Coronavirus & boating update, 7 May 2020
I’m getting in touch to give you an update on the Boat Safety Scheme – you’ll find this below.
With a long weekend ahead, and fine weather forecasted, please remember that the Government’s instruction to stay at home is still in force. The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement on any changes to the lockdown on Sunday (10 May). Until then you should follow all of the advice on our FAQs webpage.
Like many boaters, we are eager to see boating activity resume as soon as it is safe to do so and we are working on plans to this effect. But, while we appreciate that it’s frustrating for the many thousands of leisure boaters who have been unable to visit their boats, the Government has been very clear in its advice to stay at home for all but essential trips, to protect the NHS and save lives.
Additionally, it explicitly issued advice for people planning to visit second homes or holiday premises. which said ‘Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays. People must remain in their primary residence…’
We will update our advice in light of any change, on Sunday, to the Government’s guidance and will be in touch once we have, so please keep an eye on your inbox.
You’ll also find news, below, on our recently launched Waterway Charities Appeal and a reminder to take part in a survey about your boating intentions once the lockdown restrictions are eased.
Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) update
It is our firm intention to re-start BSS examinations as soon as possible, and we will be reviewing the position in light of the Government announcements about the next phase of the lockdown, expected on Sunday 10 May.
In the meantime, we have agreed with participating Navigation Authorities to further extend the current waiver on boat safety scheme examinations. As BSS examinations have been suspended since 23 March, there is now a considerable backlog of boats needing to renew their certificates; and in recognition of this, the waiver will now be extended until 31st July 2020 to provide all boaters awaiting their examinations with sufficient time to arrange this, once restrictions are eased.
We strongly urge those who can to book their examinations for as soon as their circumstances allow, to ensure that our examiners can resume working once it is safe to do, to start to address the backlog of examinations, and keep the waterways safe for all to enjoy.
Waterway Charities Appeal
We have launched a fundraising appeal to help support the dozens of small waterway-based charities across our network which have been adversely impacted by the impacts of coronavirus. More information about the appeal can be found on our website.
A survey about your boating plans
As the Government prepares to announce how it intends to slowly bring the country out of lockdown, we’re starting to get ready for when boat movement is once again permitted.
For boaters without a home mooring, the requirement to move every 14 days will resume once it is safe to do so (following government advice) - but if you are a leisure boater with a mooring, please answer a few questions to help us understand what your plans are for boating after the lockdown. We did send a separate email about the survey so, if you haven’t yet taken part, you’ll find the survey here – it’ll only take a couple of minutes to complete.
Best wishes, stay safe,
Boating communications manager,
Canal & River Trust