New UK-wide lockdown prompts a reminder to all members to stay home and stay safe, we will dive again another day.
As a direct result of continuing substantial increases in Covid-19 infection rates (in excess of 60,000 on Tuesday 5 January), linked to a new, fast-spreading variant of the virus, lockdown is in place in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In all countries, the advice is to stay at home and only leave for very limited purposes. Travel restrictions and guidance are also in place and all travel should be significantly limited and only for essential purposes.
All regions allow exercise outdoors, but most outdoor facilities are required to close and meeting or exercising with others is severely limited to one other person only (England, NI & Scotland) or only members of the same household (Wales). Travel should be kept local in all areas.
The STATUS document in Covid-19 Safe Diving has been updated with more detail.
We are sure all divers appreciate the very real importance of the lockdown measures in regaining control of the virus spread to keep everyone safe, save lives and minimise the demands on the NHS.
We would also take this opportunity to remind all divers of the potential long-term impacts of Covid-19 infection. There is continued uncertainty over the long-term effects of lung and other organ damage resulting from Covid-19 infection. Any diver who has had a Covid-19 infection, or positive test, should be checked for any lasting effects before returning to diving. The UK Diving Medical Committee (UK DMC) have guidance for divers on this subject.
Comment by NDO, Dai Atkins
These latest restrictions will be a further challenge for our sport and everyone who supports our activity, including swimming pools, inland sites, charter skippers and dive centres. BSAC recognises the physical and mental benefits of diving. We also consider the safety of all divers to be essential to their wellbeing and applaud the responsible behaviour exhibited by divers to date during this pandemic.
We encourage BSAC members and all divers to continue to act responsibly, follow government restrictions and take all necessary steps to keep yourself and others safe. With the ongoing rollout of the vaccines, combined with the latest lockdown measures, we hope everyone will be fit and well and able to resume diving as restrictions are eased as a result.
Meanwhile, BSAC will continue to work with all partners to ensure a safe return to activity as soon as possible, including updating guidance, training and support tools.
We hope everyone manages to stay safe and well and are able to prepare for a safe return to diving when the situation improves.
BSAC has released guidance to help members and the wider diving community prepare for a safe return to the water. Check it out.