Related documents

Updated 9th October 2020

FAQ’s in response to Scottish Government Temporary Additional Restrictions To Stop Covid-19 Spread

10th October 2020

In order to stop the spread of Covid 19 the Scottish Government have implemented new guidance which differentiates between five NHS Health Boards in the Central Belt and the rest of Scotland. The Central Belt comprises of Lothian, Lanarkshire, Forth Valley, Ayrshire & Arran and Greater Glasgow & Clyde Health Boards.

These notes and advice sit alongside our existing guidance for general boating activities and Clubs and Centre Guidance and in some instances supersede these documents temporarily. The following information aims to address the implications on boating activity of the temporary restrictions that come into effect for 16 days from the 10th until the 26th October 2020.

Our guiding principles remain:

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 Scottish Government guidelines.

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 key information from sportscotland and the Scottish Government affecting our activities for the temporary additional restrictions is;

  1. Travel to or from an area with Scottish Government local measures or restrictions in place to undertake sport or physical activity should where possible be avoided.
  2. People living in areas with Scottish Government local measures or restrictions should not participate in outdoor amateur contact sport in any location (unless they are under 18 years of age).

In all of the following advice, you should think carefully about whether you need to travel and avoid non-essential unplanned visits. Participants are asked to act with great care and follow all measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

What boating activity can happen?

  • Organised activity at clubs can continue to take place in all areas for those aged 17 and under.
  • Organised Adult (those aged 18 and over) ‘Contact Activity’ can continue using ‘bubbles of play’ in the NHS Health Board areas out with the five NHS Health Boards in the Central Belt.
  • Organised Adult (those aged 18 and over) activity can continue to take place – with up to 30 people – within the five NHS Health Boards in the Central Belt as ‘non-contact’ sport if physical distancing (2m) can be maintained at all times and all relevant guidance (for organised activity) is followed.
  • Individual sailing and boating can continue throughout Scotland, including within the Central Belt. Always be considerate of the risks in undertaking singlehanded activity to ensure you can do so safely.
  • Cruising, including overnight stays can still go ahead provided it is with members of your own household/extended household. We recommend skippers consider carefully whether they should choose destinations in areas currently under additional restrictions and the impact of their activities on their chosen destination – #respectthedestination
  • For specific guidance relating to commercial boating, charter sailing operations and general marine tourism please refer to our colleagues at SailScotland.

Is boating a contact or non-contact activity?

  • It can be both. To enable activity across all disciplines of boating such as double handers and mixed households on safety boats, keelboats and yachts our guidance states that these are ‘contact sport’ activities.
  • If you can maintain 2m physical distancing at all times then those elements of our sport would be deemed as non-contact, including training and racing activity.
  • In the Five identified NHS Health Board areas, contact sport for adults is not allowed to take place at this time.

How are Club and Centre Hospitality Facilities affected?

  • Club and centre bars in the Central Belt must close.
  • Club and centre shops and café / galley provision in the Central Belt and following Hospitality Guidance, can continue to open from 06.00 to 18.00 but cannot sell alcohol.
  • Central Belt Clubs and centre who host weddings and funerals can continue to do so under a specific exemption.
  • Club and centre bars out with the Central Belt cannot serve alcohol inside but can serve alcohol outside if their license permits and only until 10.00pm.

Can I travel to my boat if is out with my NHS Health Board area?

  • With many boats requiring to be removed from moorings or winterised at this time of year we recognise there can be a need to travel to attend to annual maintenance. Again, you should think carefully about whether you need to travel and when doing so you are asked to act with great care and follow all measures to stop the spread of Covid-19. You should keep within your household or extended household group unless you can maintain physical distancing and have no more than 2 households and 6 people.

Can racing take place at my club?

  • If your club is within the Central Belt, then organised outdoor contact sporting activity has been suspended for adults. This means organised activity, including racing, for adults where 2m physical distancing cannot be maintained, should not take place e.g. mixed household safety boats, mixed household crews.
  • If your club is within the Central Belt, and you can maintain physical distancing (2m atall times) then organised non-contact activity, including racing, can still take place.
  • If your club is anywhere else in Scotland contact activity, including racing, can still take place as described in our existing guidance.

Can I still take part in training?

  • Centres can continue to deliver contact training for participants aged under 18 across Scotland.
  • If your centre is outside the Central Belt, all training can continue to take place using the current guidance.
  • Adult Training can take place at centres in the Central Belt if 2m physical distancing between households can be maintained at all times and you have a maximum of 6 people including the instructor/coach.
  • Centres should consider carefully if they are comfortable with asking/allowing participants to travel to their venue, especially if they are in the Central Belt.
  • If participants are from the Central Belt, centres need to ensure that their instructor/coach/trainer is comfortable with the arrangements in place.
  • Participants under 18 should carefully consider the necessity of travel from the Central Belt to a non-restricted area to take part in contact sport.
  • Coaches should carefully consider the necessity of travel from the Central Belt to a non-restricted area to support contact activity
  • Training can happen with mixed households if they can maintain physical distancing at all times. This does not include under 18’s.
  • Indoor shorebased training can still take place as long as 2m physical distancing is maintained as per existing guidance.

Can our club organise to ‘crane-out’ boats?

  • Following the club’s risk assessment, and that of the crane operator, if these are compliant with current guidance on meeting others outside, not more than six people from two households, and you can maintain physical distancing then craning can go ahead.
  • If your boat is craned out using a Marina then it would be their guidance that you should follow, including maintaining physical distancing.
  • Again, you should think carefully about whether you need to travel and when doing so you are asked to act with great care and follow all measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

We are due to ‘close up’ our club over the next two weeks, can this still go ahead?

  • Once again, the club needs to risk assess this activity as to whether it can be done safely, following current guidance on meeting others outside, not more than six people from two households, and ensuring that physical distancing takes place. Careful consideration needs to be taken around any equipment that is required to be put indoors.

What if I need to rescue someone?

  • In a safety situation where it is necessary to break physical distancing, you should do so for as short a time as possible and return to physical distancing. Consider the use of PPE and ensure all surfaces and equipment are cleaned thoroughly afterwards. Please see our guidance document for more information about rescue techniques and considerations.