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The information in this post is being published to provide initial outline guidance to Anglers, Clubs and Fisheries in areas where Scottish Government have identified the requirement for enhanced Level 4 ‘stay at home’ restrictions to be applied.

All of our detailed guidance has been reviewed and updated and is currently awaiting approval from Scottish Government and will be published on the Angling Scotland website on 7 January 2021.   In the meantime, the following are the key changes affecting those in Level 4 areas:

  • Angling is still permitted within Scotland subject to the following conditions:
    • When going fishing you must comply with the outdoor household mixing rules. i.e. a maximum of 2 people from 2 different households (Children under 12 from these households do not count towards this number), and comply with social distancing rules.
    • You must comply with the current travel restrictions. i.e. stay as close to home a possible, within your Local Authority Area, or no more than 5 miles from the boundary. When taking part in sport, exercise or recreation participants should at all times follow Scottish Government ‘stay at home’ guidance
    • You should stay away from crowded places and follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS guidance.

F – wear a Face covering

A – Avoid crowded places

C – Clean hands and surfaces regularly

T – stay Two metre distance away from other people

S – Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms (new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste)

  • Gatherings for fishing competitions, club outings or group meetings, etc are not permitted under the current restrictions.
  • Angling from Charter Boats is not currently permitted in Level 4 areas.
  • Commercial Fisheries in Level 4 areas can remain open as ‘outdoor sports facilities’ subject to the following:
    • Documented risk assessments are undertaken and all appropriate mitigating actions are put in place to ensure the safety of participants, staff and volunteers. Please also refer to additional guidance produced by sportscotland at: Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport. It is the responsibility of the relevant business owner / appointed COVID officer to ensure that full risk assessments, processes and mitigating actions are in place before opening to the public and to check for full compliance with Scottish Government localised measures and restrictions.
    • Track and Trace information must be collected.
    • Restrictions on the number of people who can take part in sport, exercise and recreation has been updated and is as follows:
      • A maximum of 2 people from up to 2 separate households (12 years or over) can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or recreation purposes if 2m physical distancing is maintained, before, during and after the activity. Participants should leave facilities immediately following exercise.
      • Group sport, exercise or training activity should not be undertaken by young people or adults over 12 years of age in a Level 4 area. Household rules apply.
  • Children under the age of 12 years can meet outdoors for sport, exercise or recreational and do not count towards the total number of people permitted to gather outdoors. Children under 12 years can therefore take part in non-contact group activity. In such circumstances the number of coaches involved must not exceed household limits i.e. maximum of two for any given session.
  • Toilet facilities. Fisheries may open indoor toilets for public use if they follow Scottish Government Opening Public Toilets Guidelines. Public toilets are defined as any toilets accessible to the public. The opening of toilets should be accompanied by local risk assessment, and control measures should be proactively monitored by operators.  All appropriate cleaning procedures and equipment/disinfectant should be provided as per Health Protection Scotland guidance.
  • Additional restrictions are in place for hospitality businesses with Level 4 areas subject to bar and café closures. Sports facility operators providing catering or bar services should refer to Scottish Government guidance for applicable guidance including takeaway services.   Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance. 
  • Retail units operated by sports facility operators in Level 4 areas should follow Scottish Government Retail Sector Guidance.
  • Where a local outbreak has been reported, sports facility operators and deliverers should review their facility/operational risk assessment and consider if additional mitigating actions should be put in place to reduce risk. This may, for example, include; suspending activity, enhancing hygiene and physical distancing measures or introducing additional activity restrictions.
  • Be aware that the Scottish Government may update or change Levels and restrictions at any time, including the local areas subject to them. Therefore COVID officers should regularly check Scottish Government advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks and measures at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local advice and measures
  •  Coaches should not deliver a session to more than one other person if aged 12 years or older at any given time.
  • Travelling from other parts of the UK to fish in Scotland is not allowed under current rules in Scotland.


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