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Tweet Wednesday 6th January 2021

New Stay at Home guidance issued for national lockdown in England

The government has issued new guidance for the national lockdown in England, which comes into force on Tuesday 5 January.

The guidance states that:

  • Outdoor exercise is still permitted but should be limited to once per day.
  • You can exercise in a public outdoor place:
    • by yourself.
    • with the people you live with.
    • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one).
    • in a childcare bubble where providing childcare.
    • or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
  • Outdoor exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
  • All outdoor sports clubs, centres, venues and facilities will close, alongside indoor facilities.
  • Organised outdoor sport for disabled people is allowed to continue, and we will provide further detail on this once we have information from the Government.

All organised orienteering activities, including events, competitions, leagues and coaching, are therefore suspended with immediate effect (except for orienteering for disabled people, on which we will provide further information in due course).


POCs and VOCs can still be used for individual exercise. Courses should be registered with British Orienteering as activities to provide insurance cover for the club and planner. They must not be used for competitions or leagues.

We would recommend that you add any courses on to the British Orienteering POC portal via your club POC Manager or contact

The full national lockdown: stay at home guidelines are available on the UK government website.

Guidance for orienteering clubs

Up to date support and guidance for UK orienteering clubs is available via our COVID page.

Tweet Friday 18th December 2020

Update: Suspension of competitions and activities in Wales from 20 December 2020

The First Minister has today announced that Tier 4 restrictions have been brought forward to the 20 December 2020.

However, the guidance that the Welsh Executive has published is clear that people who live in Tier 4 areas must not travel out of their Tier 4 area other than for legally permitted reasons, and that people who live in Tier 4 areas must not leave or be outside of their home except where they have a specific purpose or ‘reasonable excuse’.

For those living in a Tier 4 area, unlimited outdoor exercise is still permitted, including in parks and the countryside. Exercise must be alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person. Exercise should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your Tier 4 area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).

Orienteers are obviously required to comply with the new restrictions and with other government guidance.

British Orienteering will the guidance as further details of the new restrictions become available.

Tweet Wednesday 20th January 2021

First Aid extension

British Orienteering wants to reassure members who may have concerns about licensing, returning to coaching and instructing when the current restrictions are lifted.

We recognise that these are extraordinary circumstances and it is important that you know that British Orienteering will work with each of you to make sure that you can continue to deliver great sessions and competitions. We value your continuing support and we will support you.

Due to the current Covid-19 lockdown in the UK, we have made some temporary changes to what is required to become or remain a licensed coach or be the recognised First Aider at an event.

Can I do a first aid course?

The answer is still technically ‘Yes,’ where circumstances allow. Theoretically, a private course could still be run with mitigation measures in place if there was a specific and critical need. The continuing ability to provide essential training such as first aid is seen as a priority by government agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

First aid providers have resumed first aid training and assessment. If your first aid qualification is out of date, it is our advice to book onto a course as soon as possible. Although practical training is recommended to be assessed face to face, British Orienteering supports online refresher training.

However, we are aware that due to periods of lockdown, there remains a backlog or limited availability.

HSE Guidance

First Aiders should take account of the specific guidance on giving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from the Resuscitation Council UK.

If first aiders are unable to access annual refresher training face to face during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, HSE supports the use of online refresher training to keep their skills up to date.

HSE still strongly recommends that the practical elements of actual First Aid at Work (FAW) , Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) and requalification courses are delivered face-to-face, so that competency of the student can be properly assessed.

First aid certificate extensions

First Aid at Work (FAW) and Emergency First aid at Work (EFAW) certificates requalification

FAW or EFAW certificates that expired after 16 March 2020 can remain valid until 31 October 2020 or six months from date of expiry, whichever is later. All requalification training for these certificates should be completed by 31 March 2021 (next review date by HSE is 29 January 2021).

For those with the Outdoor First Aid certificate, British Orienteering will also apply the same timelines outlined above.

Licensed Coaches

If your First Aid Certificate has expired on or after 16 March 2020, you will be insured to continue to deliver coaching activities until 31 March 2021 providing you have completed the Educare online module – see below or similar programme approved by British Orienteering.

First Aid at Competitions

When the restrictions are lifted and competitions allowed, First Aid certificates that have expired on or after 16 March 2020 will remain valid until 31 March 2021 providing you have completed the Educare online module – see below or similar programme approved by British Orienteering.

It is important for clubs to note that when organising an orienteering activity/event, club officials are confident that they can provide appropriate first aid coverage and designated First Aiders work within their most recent level of qualification.

Educare online First Aid module

British Orienteering is able to provide an online first aid module for British Orienteering licensed coaches whose first aid certificate has expire since 16 March 2020 plus one other member per club, whose first aid expired after 16 March 2020 and has been unable to secure a place on a course line with HSE requirements. On completion, this module would only provide an extension to 31 March 2021 subject to further review.

There are limited places available, to secure one, contact Peter Brooke on


The position is obviously fluid and we will further amend these guidelines as and when required. However, they represent the minimum position, licensing requirements will not become more onerous when lockdown restrictions ease.

This document will be reviewed following the next HSE review which is due on 29 January 2021.

For further details and additional guidance for the safety of the First Aider at an event, please read the document below. 


First Aid update
Tweet Monday 12th October 2020

COVID-Secure Orienteering Update 12 October 2020

Earlier today the Prime Minister announced a series of new measures to further control the spread of the virus, with new restrictions.

We understand that some measures could have an impact on orienteering in some areas/regions.

However, we will review the detailed Government guidance as it emerges and will make any necessary changes to the British Orienteering guidelines as soon as possible.

British Orienteering will also continue to work with SOA, WOA and NIOA to review the impact of the restrictions announced by the Scottish Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

We will issue a further update once the revised Government guidance for sport has become available. In the meantime, you can visit our COVID 19 Safe Orienteering webpage for further information.

With many areas of the UK being subject to different and rapidly changing restrictions, we urge all members to consider any restrictions in their own area before travelling to an event.

It is the responsibility of each member to ensure they are complying with the requirements.