (23 June).

The guidance, approved by the Scottish government via Sportscotland, states that from 29 June the use of “covered arenas” is permitted, in line with the government route map. BHS Scotland has included pictures of “covered arenas” in its guidance.

“Ensure your facility management team has put in place appropriate mechanisms for overseeing operations and risk management. Venues should only open when it is safe to do so,” it states.

“Only outdoor facilities (but including covered arenas from 29 June onwards) should be opened, with all indoor areas remaining closed including changing rooms, toilets, exercise rooms and social areas. ”

In England the use of “indoor leisure venues” is in phase three of the prime minister’s post-lockdown road map, with their reopening due to be considered from early July.

In other changes for Scotland, the number of households coaches can teach has increased to two per day, with a maximum of eight people in total, and while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Travel for recreational activity remains to local area only, with a guideline of five miles.

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The guidance adds competitions or events where groups of more than three households (maximum eight people) congregate at any one time are not permitted.

Horsescotland chair Grant Turnbull said: “It is recognised that there are many anomalies, and some direct contradictions, arising from government guidance, particularly between return to work and extension to exercise policy, both of which are very relevant to our professional coaches and riding centres.

“I urge you to look specifically at your own personal or business circumstances, undertake the appropriate risk assessments, check with your insurance provider and, based on your findings, proceed in a way you believe to be correct. The first minister said the government cannot provide guidance for everyone’s individual circumstances. I therefore encourage you to make your own decisions and take personal responsibility for doing what is right for you, your business and the safety of others.”

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