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Updated 7th January 2021

From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a Temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Some islands will remain at Level 3.

Our updated guidance covers the essentials of the current restrictions as they affect boating in Local Authority areas in Level 3 and those within Temporary Lockdown. It should be read in conjunction with the most recent full guidance from RYA Scotland issued on 3 December 2020 noting specifically that Temporary Lockdown supersedes all Level 4 information.

The information within our guidance is tailored towards RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres as well as individual members and the wider boating community across Scotland and is designed to aid your decision-making process and planning, not replace it.

It is still possible to go boating as a form of exercise, following the outdoor gathering rules, but we remind everyone that that we are in the grip of a pandemic that has become significantly worse in recent weeks. The overriding message for Scotland’s boating community is to ‘Stay at Home’ wherever possible and we must all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus.

Travel is severely restricted by law and you may only travel to your boat if it is kept in the same local authority area you live in.

Subject to a full risk assessment, facility providers such as Clubs, Training Centres, Marinas and Boatyards may open to allow access for boat owners but will each make their own decisions on whether or not they open their doors or gates to people in the locality. We encourage boat owners to utilise the services of staff at their storage facility if at all possible, in an effort to avoid making a journey, to respect that facility providers may not be able to open and advise owners to contact facility providers before travelling to confirm access.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area within which you are able to get to your boat, please consider if you can help out someone else who cannot travel, by checking their boat for them.

Importantly in this lockdown, you may travel within your local authority area to go boating as your form of exercise or for essential maintenance on your boat. For the time being essential maintenance is work which if not undertaken would cause failure or become an imminent safety issue and we suggest examples in our updated guidance. Travel for essential maintenance should not be used as a pretext to spend the day onboard ‘pottering’ or for a weekend away. You should not stay longer than the length of time required to undertake essential maintenance.

To check what level of measures apply in your area or venue where you intend to participate in activity, please check the postcode on the Government webpage. You should be prepared for restrictions to change at short notice and this may result in activity being adapted, postponed or cancelled.

If you have any queries about this most recent guidance please do get in touch with the RYA Scotland Team.

RYA Guiding Principles – applying across Scotland and other Home Countries

These are the RYA and RYA Scotland’s guiding principles that will underpin all guidance across the boating community. We would encourage decision makers to use these principles to inform their own decisions during the Covid-19 period.

  1. We will always follow Government advice – Scottish Government
  • The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on frontline services. We have a collective and individual role to play by following the Government guidelines.
  1. We will, as a boating community, take a considerate and conservative approach
  • Considerate of others be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and local communities. Do not place unnecessary extra strain on the RNLI and emergency services
  • Conservative of risk: help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to your boating.

The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on frontline services. We have a collective and individual role to play by following the Government guidelines.

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland.

  • Face covering
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre distance from other people
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 10 days and household members also for 10 days. No one who is self-isolating should attend a sports facility or activity.