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Welsh Passport fisheries to open to locals

Wales’ slight easing of lockdown restrictions has meant that, as in Scotland, the message for fishermen is to “stay local”, ie, fish within a recommended five-mile travel limit, for the next three weeks. This has meant that the Wye & Usk Foundation (WUF) Passport fisheries are now resuming bookings for Welsh anglers from today (June 2) by telephone only (no online bookings). This is only on participating Welsh fisheries, where social distancing is possible, and limited only to those anglers that live locally to a beat.

Passport beats in England opened on May 12, but those in Wales remained closed. The First Minister urged those living in England not to come to Wales yet, which means those residing in England should not cross the border to fish. He also advised people to use common-sense and their own judgement in defining “local.” To this end, every Passport customer will be asked whether they are confident that if stopped, the police will be satisfied that their journey fits within the current Welsh Government guidelines.

WUF stress that some Welsh Passport beats will remain closed for the time being, specifically those whose owners have requested they do so or where social distancing is difficult. In addition, it expects some clubs will want to reopen just for their local members in the short term.

WUF says that once restrictions on movement are lifted in Wales, it will reopen bookings for all anglers on Welsh fisheries, where social distancing is possible. The final phase will, of course, be a full opening of all fisheries. The Welsh easing focused primarily on movement, especially with regards to seeing people from different households. These local openings are part of a phased reopening of Welsh Passport fisheries to fit alongside Welsh Government policy.

WUF point out that extra conditions apply to local angler bookings:
• Anglers should take every precaution when visiting a fishery to protect themselves and others from the spread of Covid-19. This includes staying more than two metres away from anyone else and washing their hands thoroughly when they return home.
• Owners always retain the right to close their fisheries with immediate effect.
• If the restrictions are changed by the Welsh Government, the Passport could close again immediately with all outstanding bookings for the restricted period cancelled and refunded.

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