DIVING NEWS

Return to diving in the UK

Picture: Clotho.

Scuba diving is permitted again in England from today (29 March), and guidance on a safe return to the water has been issued by the sport’s governing body, the British Sub-Aqua Club, as the latest phase of the UK government’s road-map comes into force.

Wales and Scotland have already eased their coronavirus restrictions slightly, with Northern Ireland following from 1 April.

In England people are now allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the rule of six, and outdoor sport facilities can reopen. The stay-at-home rule ends, although the government still requires people to stay local as much as possible and to maintain social distancing.

In Northern Ireland up to two households will be able to exercise together and outdoor sports activities will be possible from Thursday. From a provisional date of 12 April affiliated sports club training will be allowed for groups of up to 15.

In Scotland diving has been allowed for groups of up to 15 since 12 March, with guidance to stay as close to home as possible. In Wales the rules were relaxed on 27 March to allow travel within the country, with six people from two households able to meet outdoors to socialise and outdoor sports facilities able to reopen. However, at present organised sports activities are allowed only for under-18s.

Scuba diving is classified as a non-contact organised outdoor sport, and where it’s deemed possible to restart such activities they have to be supervised. It’s the responsibility of whoever organises the diving or diver training to ensure Covid-safety compliance as well as safe diving procedures, says BSAC.

29 March 2021

The dive manager or training organiser is expected to prepare a written risk assessment; communicate its contents and mitigation measures to all participants; liaise with site-managers, skippers or dive-centres about integrating with their own Covid-19 safety measures; actively ensure Covid-19 safe compliance on the day; and maintain records to comply with track-and-trace procedures.

BSAC guidance on Covid-safe diving procedures can be found here.