COVID -19 GUIDANCE

Guidance Update 
      22/02/2022

Yesterday (22 February), the First Minister provided the latest update to the Scottish Parliament on COVID-19. This announcement coincided with the publication of a revised Strategic Framework for tackling COVID. The FM outlined that the new Strategic Framework aimed to allow us to achieve a sustainable return to a normal way of life, while remaining prepared for future threats. This approach will rely predominantly on vaccines, treatments, and public health behaviours and adaptions, rather than legal protective measures. The key elements of the FM’s update and Strategic Framework set out current measures, an indicative timeline for moving from legal requirements to guidance, and a framework outlining measures that will be put in place in response to future COVID threats. In summary:

 

Current measures: Baseline measures will remain in place for now, with some small adjustments:

 

  1. Vaccines: Scottish Government will continue to encourage uptake of the vaccine.

  2. Testing: Continued access to free testing, with PCR tests if symptomatic. From Monday advice will revert to using Lateral Flow Tests at least twice a week.

  3. Isolation: Those who test positive to isolate for the recommended period.

  4. Vaccine Certificate: From 28 February, the COVID certification scheme will cease to be a legal requirement. The app will remain available for organisations wishing to implement a voluntary scheme.

  5. Baseline measures: Wearing face coverings when required or recommended; keeping rooms ventilated and following hygiene advice.

 

Indicative timeline: An indicative timeline has been set for changing remaining legal requirements to guidance and good practice based on a judgement that we are moving from medium to low threat.

 

  • 28 February: Certificate regulations end. Certification may still be used on a voluntary basis.

  • 21 March (indicative): Legal requirement to wear face coverings in public indoor places and on public transport will convert to guidance. Other remaining legal guidance will convert to guidance and good practice as appropriate.

  • Spring 2022: Changes to Test & Protect, testing and isolation requirements expected.

  • Ongoing: Routine behaviours and adaptions and good practice to reduce transmission continue on a voluntary basis to enhance resilience and reduce the risk of future disruption.

 

Future Threat Levels: The Framework sets out potential responses to future threat levels that will guide any decisions required in response to new variants. These levels are illustrative of the kind of responses that are expected, although the actual measures put in place if required will be flexible and judgement will need to be applied. Responses likely to be applied to an assessed level of low, through medium to high threat are (see Framework for full table of measures):

 

  • Low threat - Routine Measures: Vigilance, Preparedness and Resilience (no legal measures)

    • Behaviours and settings adapted to reduce spread (e.g. improved ventilation, appropriate guidance on face coverings)

    • Hybrid working when possible and appropriate encouraged

    • Targeted testing and surveillance

  • Medium threat – Baseline Protective Measures = Routine plus

    • Testing for people when symptomatic or asymptomatic

    • Self-isolate when positive

    • Face coverings required in indoor public places and on public transport

    • Reasonable measures to reduce risk in premises

    • Certification in narrow range of settings

  • High Threat – Protective Measures = Baseline measures plus

    • Work from home where possible

    • Proportionate restrictions on certain higher risk settings and activities

    • Protective measures in other higher risk settings

    • Guidance to reduce social contact and increase physical distancing

    • Certification required in wider range of settings

    • International travel restrictions for some countries

  • Extensive Protective Measures = Baseline and targeted measures plus (only ever considered as last resort in most serious circumstances)

    • Potential closure (or limited opening) of further non-essential settings and services

    • Legal limits on social gatherings and events

We will confirm to keep you informed of any further update as and when relevant. 

Anthony Drew

Chair horsescotland

 

Guidance Update 
      18/01/2022

Yesterday the First Minister gave an update to the Scottish Parliament on COVID-19 restrictions and while the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is still continuing to infect a large number of people, there is evidence to suggest that the wave of the virus has peaked and we are now on a downward trajectory. While this is a welcome update, she still stressed that we need to continue to follow public health protection measures. These are as follows...

Temporary Restrictions - the remaining guidance that was introduced on 26th December will be lifted on Monday 24th January which means that 

  • Adult indoor contact sport can resume

  • Indoor live event audiences can return

  • The 1m physical distancing requirement between groups in indoor public places will no longer be required.

Indoor and Outdoor events with attendances of greater than 1000 - there is a requirement to check the COVID certification of at least 50% of the attendees or 1000 people, whichever is greater.

Baseline measures - the mitigation measures that were put in place before Omicron and being retained and will not be extended, at this time, to other premises. However this will be reconsidered if the situation changes. These measures include the use of face coverings in all indoor public places.

Working from home - this advice remains to continue to ask people to work from home where possible and for employers to facilitate where possible.

Social Contact - the public are being asked to keep gatherings as small as circumstances will allow until, at least, the end of January.

Self isolation and Testing - these remain unchanged.

The First Minister is scheduled to  give another COVID statement to Parliament on the 25th of January 2022.

