Can I go fishing during lockdown? Rules for the sport as new national Covid lockdown begins in England

Angling Trust in talks with government officials to see if fishing in lockdown is permitted under new Covid-19 rules

Despite the different tiers and lockdowns, anglers have still been able to fish throughout the Covid-19 pandemic since May 2020.

The individual sport has proven to be the perfect escape for some who have enjoyed visiting their local lakes and getting outside.

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But, with a new wave of coronavirus restrictions introduced, will one of the country's favourite pastimes be allowed to continue?

Can people still go fishing in new national lockdown? (Pic: PA)
Can people still go fishing in new national lockdown? (Pic: PA)

Why is everyone talking about fishing?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown on Monday 4 January to help limit the spread of Covid-19 in the community.

Spiralling infection rates, hospital admissions and deaths saw the PM introduce further restrictions which prevent some sports from taking place.

Elite sport, such as the English Premier League and horse racing, will continue through the third national lockdown, but where does that leave fishing?

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Does fishing break the rules?

In spite of the lockdown everyone is allowed to leave their homes for a form of exercise with other people in their household, support bubble or one other person from a different household.

People can still visit public parks and gardens for exercise where fisheries might be found.

As an individual sport it doesn’t require close contact with others - allowing for social distancing measures to be followed while participating.

Is fishing Covid secure?

Anglers have had to abide by the Rule of Six outside under previous tiers, as well as maintaining good hand and face habits in line with health advice.

The government made it clear that outdoor exercise is good for both physical and mental wellbeing and has allowed fishing to continue in the past.

Even when other individual outdoor sports such as golf and tennis have been forced to stop.

Can I fish during the new lockdown?

The Angling Trust, England’s national governing body for angling, has been in discussing with government officials over the safe continuation of fishing.

Yet, due to the increasing infection rates, angling will not be permitted at this time, a statement on the Trust’s website confirmed.

Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said: “The regulations have now been published and confirm this evening’s message from the Cabinet Office that the Government have taken the decision that fishing will not be permitted during this national lockdown period.

"Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place; to help save lives and support the NHS.”

He added that government had made the decision that “leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period”.

Mr Cook said the Trust will make proposals for the resumption of angling "when it is safe and sensible to do so”.