In a statement sent out to members and published on its website, AT Chief Executive Jamie Cook said: "The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.
The statement added: "The DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) Sports Team confirmed the following: 'Fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors'. This has also been confirmed by DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) who said: 'Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling, fishing including sea fishing off private boats, and water sports can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.'"
Jamie Cooke added: "We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government's rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
"Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly on the Angling Trust website:
We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.