When can I go fishing with friends again?

Boris Johnson: A look at possible road map

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Fishing has counted as a ‘permissible exercise’ throughout the national lockdown, although anglers have been given a list of strict guidelines. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has now outlined how the UK will ease its lockdown restrictions over the coming months – where does fishing stand in the Government’s plan?

Everyone has been allowed to go fishing since the start of the lockdown restrictions, on January 4.

But, there were some general rules and regulations that anglers had to follow.

All anglers were told to stick to their local lakes and to avoid travelling.

It counted as a form of exercise, meaning anglers were only allowed to go fishing once a day, and with just one other person.

Organised gatherings or competitions have been banned for the duration of the lockdown; falling in line with other non-elite competitions.

The Prime Minister has now outlined his ‘roadmap’ for exiting Covid restrictions.

The plan includes loosening restrictions over a period of five months, in three main stages.

Angling will be falling under the first step of opening up after lockdown.

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When can I go fishing with friends?

Anglers will be able to meet up with friends from March 29, provided it’s as part of a formal event, according to the latest plans.

Fishing will be in line with other outdoor leisure activities, which will be allowed to continue in the second part of Step 1.

All outdoor sports facilities will be reopening, provided the public follow social distancing.

Formally organised gatherings will be able to restart, and won’t be subject to gathering limits.

But, informal gatherings – for example, meeting up with a group of friends to go fishing – won’t be allowed to continue until later in the year.

You’ll be able to continue meeting with one friend from another household, but will have to wait until the introduction of the Rule of Six, from April 12, to meet with more people.

The Angling Trust’s CEO, Jamie Cook, said he was glad to see outdoor activities at the forefront of the Prime Minister’s restriction loosening plan.

“Whilst many anglers would have liked to have to seen angling fully opened up earlier we have to accept that the timing was always a matter for government acting on public health advice,” he said.

“Our job was to set out how our sport can be conducted safely and why we should be in the first tranche to resume without travel restrictions and with both competition and night fishing back in place.

“This all looks set to happen on March 29th and it’s good to see a widespread acceptance that healthy outdoor activities such as angling will be the first to return to some form of normality.”

The organisation welcomed a clear date for the return of angling.

Fisheries can now plan for the forthcoming season with more certainty, it added.

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