After what has been described as ‘intense discussions with Government officials’ the Angling Trust – the representative body for fishing in England and Wales – has received confirmation that all forms of the sport will resume from March 29th.
Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said: “Following our ‘Fishing out of Lockdown’ submission to the Cabinet Office in February we have been pressing for the lifting of the restrictions placed upon angling through lockdown, in particular night fishing and match fishing, when the time is right.
“We made it clear to the Government that recreational fishing has provided a valuable lifeline for many thousands of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds throughout this pandemic. It has been conducted safely and responsibly with strong COVID-secure guidelines in place covering every aspect of our sport
“I’m pleased that the multiple benefits that angling delivers have again been acknowledged and that we can all look forward to a return to the angling opportunities we were able to enjoy last summer and autumn.”
In common with other outdoor sports, including golf, the Angling Trust is publishing initial guidelines to help clubs and fisheries prepare for a full return for angling at the end of the month. These guidelines will be revised once the regulations are published, but they include written confirmation from both the Cabinet Office and Defra. Further information will be published in due course on the Sport England website.
Angling Trust Head of Policy, Martin Salter, added: “The return of outdoor sports was fully expected from March 29th, but we had to make sure that the civil servants recognised that match fishing to the Angling Trust guidelines doesn’t constitute ‘a gathering’ and could resume safely.
“Night fishing was always going to be tricky ahead of the promised return of camping on April 12th, but I’m pleased that the distinction with ‘fishing into or through the night‘ has been recognised and that these anglers can now enjoy the Easter break. Likewise for sea anglers wanting to book a charter boat trip.”