So many anglers are asking questions about when or where they can or can’t go fishing during the lockdown, so we’ve done our best to compile a summary of the guidance issued to date by the Irish Government and various authorities (some of this information still requires clarification from Government and we will update accordingly).
The 5-Phase ‘Roadmap for Reopening Society & Business’ plan, as published on May 1st, has clarified that recreational angling will be allowed again in a normal manner as of May 18th, i.e. you can go for as long as you want within your distance limit, whilst abiding by social distancing guidelines. Until then, angling will continue to be permitted as part of your daily exercise, meaning you can practice it for 1-1.5 hours per day within 2km of your home. This distance limit will increase to 5km from May 5th and increase to 20km from June 8th (see below).
Despite the relaxation of restrictions on angling and other recreational activities such as golf, angling will still be classed as n̲o̲n̲-̲e̲s̲s̲e̲n̲t̲i̲a̲l̲ ̲t̲r̲a̲v̲e̲l̲. As for all other non-essential travel, you will not be permitted to travel further than these distances to go fishing. If you don’t have fishing opportunities within the 5km or 20km distance of your home then you will, unfortunately, not be allowed to go fishing until July 20th at the earliest.
𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗧𝘂𝗲𝘀𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟱𝘁𝗵 – angling permitted as part of your ‘daily exercise’ (1-1.5 hours a day) within 5km of your home, following social distancing guidelines
𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟭𝟴𝘁𝗵 𝗠𝗮𝘆 – normal angling will again be allowed (no time restrictions) but only within 5km of your home, following social distancing guidelines
𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝟴𝘁𝗵 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 – angling allowed but only within 20km of your home, following social distancing guidelines
𝗙𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗠𝗼𝗻𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗝𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝘁𝗵 – angling allowed as normal, with no distance restrictions, following social distancing guidelines
Irish angling licence and permit sales have been suspended and Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has closed all state managed fisheries. Currently, all waters managed by the ESB and Waterways Ireland are also closed for recreational activities, including angling. Angling is also not permitted inside large parks or reserves. We await clarification as to when these venues will re-open but it may be from May 18th onwards.
𝗣𝗿𝗶𝘃𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 (classed as ‘outdoor public amenities’) appear to be permitted to reopen to customers from May 18th onwards, but customers must follow the distance-from-home guidelines relevant to them (cannot visit if outside your 5/20km limit) and owners must ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to. Reopening of Irish fisheries will likely be on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the owners so please contact them for clarification.
𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 are likely to be severely disrupted for the coming months and the latest guidance suggests that it could be July 20th onwards before competitive ‘sporting activities’ are allowed again (soccer, GAA, fishing etc.). We await further clarification on this.
𝗧𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗹𝗲 𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗽𝘀 (non-essential retail outlets) are likely to be allowed to reopen their doors to the general public as of Monday June 29th whilst following strict social distancing guidelines. Please support your local tackle shop if you can during these difficult times.
Please remember that, as with all COVID-19 guidance, these dates and guidelines as part of the Irish Government’s Roadmap plan are subject to review and change over the coming weeks and months. We will help clarify any guidance from Inland Fisheries Ireland or other relevant bodies in due course. Hopefully you can go fishing soon. Either way, stay safe.
The ‘Roadmap’ document can be read here: https://assets.gov.ie/73722/ffd17d70fbb64b498fd809dde548f411.pdf
The restrictions on fishing and other recreational activities in Northern Ireland are stricter to that of the Republic, with no angling permitted as part of ‘daily exercise’. All forms of angling are effectively not permitted under current restrictions in Northern Ireland, with rod licence sales suspended and with all waters falling under Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Loughs Agency and NI Water closed to angling. No specific plan similar to the Irish Government’s ‘Roadmap’ has been issued to date for the UK and NI. Please consult with the NI Direct, Loughs Agency, DAERA and the Angling Trust for up to date guidance and restrictions on recreational angling in UK and NI waters.