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Covid-19: Training and Pigeon Racing: UPDATED


Members should read all of the following statement, and encourage all other members to read the full statement and not rely on word of mouth.

Firstly I must stress that the document relates to England only. The devolved Governments have set out a different position in relation to restrictions.

The statement is based on the principles set out by the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday 10th May 2020 that outlined a shift from a ‘Stay at Home’ policy to a ‘Stay Alert’ Policy, and the publication of the Government’s 60 page COVID-19 recovery strategy, published at 2pm on 11th May 2020. This document can be found via www.gov.uk. Where relevant, extracts from the Government’s strategy have been copied and pasted, and are highlighted in italics.

Individual Loft Training

Individual loft Training will be permitted from Wednesday 13th May 2020. This is based on the following extract from the Government’s strategy documents:

‘People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household. When travelling to outdoor spaces, it is important that people respect the rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and do not travel to different parts of the UK where it would be inconsistent with guidance or regulations issued by the relevant devolved administration’.

Group Training

We are currently in Phase 1 of the Government strategy, and this allows individuals to meet up with one member from a different household, while adhering to the social distancing requirements of 2 metres. Therefore group training of 2 lofts is permitted. However, training in larger groups (more than two) is not permitted.

Additional Information

In no circumstances should fanciers from different lofts travel in the same vehicle.

While carrying out training, members should not be travelling into Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, all of which currently have different rules in place regarding travel.

Questions and Answers

• Why isn’t training allowed in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?

The devolved Governments in all three countries currently have a different approach relating to travel restrictions. However, we have and will continue to make contact with each devolved Government to discuss the possibility of training being authorised.

• When will racing commence?

It is impossible to provide an exact date, and members should not assume racing will start on any given date. Our best case scenario is that racing would commence the first weekend in June. However, for that to happen the following will need to be achieved:

Stage two of the Governments strategy would have to be implemented. This states:

To aid planning, the Government’s current aim is that the second step will be made no earlier than Monday 1 June, subject to these conditions being satisfied.

(Please refer to the Government’s strategy documents for details of the conditions.)

Phase two then outlines that IF such conditions are satisfied and stage 2 is implemented, the following will be allowed:

Permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact.

The RPRA has developed a race marking and clock striking protocol that will be refined to take into consideration the latest announcements and published as soon as possible.

In addition the General Licence for Gatherings (birds not people) does not, currently, allow gatherings indoors, and until this changes it would be difficult to facilitate race marking could be carried out. We are currently seeking clarification as to when this MAY change.

• Our Club HQ/Marking Station is in a pub or club?

Clubs and organisations are encouraged to source alternative/contingency venues to race mark and clock strike, and wherever possible share race marking venues and facilities with other clubs.

Where possible clubs are also encouraged to confirm with their existing HQ/Marking stations that they have permission to use the premises.

Ian Evans

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