The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) continues to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Britain and around the world. We continue to follow government advice and are working closely with our member bodies to implement any restrictions required, including any requirements for the staff within our organisations.
Following yesterday's Government Cobra committee meeting, the Prime Minister announced the status of the pandemic had changed from the 'containment' phase to a 'delay' phase.
We advise everyone to continue to follow Government advice because this is a public health issue. Public Health England is the lead organisation and we urge our stakeholders to closely follow their guidance.
The latest guidance is that anyone with flu-like symptoms should self-isolate for at least seven days, even if those symptoms are mild. If symptoms remain mild, people do not need to call 111. Further details can be found here.
At this time, over England, Wales and Northern Ireland, there are no plans are in place to suspend major public events or close schools. Therefore, there are no restrictions on equestrian sport or activity.
In Scotland, from Monday 16 March, all large gatherings above 500 people with the potential to impact the emergency services should be cancelled to prioritise the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, but normal, small scale activity can continue.
Some general tips to remember if you're taking part in general or equestrian activity:
- Wash your hands more often than usual. Wash for at least 20 seconds using soap and hot water. Use hand sanitiser if that's all you have access to
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or with your sleeve if you don't have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Immediately wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products
- Be prepared to self-isolate – plan how it will impact on your day-to-day requirements
- Plan ahead for your situation, which might include alternative care for your horse if you need to self-isolate
- Use health services wisely
- Stay up-to-date with trusted sources of information
Statement from Northern Ireland Department of Health
The British Horse Society has also published some useful advice for their Centres, but the recommendations are appropriate for any yard.