Rowing is an important and historic part of the culture and traditions of the River Thames. During the Coronavirus lockdown many people who use the river for recreation, training and competition have been directly impacted. We all want to see usage of the river return to normal as soon as possible.
As part of the national effort, the government has called on us all to take individual responsibility for reducing the spread of Coronavirus by remaining at home, minimising travel, avoiding contact with others and allowing the NHS and our emergency services to focus on battling the virus. This battle is not yet won.
Announcements made on the 10 May 2020 have begun to set out this new phase of the national response to the pandemic, where we will see a gradual relaxing of certain restrictions. Even very small changes may have a significant effect on the propagation of the virus and so the government will monitor the situation closely. Currently there has been no change to the position of the TRRC, British Rowing, Environment Agency and Port of London Authority; there should be no recreational use of the river.
In response to these recent government announcements we are in discussion with the Port of London Authority, Environment Agency and British Rowing. Over the next few days we will work together to consider what responsible use of the river will look going forward through the next phases of the pandemic, reflecting all of the relevant guidance and legislation. Clubs will also be required to understand the full implications of both government and British Rowing guidance to ensure members can safely use the river.
On Tuesday 12thMay there will be meetings of the British Rowing Coronavirus Group, River Partners and Emergency Services and Thames Regional Rowing Council Executive. From these meetings we hope to be able to provide clubs with the tools to start the long process of returning to the river, focusing on the safety of all those involved.
We ask you to work with us to ensure that, when it is safe and permissible to do so, activity on the river returns in a coordinated way, maintaining the safety of all those who would want to make use of the river. Those involved in rowing on the river, must not only comply with the regulations and advice of British Rowing but also act responsibly, help limit the spread of the virus and minimise their impact on others.
Everyone wants to get back onto the water. The restrictions implemented are a vital part of a national effort to combat an unprecedented threat. The TRRC, alongside out partners and British Rowing, are committed to enabling rowing return to the river, and will update clubs and our website as soon as possible.