On the 16th March, the UK government advised that everyone in the UK should now avoid “non-essential” travel and contact with others to fight coronavirus. Whilst it has not issued any ban on public gatherings of any size either indoors or outdoors at this stage, the advice is to avoid non-essential contact with others, including going to sporting events, pubs, clubs, theatres and social venues.
After further reviewing the guidance provided, CANI has cancelled most events whilst this guidance is in place.
Clubs are advised to consider if and how they are able to run activities which adhere to the government advice, specifically regarding travel and social distancing recommendations. For some clubs and in some circumstances, club committees might assess that some activities can continue safely. However, the way that clubs operate and the facilities available to each club varies greatly which means that some club activities will need to be suspended for the time being.
We must all act in the interests of protecting the health and well-being of paddlers, officials, coaches, volunteers, supporters and the wider paddling community. This is also aligned with actions taken by the national associations in Wales, Scotland and England, and is similar to action taken by other sports.
Where possible, paddlers at all levels are encouraged to maintain their own personal fitness and keep active during this time, while following government guidelines about safe distance and safe exercise environments. The government advice on hand washing and taking steps to avoid coming into contact with the virus remain key.
CANI will continue to review and monitor government advice, and provide detailed updates on the impact to our sport in the coming weeks. We appreciate that the current measures will undoubtedly place our member clubs in a difficult situation and we are working with Sport NI and other organisations on the best way to help alleviate this. We will update you as plans evolve.
Social distancing and advice
Social distancing measures (such as not spending more than 15 minutes and not being within a 2-metre distance when talking to someone) are now advised not only if we test positive or have symptoms, but in day-to-day life. As well as current travel advice, the current UK government is advising anyone with a “new, continuous” cough or high temperature and those they live with need to self-isolate for 14 days.
We should all take sensible steps to reduce the risk of picking up infections. This is particularly applicable to anyone with a higher risk from viruses such as cold or flu. Click here for NHS advice on infection control – it is summarised below:
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of coronavirus
- use phone, online services, or apps to contact your GP surgery or other NHS services