These statements and the news we hear on a daily basis give the impression that there is light at the end of the tunnel and a hope for a return to normality. There will be many who will want to get going as soon as possible and there will also be many who will want to move forward more slowly. Whichever path you choose to take, please continue to follow the guidance and be kind to each other. 

All the best,
Anthony

Anthony Drew Chair horsescotland

Guidance Update 
      21/12/2021

As you may well be aware, the First Minister provided an update on COVID-19 and related restrictions on Tuesday 21st December. These are in response to the challenges being posed by the Omicron variant.

These restrictions, which come into effect from 26th December for large scale events and indoor contact sports and from 27th December for all other areas including hospitality and leisure centres. They will be in effect for a period of three weeks.

For Indoor Hospitality and Leisure Venues

·       For indoor gym and leisure centre settings, 1m physical distancing should be implemented and class sizes limited to ensure this can be maintained throughout the activity including entry and exit.

·       For indoor hospitality, 1m physical distancing, groups of no more than three households and table service where alcohol is being served should be reintroduced.

For Large Scale Events there have been limits put on attendance

·       Indoors – 100 standing and 200 seated.

·       Outdoors – 500 standing and 500 seated.

For indoor contact sports

·       Professional and / or elite indoor contact sport with approved plans can continue with training and competition.

·       All other indoor (adult) contact sport and physical activity should not take place.

The definition of  Contact sport or activity is defined as “a sport or activity in which the participants necessarily come into bodily contact or as a matter of course encroach within 1m of one another”.

The First Minister also provided general advice to stay home and stay safe for this three-week period and minimise contact with others as much as possible.

Please note that Indoor Arenas which meet the previously published BHS criteria, which can be found here 6c7920_aa6999955ec548dc8fc630dd634dfd46.pdf (filesusr.com) are classed as Outdoors and if you are unsure, you should check with your Local Authority and Insurers.


Full sportscotland guidance attached.

I hope you all stay safe over the festive period, be kind to each other and have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year when it comes.

Anthony Drew

Chair

horsescotland

 Guidance       Update 
        03/09/2021

Some time has now passed since we have had our Equestrian Guidance reviewed by sportscotland, and to a large extent this shows the progression that has been made in mitigating transmission of the virus and the success of restrictions still in place.

 

However, it has been reiterated by Scottish Government that we all need to continue to play our own part in ensuring we do not return to greater restriction or further lockdowns - the impact of which could be economically huge, both within our equestrian community, and within wider society. 

 

Covid-19 will need to be managed for the foreseeable future and the importance of continuing to adhere to a number of baseline measures will significantly reduce the risk of reintroduction of greater restrictions.

 

As we approach autumn, we are reminded of mitigation measures that remain important:

 

  • Hand hygiene: Regular washing of hands and the continued use of hand sanitiser should at all times be promoted.

  • Face coverings: The requirement to wear face coverings in some indoor settings remains in place.

  • Test & Protect: The Test and Protect system will remain in place to support contact tracing. Twice weekly self testing is recommended, even for those without symptoms.

  • Local outbreak management: Scottish Government retains the option of implementing local measures and travel restrictions to manage local outbreaks.

  • Events: The process for approving large-scale events will remain in place, with approval required from Local Authorities for events of over 5,000 people outdoors or over 2,000 people indoors.

  • Guidance: Businesses will be offered guidance on areas such as ventilation and hygiene to reduce the risk of transmission. The public are still being advised to keep a safe distance, especially indoors, from people in other households and avoid crowded places to minimise risk.

Although many aspects of equestrian activity have resumed, we must all continue to play our part in ensuring that sporting activity leads by example and that collectively we promote and encourage the benefits of the above mitigation measures at every opportunity.

Please help us to ensure that the Scottish Equestrian Community plays its part.


--
Grant Turnbull
Chair

Guidance Update 
      09/08/2021

On Tuesday 3 August the First Minister provided an update to the Scottish Parliament on pandemic-related restrictions. It was confirmed that the whole of Scotland will move beyond level 0 from Monday 9 August, although the First Minister stressed this did not mean a return to life exactly as it was pre-pandemic with a number of mitigating measures remaining. It's another step forward for the Equestrian community.

Key Points include: Legal restrictions, Face coverings, Test & Protect, Local Outbreak management, Events, Guidance.

 

Please find below our updated sportscotland approved Guidance which will come into effect from Monday 9th August 2021.
 

Guidance Update 
      14/07/2021

Following the First Ministers announcement yesterday, we have been working with sportscotland and Scottish Government to clarify specific details in relation to all remaining Local Authorities moving to Level 0 on July 19th. 

Key Points:

  • Indoor contact sport and physical activity is permitted, this will include the return of lead rein lessons.

 

  • Indoor physical distancing in other settings will be reduced from 2m to 1m.

  • Outdoor physical distancing requirements will be removed for bubbles of 15 in informal settings. 

  • Organised outdoor events will continue to comply with the size limits and processes previously set out for Level 0 - please see Table A within the guidance.