RTC have been receiving a number of enquiries about the use of boats on the river as the lockdown eases. Fisheries Management Scotland have been working closely with Scottish Government on guidance relating to COVID-19 and they have recently received helpful clarification on this issue.
To date the 2 metre physical distancing rule has meant that fishing from boats has not been possible in scenarios where both a boatman and an angler are within a boat. Following discussions with Scottish Government, FMS have confirmed that the Transport Scotland advice which allows a reduced physical distance measure of 1 metre under certain circumstances may apply to boats used in angling. This is a welcome development which broadly speaking brings that part of the Tweed district which lies in Scotland in line with England where the 1 metre with precautions guidance has been in place since 3rd July.
Please note that for this exception to apply, appropriate mitigation measures would require to have been put in place by owners/operators of a fishery following a suitable risk assessment.
FMS will be updating their angling guidance to reflect this change as soon as possible, but wanted to circulate this information quickly so that measures for boat fishing can be developed and implemented as appropriate.