The RYA has updated its FAQs document on what they believe the latest Government Roadmap means for recreational boating in England.
That government roadmap issued earlier this week – COVID-19 RESPONSE− SPRING 2021 – provides the guidelines for a return to some form of normality by 21 June 2021. And provides for ‘guidance issued by national governing bodies’ to explain how the document effects various sports.
Thus, the RYA update on Thursday 25 February to its document . . . RYA Covid-19 FAQs valid in England.
This highlights the main points of the roadmap as they effect Sailing Clubs and recreational sailing. And the RYA stress that while they aim to provide a useful resource for their stakeholders, the decision to go boating ultimately lies with the individual concerned.
Until the start of the first step of the Roadmap, there is no change to the existing strict lockdown restrictions already in place in England.
Step 1 comes into force on the 8 March:
The ‘Stay at Home’ restriction will continue but it will be amended so that people can leave home for recreation as well as exercise outdoors – with their own household, support or childcare bubble, or with one person from another household.
Then on the 29 March step 1 is expanded and introduces organised racing back into the mix, but with changing facilities closed:
Outdoor sports facilities including sailing clubs can reopen, subject to the Rule of 6/two households. Formally organised outdoor sports – for adults and under 18s – will also restart and where compliant with guidance issued by the national governing bodies (the RYA) will not be subject to the gatherings limits.
Indoor facilities, such as changing rooms, should not be used at this time, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
On the possibility of people from different households sailing together in the same dinghy, keelboat or yacht the RYA states:
Yes. Organised activities should comply with the RYA Guidance on Mixed Household Sailing and Racing. Organised activity is any activity organised/delivered by an RYA affiliated organisation, which may include racing or recreational activity.
And . . . If you or your club are considering this please read the ‘RYA Guidance on Sailing and Racing with Participants from Different Households during Covid-19 in England’.
Activity that falls outside of this should conform with the wider social contact regulations. This includes social distancing and the rule of 6 / two households.
The maximum crew number should be decided by the ability for that crew to maintain social distancing afloat and other mitigations such as use of face coverings. Race organisers are encouraged to ensure a level playing field for all by requiring use of face coverings and/or limiting crew numbers.
All children will be able to access any outdoor childcare and supervised activities.
People will no longer be legally required to Stay at Home although we are still being advised to minimise travel wherever possible.
Step 2 will start no earlier than the 12 April with some hospitality opening:
Overnight stays away from home in this country will be permitted and self-contained accommodation – those that do not require shared use of bathing, entry/exit, catering or sleeping facilities – can also reopen, though must only be used by members of the same household.
Hospitality will be able to open for outdoor service, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.
Step 3, starting no earlier than the 17 May (as per above and in addition):
Indoor hospitality will be permitted with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.
Overnight stays away from home in this country will be permitted subject to the Rule of 6/two households. The Government will further ease limits on social contact, enabling people to make informed personal decisions.
And finally if all has gone well and all the government tests have been meet we reach the final step . . .
Step 4 starting no earlier than the 21 June (as per above and in addition) . . .
The Government hopes to be able to remove all legal limits on social contact.
This summery highlights the main points of the RYA advice with respct to dinghy and small boat recreational sailing in England. Professional sailors e.g the British Sailing Squad are covered by the elite sport status.
The Devolved Administrations are setting out how lockdown will be eased in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can read the full document here – RYA Covid-19 FAQs valid in England (pdf)
You can read the full Government Roadmap document – COVID-19 RESPONSE− SPRING 2021 – here (pdf)