RDA UK have now approved wearing of face coverings during sessions when leading in specific circumstantes
We have updated our risk assessment to permit a volunteer wearing a face covering to lead a pony with rider. In Epsom RDA, if the volunteer is not a member of the riders’ household they MUST wear a suitable face covering.
Whilst it is not a requirement of the RDA UK guidance, Epsom RDA believes that it is prudent to ask that a risk assessment is undertaken (e.g. leading is necessary for safety of rider, pony selection considers maximising distance from rider along with other usual factors, face covering is adequate etc) and the rider/carer should confirm that they are satisfied with the risk mitigation measures.
The guidance also permits riders to wear a face covering – Epsom RDA position is that this is entirely optional (except potential close contact during mounting/dismounting), since given the position and height difference between rider and volunteer, the risk of transmission from rider to volunteer is lower than the other way round.
Sidewalkers must still be from a riders’ household since it is less than 1m distance. Mixing a volunteer from outside the household with a sidewalker from within a household would also breach the 1m+ rule. We have decided that we retain our view that riders with sidewalkers are not yet permitted.
Close contact <1m
Individuals are also now permitted to come into closer proximity than social distancing would normally allow with a disabled person from outside their household to support them to access sport and physical activity in England, Scotland and Wales.
· What specific reasons would we allow close contact for?
· What precautions should we take?
Overall risk level/Tier Update
At time of writing, Epsom and Ewell remains in Tier 3, but London Boroughs (including Elmbridge) have increased to Tier 2. The Tier 2 restrictions do not impact RDA operations – volunteers and riders may still come to the yard for RDA provided that everyone adheres to the Covid-secure working practices, however, it would seem reasonable to consider the tier level of the volunteer/rider home location in any individual risk assessments We would also like to encourage that people consider mask-wearing indoors, but we recognise that this would be difficult to mandate and sessions/individuals may use their own discretion. Social distancing must however be maintained.