Extract from British Marine Scotland

“We now enter the first phase of the easing of lockdown. Review of progress will continue on a 3 weekly basis.

The routemap sets out the steps to be taken but does not follow exact timescales.  Progress will be gradual and incremental and in response to control of the virus.

Remote and flexible working will remain the default position where possible for the first 3 phases but phase 1 will see the resumption of non-essential outdoor workplaces.  While not specifically mentioned in the guidance, British Marine interprets this to release the marine sector to restart outdoor operations in boatyards and marinas and of course, launching of boats. This is subject to the relevant new guidance on health and safety, social distancing and COVID 19 measures.

Non-essential indoor non-office-based workplaces may resume in phase 2 (factories, warehouses etc) and phase 3 will see the reopening of non-essential indoor office workplaces, again subject to relevant guidance on safe working procedures.  This means marina offices, receptions etc will not be able to re-open for some time and other measures will be required for customer liaison.

It is important to note restrictions on travel will remain in place. In phase 1, people will be permitted to travel short distances for outdoor exercise but are advised to stay within approx. 5 miles of their local communities.  Phase 1 provides for unrestricted outdoor exercise (adhering to distancing measures) and non-contact outdoor activities in local areas.  Assuming all forms of recreational boating are included in this, customers may return but will be limited by travel restrictions until phase 3. 

As the government does not permit people to leave their homes to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose, this suggests that staying overnight on a boat must not happen.

TYHA has provided guidance for marinas which is being updated regularly to reflect changing circumstances and British Marine is working with groups within the industry to prepare guidance for specific sectors.  The TYHA and British Marine guidance relates to the situation in England and the devolved administrations have differing responses to the coronavirus pandemic but much of the information in relation to safe working procedures is relevant across the UK.  Please do check against information relevant to Scotland.

In these rapidly changing times, please continue to check the guidance on the British Marine website regularly and remember the legal advice benefits available to members also.

And a reminder that British Marine would urge all boat owners to consider the following before they plan a trip to their boat:

  • Plan ahead – ensure the safety of those around you and try to avoid areas that may attract lots of people.
  • Check with your mooring provider before you travel.  Be aware that many facilities may not yet be able to open and this could affect services such as fuel and pump out stations.
  • Only use your boat if you can apply social distancing at all times, including when mooring your vessel to leave a safe distance from others.
  • Be aware of the impact on emergency services if you were to get into difficulties. Think about what action you will take if your boat breaks down – recovery services may not be operating.
  • Apply all normal sensible safety precautions and always wear a life jacket when on deck.British Marine and British Marine Scotland will continue to offer information and lobby for the sector as we progress through the coming stages towards a careful but welcome restart of our sector.
  • British Marine understands that inland navigation authorities and harbour authorities will also have to consider the Government’s latest guidance in respect of what activities will be permitted across all parts of the UK and how they themselves will return to operation.



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