Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Please read our latest Coronavirus related news and updates on this web page

Please also see our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions and our liveaboard information page, and remember to get in touch if you have any further questions.

(Page last updated 04 March)

Lockdown roadmap and the Broads

On 22 February, the Prime Minister announced the Government’s plan to begin the cautious easing of lockdown restrictions in England. Since then the Broads Authority, along with other inland waterway authorities, have been in consultation with Defra to produce guidance for boaters.

This information is shown below and is also supplied as a downloadable PDF - Lockdown roadmap guidance table (PDF)

Whilst the information below shows that it is possible for some boating activity to resume during stage 1.1, this is limited by the continued instruction to stay local which restricts travel to and on board a boat. Stage 1.2 continues to encourage minimising journeys where possible.

“Staying in your local area means stay in the village, town, or part of the city where you live.” Guidance – National Lockdown: Stay at Home Guidance (updated 22 Feb 2021)

All references to permitted activities below assume that boats allow for social distancing rules to be adhered to. Relevant guidance will remain in place up to and including Step 3 (subject to a proposed review of social distancing rules ahead of Step 4).

Guidance for different activities

Step 1.1 -  8 March

Whilst some boating activities are permitted at this stage, movement is limited. The instruction is to stay local (stay in the village, town or part of the city where you live).

Private boats

Private boating on an open air boat permitted for recreation for a single household or bubble, subject to the overarching requirements to stay local and minimise time spent away from home.

Self drive day hire

Permitted for recreation on an open air boat for a single household or bubble, subject to the overarching requirements to stay local and minimise time spent away from home.

Self drive holiday hire

Not permitted.

Skippered boat trips

Not permitted.

Watersports

Private watersports permitted for recreation on waterways accessible to the public.

Rules apply for 2 people / 1 household).

Continue to stay local and minimise time spent away from home.

Also subject to complying with restrictions around water sport facilities which remain closed with limited exceptions until 29 March.

Step 1.2 -  29 March

Whilst some boating activities are permitted at this stage, movement is limited. The instruction is to minimise travel where possible and avoid travelling long distances.

Private boats

Private boating permitted for recreation for a single household or bubble (if vessel is enclosed), or for 6 people / 2 households per boat (if vessel is open air, provided it is outdoors and social distancing can be maintained between people from different households).

There remains a requirement to minimise travel and stay local.

Self drive day hire

Private boating permitted for recreation for a single household or bubble (if vessel is enclosed), or for 6 people / 2 households per boat (if vessel is open air, provided it is outdoors and social distancing can be maintained between people from different households).

There remains a requirement to minimise travel and stay local.

Self drive holiday hire

Not permitted.

Skippered boat trips

“It is up to the discretion of each individual skipper whether your skipper boat may operate compliantly under each step.

Skippers should consider:

  • The social contact rules governing indoor and outdoor gathering which apply at each step.
  • Your ability to ensure appropriate social distancing between individuals/households at each step.”

The skipper does not count towards rule of 6 or 2 household limits.

Watersports

Outdoor watersports venues may open. Formal club activity can restart.

Private groups of 6 people / 2 households.

Step 2 - No earlier than 12 April

Minimise domestic travel where you can.

Private boats

Same as step 1 plus lifting of ban on overnight stays away from home allows for single households/bubbles to stay away overnight on boats.

Self drive day hire

Restrictions are the same as Step 1, apart from the lifting of the requirement to stay local.

Self drive holiday hire

Permitted for a single household / bubble per boat.

Skippered boat trips

Restrictions are the same as Step 1.

Watersports

Outdoor attractions at waterparks and aqua parks may reopen.

Step 3 - No earlier than 17 May

Private boats

Same as step 2 but now with 6 people / 2 households able to mix on indoor boats.

On outdoor (open air) boats groups of up to 30 allowed.

Self drive day hire

No restrictions (other than the usual capacity of the vessel if open air) or 6 people / 2 households per boat (if vessel is enclosed).

Self drive holiday hire

Permitted for 6 people / 2 households per boat.

Skippered boat trips

Restrictions are the same as Step 1.

Watersports

Indoor attractions at waterparks and aqua parks may reopen.

Private groups of up to 30 outdoors.

Step 4 - No earlier than 21 June

No restrictions for all activities.

BSS Certificates

The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) has advised the Authority that it is following current UK Government guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people's homes. BSS examinations will therefore continue where it is safe and possible to do so.

The advice for boat owners is to continue to contact an examiner to arrange their boat’s examination as per usual if one is required. Current BSS Certification expiry dates are not being extended as they were last year.

If you are tolling your vessel and have not been able to undertake a valid BSS examination due to COVID-19, please email our tolls department (or call 01603 756080) and explain your individual circumstances. The Authority will need to evaluate each owner's extenuating circumstances to decide if a toll can be issued.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Other information

Impact on the Broads Authority

We have issued guidance from Public Health England to our staff and members on how they need to respond, including additional hygiene measures that must be put in place (particularly in our premises) to prevent further spreading of the infection.

Meetings

All Authority committee meetings will continue to take place online. Meetings with public access will be livestreamed. Details can be found on the Broads Authority website.

Events programme

We have cancelled our events programme for the near future. If you have seen promotion of a Broads Authority event online or elsewhere this has now been cancelled unless stated otherwise.

Day to day operations

Our office has have reduced staffing levels to minimise contact between employees. The majority of office employees are working from home, and our reception is closed to the public. Staffing of reception will continue so phone calls and deliveries can be taken. Toll payments can be taken by phone, post or online.

Our operational work will continue until further notice as this takes place in mostly remote locations.

If you suspect you may be unwell please do not visit any of our premises. If you have a query we will be happy to assist you over the phone (01603 610734) or through our contact form.

Planning queries

In accordance with current Government guidance, most of our Planning Officers are working from home. We are encourage the public to use the planning email for correspondence, rather than calling, as this will enable your enquiry to be dealt with more quickly.

Information centres and Yacht Stations

As stated above, our Tourist Information Centres at Hoveton and How Hill are closed as are the Yacht Stations at Reedham, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Volunteering

Unfortunately, all volunteering activities with the Broads Authority have ceased until further notice.

Information for businesses

Click on the links below for useful information for tourism businesses:

Information for businesses and visitors is also on the Visit the Broads website.

Health information sources

Check these sites for the latest advice:

Use NHS 111, pharmacies and GPs responsibly, and only go to hospital if you really need to. See: When to go to A&E

Thursday 4 March 2021