COVID-19 ADVICE (latest)


19 Oct @ 8:00 am
31 Dec @ 5:00 pm

Circuit breaker lockdown (19th October)

A short, sharp “circuit breaker” or “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales at the end of this week to help regain control of coronavirus. This means that a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020.

What restrictions will be in place?

There are 5 main things:

  • people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes
  • people must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with
  • certain businesses and venues, including bars, restaurants and most shops must close
  • secondary schools will provide learning online only for the week after half-term, other than for children in years seven and eight. Primary schools and childcare settings will remain open.
  • face coverings continue to be mandatory in the indoor public spaces that remain open (subject to certain exemptions and exceptions), including on public transport and in taxis



When gatherings of up to 30 people are possible (not currently) and trials are a possibility

Our insurers require trials to comply with applicable Welsh Government Covid-19 regulations and guidance including completing a risk assessment and taking risk mitigation measures.

For other insurance details see link –

NWSDS’s primary concern, as always, is to safeguard the health and well-being of all organising committees, volunteers, local communities and participants. The following  guidance is provided with this aim in mind and to ensure that Health and Safety protocols and safeguards are in place.

These safeguards include (list is not exhaustive). See also the Welsh Government guidance ‘safe ways to operate’,

  • Requiring people not to attend a trial if they potentially have symptoms of coronavirus or have been exposed to a person who has tested positive.
  • Ensure that social distancing is maintained at all times (2m) between all persons on the trial field.
  • Ensure that the number of people on the trial field is managed so that it is limited to the maximum allowed i.e. up to 30 (list everyone for tracing purposes).
  • Up to 30 individuals in total at the gathering in one day. So, people coming and going as long as there is only 30 max. on the field at any one time is currently not approved as the gathering could then involve far in excess of 30 individuals.
  • Only one gathering should be held per day (but can have a morning and an afternoon session with the same people).
  • Keep a list of everyone involved in the gathering and their contact details should ‘test and trace’ be required.
  • Provide hand sanitiser and /or hand washing facilities (paper towels to be used) on the trial field that is readily accessible to all persons attending.
  • Provide hand sanitiser on the outside of toilet facilities to be used for door handles etc.
  • Ensure that if catering is provided that it is a takeaway service (no indoor facilities of any kind where persons may mix will be provided e.g. marquees).
  • Ensure that vehicle parking allows occupants to maintain social distancing.
  • Arrange for trial to be ‘pre-entry’ (unaccompanied competitors) and ensure that no more than 30 people in total gather on the field (including local committee etc.).
  • If the total allowed at a gathering is increased e.g. 100 and ‘on the field’ entries are taken this should happen behind a screen e.g. a car / caravan window and not taken inside any trailer or caravan.
  • Competitors may like to consider sharing their trialling opportunities so as as many people as possible get the chance to compete.
  • Ensure that no entry cards are used i.e. no exchanging / passing of cards. Judges to confirm name of competitor and dog before going to the post, maintaining 2m distance.
  • Ensure that if scores are posted that they are only shared by the judge by text / email i.e. no paper is used.
  • If a gate is needed to access the course it is sanitised after each use.
  • Ensure that no competitors touch or handle the post or any other equipment used on the course.
  • If a pen is to be used it should be open with any gate used only as funnel i.e. no rope  to be used / held by any competitor.
  • Competitors should not share any personal equipment e.g. crooks.
  • Letting out and exhaust pens should only be managed by the local committee observing social distancing and sanitation requirements.
  • Ensure that signage is provided stating the on-field regulations and that all persons on the field are responsible for following all the organiser’s requirements. If a person is considered to have breached any of the trial’s regulations and it is reported, the Society may consider taking disciplinary action.
  • Ensure that no spectators are invited to attend a trial.

A risk assessment template and posters are available on the NWSDS website.

Please note that ISDS have stated (22nd September) For avoidance of doubt, an open pen is acceptable of trials qualifying for National points from 1st October 2020, and until further notice. A chute is NOT an acceptable alternative. To avoid cross contamination during the COVID-19 pandemic, we suggest that organisers of Open trials for points use an open pen. Therefore removing the need for competitors to touch a rope or the end of a gate”.

AND have published an action plan (23rd September) which includes advice including the ‘sanctioning’ of trials.

ISDS COVID-19 Sheepdog Trial Action Plan 23rd Sept 2020


The Society appreciates that there could be many reasons including local community concerns why organisers may decide not to hold a planned trial. There is no expectation whatsoever that any trial should be held in 2021. It is absolutely down to each local committee to decide. The Society is particularly mindful of the need to ensure local community support and not to do anything that may prejudice any future event or could cause the Society to be brought into disrepute.