The reason for the latest lockdown is obvious: it is to reduce the death rate from Covid 19. The first lockdown achieved its aim when the spread of the virus and the consequent death rate was stemmed. Unfortunately, not long after the breaks were taken off the virus started to spread again and this led to a second lockdown. We can only hope that the much talked about vaccine will soon become available and that even if it doesn’t eradicate the virus it will at least control its spread and significantly reduce the death rate.
All right-minded people try to obey the rules and regulations put in place by our government. However, when it comes to our hobby, detectorists have been mystified by one of the latest regulations; (see Guidance on searching for archaeological finds) . We can detect on public land but not on private land. What is the logic behind this? Surely, this is the wrong way round. Individuals detecting on private land might never come into contact with another human being. They would have telephoned or emailed a landowner and gained permission to search such and such a field; in doing so there is no face to face contact.
However, the latest regulation does not allow them to do this. Instead, they can detect on public land. Firstly, what is public land? It will include parks but I don’t know of any that permit metal detecting. What else? There are the grounds of buildings owned by town and city councils but, once again, I don’t know of any that allow detecting. And, even if parks and grounds did allow detecting it would mean that hobbyists would come close to or in contact with members of the general public. All in all, this doesn’t make sense.
After Lockdown ends
After the latest lockdown ends on 2nd December 2020 my understanding of the rules are:
Tier 1 and Tier 2
You can detect in a group of not more that 6 people on public and private land. You shouldn’t travel to a Tier 3 area to detect.
Detect on your own or with members of your support group. The position on whether you can detect on private land is to be clarified by the DCMS
Comparison to grass roots sports
Grass roots sports such as football and hockey will be allowed to resume playing matches after the current lockdown ends on 2 December. With permitted squad sizes of 15 plus officials, this means it will be permissible to have 33 people playing football on a football pitch, even in a Tier 3 area. The reason that this is allowed is because the governing bodies of these sports have agreed Covid protocols with the DCMS.
What do you think?
Please let me have your opinions and thoughts on the seemingly strange situation our hobby has been placed in.