BEF update: further lockdown easing from 17th May across the UK

Today heralds a number of changes across the United Kingdom as lockdown continues to ease across England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Vaccination rates continue at pace while case numbers are on the decline, but government leaders continue to urge caution as we begin to mix in greater numbers and in indoor spaces.

The changes in each country are as follows:


From Monday, the country will enter Step three of the government’s lockdown roadmap which will facilitate the following:

  • Gatherings permitted indoors of up to six people or two households – children of any age count in these numbers.
  • Organised sport and physical activity can take place indoors with no limit on numbers but within NGB guidance in place. Sport England recommends allowing 100sq ft per person (10ft x 10ft space) to provide a maximum capacity. In equestrian arena terms, this would permit up to 114 people in a 20 x 60 metre indoor school.
  • Up to 30 people can gather outdoors, while organised sport can take place in any numbers, subject to sport specific guidance.
  • Overnight stays are permitted, including hotels, hostels, B&Bs and private homes but must be used within the number limits of up to six people or two households. This includes horseboxes.
  • Indoor hospitality is now permitted so pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants can provide table service to groups of up to six or two households.
  • Spectators permitted at sporting events but within social distancing and gathering limits – no one should gather in groups of  more than 30 outdoors/six people or two households indoors within any limits.  Indoors there’s no set limit on total numbers but restrictions must be aligned with ventilation rates as per venue – but no more than 1,000 indoors at any venue. Spectators at equestrian shows are down to organisers’ discretion in line with their member body, and a ticketing procedure and full covid protocols should be in place.
  • Travel abroad permitted under the traffic light system with green list countries not requiring quarantine on return.
  • Competitors at British Dressage and British Showjumping competitions in England will now be permitted to bring a group of six (including rider, groom, owner, family, etc.) to shows. They must stay in their ‘bubble’ and not mix with others. British Eventing competitions will be allowing a rider plus four supporters.