The NCMD is aware that Scottish Government guidance on metal detecting has been causing confusion and until now, it has never been clear if our activity is regarded as an organised outdoor sporting event/activity.
The NCMD wrote to the Scottish government seeking clarification of their guidance on permitted numbers for metal detecting and a reply was received from Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work & Culture which included the following statement:
‘The guidance states that outdoor sporting events or activities involving more than 30 people should not take place at this time unless following Scottish Governing Body of sport guidance or directly approved by Scottish Government. Therefore any metal detecting societies organising events should follow this guidance. Event organisers should ensure that they have completed risk assessments ensuring participants remain dispersed and do not congregate n certain areas (such as toilets, entry/exit and refreshment points) which would make physical distancing difficult.’
This means that club digs can be resumed provided the number of attendees is limited to 30 and organisers ensure that a risk assessment is carried out, and everyone adheres to social distancing and hygienerequirements.
As you will be aware, a 5-level system of local measures is now in place in Scotland and travel restrictions have been introduced for the various local authorities’ levels. Members can continue to carry out metal detecting at all levels. However, we would highlight the changes to the travel guidance at levels 3 and 4 which applies to both to individuals and organised group activities. The Scottish Government is asking people in areas at level 3 and 4 to stay within their own local authority area with provision to move beyond your local area only if your detecting session/organised dig starts and ends inside your own area.
Please however bear in mind the public health aspect and think very carefully before you decide to go detecting on your own or organise a dig given that the government would prefer everyone to stay at home and travel only for essential reasons.