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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / The new rules on exercise and playing sport that come into effect today

The new rules on exercise and playing sport that come into effect today

Monday sees the most significant changes to lockdown measures in Wales come into force, meaning many more people can get back to playing the sport or doing the exercise they enjoy with friends.

At the heart of the changes is the general new rule people can drive up to five miles for exercise and meet up with members of one other household, providing social distancing measures are observed.

Here’s the latest situation with how different activities are affected.

Running/ Walking

The obvious difference here is you can now go for walks or runs with people from a single different household, as long as you stay two metres apart. This doesn’t permit large running clubs to get together at this stage but does permit fitness instructors to meet individual clients as long as training is done locally, outdoors and social distancing is observed.

Golf

Golfers in Wales will be able to play alongside someone from another household from today.

That’s a significant change for many. It also means the configuration of how groups go out to play can be determined by those playing, so long as there is no more than two households in the same cohort.

For example, a fourball can be played with two players from one household and two players from another. Similarly, one person from one household can join a threeball from another household – as long as they adhere to social distancing measures at all times and practice good hand hygiene.

Golfers are permitted to drive up to five miles for a game of golf. First Minister Mark Drakeford did, however, stipulate that the five-mile radius was only a guideline and in more rural areas of Wales it may differ.

Celtic Manor Golf resort opens today for the first time, while many other clubs will now be accepting guests as well as members.

Fishing

As with any other form of exercise, fishing can now be done with a person from another household within the local area – providing social distancing is maintained.

The big change, though, is the confusion around the travel rules has been cleared up. Many anglers were left frustrated over previous regulations that permitted local fishing but not driving to get there – something that made it impossible to for many. There were even cases of police turning up at lakes and sending people who had driven home.

Now, anglers can travel five miles withing their local area to fish.

Angling Cymru also advise people to sanitise hands regularly and avoid dangerous fishing venues or those where you cannot maintain safe distancing.

No boat fishing, overnight fishing or fishing in closed areas of land or property are permitted.

Natural Resources Wales also add that you must:

  • fish within your local area
  • follow social distancing guidelines an stay at home guidance from the Welsh Government#have a valid fishing rod licence
  • adhere to fisheries byelaws including the close season
  • have permission from the fishery owner

You should also not travel to Wales from England for the purpose of angling.

Tennis

Now, here’s a different one.

Wales is currently the only place in the UK and one of very few countries in Europe where you cannot play tennis.

The opening of outdoor sport courts had been expected to be part of the measures announced by the Welsh Government given it was the next step on their traffic light system for easing lockdown.

However, that wasn’t the case and means tennis is unlikely to be played in Wales until the next review on June 18.

In a statement, Tennis Wales said: “Tennis Wales has written directly to Mark Drakeford the First Minister, to seek urgent clarification this weekend.

“Wales is now the only country in Western Europe where tennis cannot be played due to the Pandemic, and the decision not to lift restrictions this week is having a devastating impact on the sport.

“The First Minister spoke to the media late on Friday, and when fielding questions from journalists suggested that golf, tennis and bowls were appropriate to be played with strict social distancing measures in place.

“However, Welsh Government legislation for outdoor sport courts to be closed doesn’t allow this legally to happen for tennis facilities.

“With 1,250 tennis courts across Wales, 95% of which are outdoor in local communities, Tennis Wales and the LTA had developed and shared detailed guidance for playing tennis with Welsh Government, with a view to returning to the courts.

“The detailed guidance would allow local people to play tennis outdoors, in line with all social distancing measures, within their local community.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are continuing our discussions with Tennis Wales with regards the safe return of tennis.”

Cycling

Cyclists in Wales are now able to ride with someone from outside their own household.

The public are asked to use common sense with regards to the distance they cycle, based on ability and experience.

“We recognise there are certain forms of exercise which, though you start locally, may temporarily take you further afield,” a Welsh Government statement read.

“For example, a strong cyclist may get their exercise through bike rides of 40 miles or more. Exercise as a form of ‘active’ travel in this way (a long cycle ride, run or walk) is now allowed, as long as the exercise starts and finishes from home.

“That said, it is important not to risk spreading the virus by breaking that exercise and stopping or congregating with others outside your local area. Crowded places should be avoided, and social distancing should be maintained.

“The rules on gathering with others also mean that while you can now exercise with people from one other household, group activities are still not allowed.”

There has never been a true restriction on the distance one can cycle, with the guidelines suggesting cyclists choose only routes they know well.

That appears to still be the case, although staying local on one’s bike is still encouraged.

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