From now on, in line with eased coronavirus restrictions, anglers will be allowed to go fishing subject to social distancing restrictions - i.e. keeping 2m apart and in gatherings of no more than two people.
The Environment Agency will be in touch with all licensed anglers for whom they have contact details, confirming this updated information and and directing people to both the relevant Government guidance and the Angling Trust Covid support hub for more specific advice on angling under these restrictions. (It is worth noting that the Angling Trust recommend anglers keep 15m apart at all times).
For those who own and use boats on public waterways, the Environment Agency has begun undertaking inspections and maintenance to river channels and structures to ensure they are safe for the return of boat use. In light of the Prime Minister's announcement, lifting restrictions on spending time outdoors and allowing car travel to outdoor spaces irrespective of distance from Wednesday, boat owners can now visit their boats to ensure they are well maintained, registered and ready for use once restrictions are lifted. Updated guidance on the resumption of leisure boating will be provided in the future, as and when it is safe to do so.
Leisure Boating Update
The Environment Agency have announced plans to allow leisure boating to resume from June 1st, in line with eased lockdown restrictions, and provided that the Governmental tests of safety and virus suppression are met.
In preparation for this resumption of leisure boating, the EA are carrying out a thorough (reach-by-reach) inspection of waterways and beginning to issue safety advice to protect river users. They have requested that all boaters be extra vigilant of potential hazards, given that waterways have not been in use or inspected as usual for a significant period during lockdown. Hazard markings, signage and safety advice will be in place by June 1st.