Lockdown Rules in England

Are we now allowing SOTA activations in England provided activators walk or cycle to the summit from their home?


I would expect the G AM to comment on this when he notionally gets home from work later today.

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This is the link to the latest guidance, updated 10th March.

I’m not offering an opinion but in summary it says you can visit the countryside but must stay in your local area - which isn’t defined. It does say public transport or cars can be used for “short trips”. The time outside your house should be minimised.

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Au contraire! :wink:

Anyway it says “Minimise the amount of time you spend outside your home.” which neatly suggests to me you can walk up a hill and walk back down but cannot spend time fannying about playing radio at the top of said hill.



The guidance states you can be outdoors for recreation and a picnic.

I would have expected SOTA to be permmited… as you sip your Pimm’s during the picnic.


I thin I would agree. A picnic implies staying in one place for a period of time. So pack your butties and thermos with your rig!


Clearly having a picnic is OK and by definition so is sitting on a summit. It is also clear that you can travel to a public open space and forests. So that must include almost all UK summits. If it were not so, it would lead (in theory) to the ridiculous situation where the police, were they to be on the top of G/LD-003 for example, dishing out fines for those who are just sitting or standing around, but not those who are having a ‘picnic’ - or those operating a radio, flying a glider or so on.

As I said its theoretical as I’m not sure our police are likely to be patrolling summits !!

As others have said it is the issue of not going “outside your local area” which is mentioned twice that has the potential for confusion… At the moment (?) it is, or was defined as;- “Within your village, town or part of a city”. If that is still the definition of local then unless you happen to live in a village or city with a summit you can’t travel elsewhere. (From memory I think this may only apply to Ballater and parts of Edinburgh near enough to Arthur’s seat), in Scotland)

If the definition of local, has now changed from “your village, town, or part of city”, then Its the police who have the unenviable job of deciding what is meant by ‘local’.

I’m finding it all quite depressing to be honest.

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I’d like to note here that I did finally receive a reply from the UK government Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in respect of whether or not SOTA counts as a sport in the same sense that apparently angling does. I am deeply dissatisfied with their response. For starters they were too late, the restrictions having already been relaxed in G. Furthermore, they completely missed the point, simply referring me to the Web site of the British Mountaineering Club. So yes, climbing is exercise. Duh. Absolutely hopeless.

In respect of the recent loosening of the rules in G I would urge people to exercise sensible judgement. The local-travel-only restriction has not changed, so if you do not have a local summit you are still out of luck. Several of the people the MT had to speak to about Covid rules had travelled beyond what we considered local. These would still warrant a talking-to now.

If you are in the fortunate position of having a local summit my feeling is that setting up for a marathon multi-band activation would be hard to justify against the “minimize time away from home” message, as noted by Andy.

I was hoping to do my local summit, G/SP-001, this weekend. Probably the weather is going to be too nasty, but if I were to go it would be for a quick single-band activation. Probably 2m only as I’ve slumped into too severe a lack of fitness over the lock-downs to be able to face dragging the full HF kit up there!

Note also that First Minister Drakeford has just announced forthcoming changes to the rules in GW, which might facilitate greater activity there.

But over to the respective AMs for their analysis…

I see you’re replying Jimmy. Please may your dad walk from home to G/SP-004 or G/SP-015 with his handheld next week?


Just a quick response while I am on my lunch break. Although recreation is allowed once again, the Stay at Home order is still in place and will be until the 29th March and as a result of this, travelling restrictions remain the same. Due to this, I would say that SOTA activations are allowed provided that you are able to walk to the summit from your house. From the 29th March, I understand that travelling restrictions will still be in place, but eased slightly meaning that by then it could be possible to drive to your local SOTA summit.

Jimmy M0HGY
G - Association Manager


Can I cycle there too?


Depends? As you are a keen cyclist your definition of local and A.N. Other’s definition may be vastly different! Personally, local means anything in 5 mile radius to my home.

However, it would be much easier to define what is local by saying “Anything you can reach on a SpaceHopper is considered local to you.” :slight_smile:

The greatest distance travelled on a space hopper in 24 hours is 16 km (9.94 miles) and was achieved by Martin Mienczakowski (UK), in Bristol, UK, on 31 October 2015. Just sayin’…


I’m not surprised there was a response to this under an hour!

The weather this weekend doesn’t look like it is going to comply with a long running activation. My plan is to activate Claife Heights at some point before the end of the month which is a walk-from-home summit for me. Obviously I am lucky having several summits within a very short travelling distance from Windermere, but I won’t be taking the anvil at any point.

I have the week off when restrictions are eased and will still work through my to-do summit list this year by working from Windermere outwards, where that makes sense.

Now we need to pick a good weekend for the next SOTA LD weekend, thinking maybe we can start sensibly planning for one in the autumn :grinning:
Regards, Mark. M0NOM

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Given that picnics are allowed, I might take a cocktail sausage up scafell pike and call
CQ SOTA…CQ Sausages On The Air


I think the discussion here seems to point to the same conclusion that I ended up at.

Technically SOTA is allowed, as ‘recreation’ is now permitted, but I guess we need to have MT clarification that they are happy for SOTA to re-start in England (and other UK places as rules allow).

I have summits which are probably classed as ‘local’, however I have a personal challenge in the planning stages which prevents me from scoring a certain amount of points. I’m hopeful that my first post lock down activation will be Pen Y Ghent G/NP-010, but that will involve a half hour drive from my QTH.

On my last look at the Covid rules, it appeared as though wider travel is to be permitted again from 29th March, although most overnight stays will still be prohibited. So day trips for SOTA should be fine.


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I think the G AM’s interpretation of the current national restrictions and application to the context of SOTA appears to be accurate.

That looks correct as regards the situation up to the next review.


I’m going to assume cycling to the summit is fine too, and well within the intention of current restrictions.

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I’d say cycling is allowed to your local SOTA summit if you can cycle there from your house. Please note that the current travelling restrictions for England are limited to travelling within your local area which means either travelling within your own town that you live in, your own village that you live in or your own part of the city that you live in.

Jimmy M0HGY
G - Association Manager

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Guess walking from a hotel to a local summit should be fine in G region, any restrictions for this in GM region?

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