The British Diving Safety Group COVID-19 team met virtually this week to discuss the new Government restrictions for England.
BDSG Guidance for diving in England
These guidelines are subject to change, so please refer to the Government website for the latest guidance.
• Stay at home, except for specific purposes
• Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes
• Close certain businesses and venues
These new measures will reduce the growth rate of the virus, which will:
• Prevent the NHS from being overwhelmed
• Ensure schools, colleges and universities can stay open
• Ensure that as many people as possible can continue to work
A spokesman for the BDSG confirmed:
“The Government Guidelines state ‘you may spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally where possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary.’ ”
This could include travelling to a public beach, where it may be possible to shore dive with one other person. It will be very difficult to carry out training under the current guidelines, but it is not explicitly banned. Anyone carrying out commercial training will need to ensure they comply with the COVID-19 guidance and the HSE Diving at Work regulations. If you are going to dive, be cautious, be safe – make responsible decisions and consider the implications of your actions.”
Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety stated:
“No one heads to the coast or out on the water with the mindset of needing to be rescued, yet we undertake thousands of rescues each year. Our volunteer lifeboat crews have continued to operate throughout the pandemic and remain on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies. But anyone going on or in the water must understand the risks and take the necessary steps to keep themselves as safe as possible.
During the pandemic, we must all take reasonable precautions to reduce the demands on RNLI and independent lifeboat crews, HM Coastguard, and other emergency services. In an emergency though, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
The BDSG is unable to provide tailored advice that covers everyone’s
individual diving plans.