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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / What the lockdown rules mean for fishing in Wales and whether you can now drive to go angling

What the lockdown rules mean for fishing in Wales and whether you can now drive to go angling

Anglers in Wales can now drive to go fishing within their local area following changes to the lockdown rules.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced an easing of measures during his lunchtime briefing, with exercise restrictions also on the agenda.

People in Wales will be allowed to meet with others from outside their own household, while observing social distancing and exercising strict hygiene practices, when the new measures come into action from the start of next week.

The measures place limitations on how far you can travel to meet up with people, or exercise, and the Welsh Government is asking people not to travel more than five miles from home.

But you are allowed to drive to meet up with people or exercise within those five miles, eliminating confusion over whether anglers with equipment could drive to fisheries in their local area.

The Welsh Government’s website states: “If your preferred form of exercise or leisure is one that can only be undertaken in specific locations, this still needs to be carried out locally.

“Examples of this might include golf, angling or watersports. If there is a place where you can do these within your local area, then you are free to do so, but it would not be permissible to drive outside your local area for these purposes.

“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.”

In another section asking if you can drive to meet up with other households, it says: “Yes, as long it is within your local area, you remain outdoors and you practice social distancing.”

Following the previous rule changes that initially allowed angling to return as a form of exercise, there had plenty of confusion over whether driving to a local fishery was allowed or not.

A group of people were turned away by police while fishing in west Wales earlier this month following comments from the Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police that confirmed that you could not drive to go fishing.

At the time, exercise was advised to start and finish at home – meaning anglers who were not disabled or had viable health reasons for driving had to walk to local fisheries.

Other than driving, the restrictions for angling will remain largely the same following the latest rule changes.

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

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.

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