British Orienteering has produced the latest Back to Orienteering Guidance for England.
With the current lockdown restrictions being eased across all areas of England as the country moves to Step 1 of the Government's roadmap later this month. This will mean that organised outdoor orienteering, including competitions and coaching, can resume in England from Monday 29 March 2021.
The Government has not yet produced detailed guidance for the restart of grassroots sport. However British Orienteering understands that the full guidance may not be available until nearer the restart date.
British Orienteering have therefore taken the decision to publish British Orienteering's draft guidance for the restart of events now, so that clubs can begin to make plans. There have been very few changes from the guidance that was in force before this lockdown began. However, this is being publishing with the caveat that the British Orienteering guidance may need to be revised when the Government guidance for sport is published, particularly if the Government guidance proves to be more restrictive than is currently expected.
British Orienteering's guidance reflects the Government's requirement that, from 29 March, everyone should continue to minimise travel wherever possible. Beyond saying that overnight stays are not allowed, the Government has not clarified what 'minimising travel' means in practice, and there are not currently any defined limits on travel distances or times. Along with other outdoor and adventure sports, we are waiting to see whether any further clarification on this is provided when the Government guidance for sport is published. If it is, then this guidance will be updated accordingly.
In any case, British Orienteering are clear that it will not require clubs or organisers to check how far participants have travelled. Ultimately it will be down to individual participants to satisfy themselves that their travel plans fall within the letter and the spirit of what the Government has asked us all to do.
When England moves to Step 2 of the roadmap, which will be on Monday 12 April at the earliest, overnight stays will be allowed. The expectation is that Government guidance on travel to be relaxed at this point, and a further update of the British Orienteering guidance published if required.
British Orienteering are also writing to the major landowners, including Forestry England, the National Trust, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, to find out their timetables for allowing orienteering competitions to resume on their land and whether they are intending to apply any additional constraints.
For all the latest guidance and support documents, visit our COVID webpage.
Further Event Updates
British Championships 2021
Organising for the various British Championships in the current climate is very difficult. All those involved in hosting the British Championships this year are working hard to find a way to stage their event in 2021. British Orienteering are providing information now to allow those who wish to take part in the British Championships to plan their diary and training schedule accordingly, but all dates for the 2021 British Championships are currently provisional. We are working with each of the organising teams to agree a cut-off date, at which point a decision about whether it is possible for the events to go ahead in accordance with the COVID-19 restriction across the various parts of the UK.
The British Middle Championships on Summerhouse Knott, in the Lake District, have been rescheduled to Saturday 5 June, as a result of the restrictions that will still be in place in May. The Northern Championships on High Dam have moved with the Middles and will now take place on Sunday 6 June.
The British Sprint Relay Championships & British Sprint Championships in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, have lost landowner permission for the original dates in June and have been rescheduled to Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 August.
The British Long Championships are currently being planned for Saturday 2 October 2021 at Braunton Burrows, in Devon. We had already agreed to cancel the British Relay Championships for 2021, but there are plans for a second individual event on Sunday 3 October on the same area.
The British Night Championships on Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham, have been provisionally rescheduled for Saturday 27 November. BOK is hoping to stage an event the next day, near Coleford, to make a weekend of orienteering in the South West.