In response to a rapid rise in infections attributed to the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 the Prime Minister announced the introduction of a new Local Alert Level Tier 4 (Stay at Home) on December 19th 2020.
The next UK Government review of Tiers on December 30th moved the whole of the North East from Tier 3 (Very High Alert) to Tier 4 (Stay at Home), along with much of the rest of England including parts of the North West, Cumbria moving from Tier 2 to Tier 4. Yorkshire remains in Tier 3. The changes take effect from December 31st. Tiers are reviewed every 2 weeks.
British Rowing responded by issuing Version 9 of its Covid-19 Guidance on December 23rd.
Under the Government and British Rowing guidance clubs are required to implement further restrictions on rowing activities within Tier 4 areas. No indoor activity is allowed, and, for adults, only single sculling or single household crews, or bubbles consisting of 2 people from different households can row for personal exercise. Those wishing to double are asked to form a ‘double bubble’ and only row with the same person. There is however special dispensation for juniors that allows crew rowing. No competitions can take place in a Tier 4 area.
As a result DARC’s Rowing & Coaching Committee has updated its guidance document for members and has drawn up revised water timetables to take effect from January 2021. Rowing slots should continue to be booked using Google Sheets and boats should be booked via the Booking Portal.
Of the forthcoming competitions in the Northern region Tyne United New Years Head on January 23rd has been cancelled and Lakeland Rowing Club has indicated that because of Covid-19 it does not expect to hold Derwentwater Head as planned on March 6th.
On a more optimistic note we can look forward to the roll out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.