British Diving Safety Group Issues Statement For Diving in Lockdown, Round 2
The British Diving Safety Group (BDSG) has urged divers to be cautious if they choose to keep diving during the second round of lockdown restrictions imposed by the government. The announcement follows a virtual meeting of the BDSG Covid-19 safety team.
The government's new lockdown guidelines ask citizens to:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes
- Avoid meeting people you do not live with, except for specific purposes
- Close certain businesses and venues
In light of some uncertainty over how the new rules apply to scuba diving, the BDSG issued the following statement:
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
The BDSG is unable to provide tailored advice that covers everyone's individual diving plans.
Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Water Safety, said: '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 complete statement with links to individual guidelines from the governments of England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is available at www.bdsg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/BDSG-COVID-19-2020.11.05-Statement.pdf