COVID19 – restrictions, support, and restarting gliding information

Updated 5th January 2021

The COVID19 pandemic has resulted in restrictions and associated challenges. This webpage aims to collate and link to the relevant published detail as it becomes available.

As described in the Govt information below, please note that the Devolved Administrations have individual responsibility for public health guidance in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is important to ensure that gliding clubs and those participating in gliding throughout the UK follow the relevant public health guidance.

Government information

The BGA is following the Governments COVID19 guidance.

Govt websites are updated from time to time and may not always be aligned with the latest news.

Guidance for recreational GA is available here (updated 5th January 2021 to include guidance on the lock down in England)

General guidance re COVID19 is available here.

Guidance for volunteering (in England) is available here. (added 16 Nov 20)


The tier restriction that applies to an individual is the designated tier for their usual home address. In other words, if a persons usual home address is in a particular tier area then that tiers restrictions apply wherever the person happens to be. If the tier for the area the person is visiting is higher, the higher tier restrictions apply. For example, if a gliding club is in a higher tier than applies to a members home address, the higher tier restrictions apply to the member while they are at the club. NB: In tier 4, flight training for private pilots (i.e. training for leisure purposes) is not permitted as this is not considered a reasonable excuse for leaving home.

A helpful rule of thumb is that if public health tier restrictions allow you to travel to the airfield, flying is permitted subject to the DfT guidance for recreational GA.

The tier that applies to a particular area can be found here.

The details of what you can do under each of the tiers in England is available here.

The detailed guidance for gliding/flying under tiers 1-3 remains as published by the BGA and DfT, including wearing of face coverings when flying dual including instructing (detail under ‘Covid-safe club operations guidance’ below).

Covid-safe club operations guidance

The BGA is regularly engaging directly with club management teams by phone and email with support and guidance on club-related issues including grants and rates. Clubs that require specific guidance should in the first case contact the BGA office by email.

BGA Covid-safe club operations guidance can be viewed here. (updated 4th November 2020)

Risk assessment

While the BGA club operations guidance provides a COVID19 risk assessed protocol for clubs based on known hazards, it may be that clubs will choose to document their local assessment of risk. Here is an example.

Safety and recency information for pilots and instructors

Return to flying guidance is available here.

Returning to instructing guidance is available here.

The BGA publication Managing Flying Risk is available here.

The BGA currency barometer is available here.

The GASCo return to flying interactive briefing is available here.

BGA alleviations


The following apply to BGA pilot certificates and BGA instructor ratings

BGA instructor revalidation and renewal alleviations can be viewed here.

BGA instructor post course review (also known as completion course) alleviation can be viewed here.

BGA medical requirements temporary changes can be viewed here. (updated 16th November 2020)


Alleviations for BGA airworthiness support can be viewed here.

An alleviation for BGA aircraft weighing periodicity can be viewed here.

CAA pilot licence and medical validity exemptions

The CAA has temporarily exempted licence holders from certain licence privilege and medical requirements. Please see this BGA news item dated 1 Oct 20.

The CAA’s exemption permitting the use of the CAA Pilot Medical Declaration by those using SPL privileges is available here.

Aircraft – essential maintenance

Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in limited access to aircraft and maintenance facilities. Under the lockdown requirements in England, people must not leave home unless they have a reasonable excuse, eg the activity is essential. Essential maintenance – that is maintenance to prevent deterioration and failure – is permissible. Public health guidance must be followed when carrying out essential maintenance work, and discretion must be exercised by individuals involved in determining what is ‘essential’.


If the information you require is unavailable, please contact the BGA office by email.

Contact recognition apps

England and Wales – NHS COVID19 app

Scotland – test and protect

N Ireland – stop COVID