Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
Please read our latest Coronavirus related news and updates on this web page
(Page last updated 15 October)
Local COVID alert levels and lockdown tiers
In October 2020 the UK Government introduced three local lockdown tiers - medium (tier 1), high (tier 2) and very high (tier 3) - with different restrictions applied to those who live in different areas.
Areas with a high or sharply increasing rate of COVID-19 have been designated as being at high (tier 2) or very high (tier 3) risk. All local authority areas in Norfolk and Suffolk are currently designated as tier 1 - medium risk.
The Government has advised residents who live in tier 3 areas that they should not be travelling in or out of their local area, including for holidays. This means that those from tier 3 areas should not be visiting the Broads at this moment in time.
There are no restrictions in place stopping those who live in tier 2 areas from visiting other areas, meaning you can still go on holiday outside of high alert level areas, but only with people in your household or support bubble.
Even though holidays and visits are permitted, please ensure you maintain social distancing, wear face masks when required and follow other restrictions such as the rule of six at all times.
- Find out the Coronavirus restrictions in your local area
- Local COVID alert levels: what you need to know
- Measures that apply in medium alert areas (including the Broads)
Government's 'rule of six' relating to social gatherings
From Monday 14 September, new rules apply that mean it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble).
The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (in the form of a fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.
There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents.
The laws will apply to the boat hire and boating holiday industry in the same manner as other self-contained breaks. Only families or support bubbles will be permitted to gather together on vessels in groups larger than six including on day boats, trip boats and holiday cruisers.
If you are a private boat owner who is planning to visit the area please ensure you follow the Government's new rules or you could face police fines.
If you are hiring a boat or other accommodation and believe your holiday will be affected by the new rules please contact your booking provider directly to make alternative arrangements or to seek a refund/credit note. Failure to comply with the new laws during your break may lead to police fines.
Please note that this new information may be subject to change as we learn more from the Government. The Authority will update our web pages as soon as possible if this is the case.
Be a responsible visitor to the Broads and #BeKindOutside
- Avoid known busy areas (hotspots) as they will be difficult to maintain social distancing.
- Plan your visit ahead and check which facilities are open. Remember to bring a face covering too.
- Stay 2 metres/1 metre plus away from those outside of your household/social bubble at all times.
- Take your litter home with you or dispose of it appropriately, including disposable BBQs which should only be used in designated areas due to the fire risk.
- Wash your hands thoroughly at regular intervals.
- Wear a lifejacket if going onto the water and avoid entering the water if possible.
- Park considerately in designated areas and don't clutter the road verges, this can affect access for emergency services.
- Research toilet facilities in advance.
- Do not gather in groups of more than six people unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
Overnight stays on boats, other facilities and skippered trips from 4 July
Overnight stays and holidays
The Broads Authority is pleased to welcome back private owners and hirers for overnight stays on boats in the Broads area from 4 July onwards.
Those who are planning to stay overnight on their boat or to hire a vessel must follow the Government instructions on social distancing and local safety information provided by the Broads Authority.
Broads Authority Yacht Stations/TICs have re-opened with additional hygiene measures in place, and temporary restrictions on stern-on mooring will be removed. To comply with new regulations, from 24 July face coverings will be required for all members of the public to enter Broads Authority Tourist Information Centres and Yacht Stations.
Double mooring (where permitted and where social distancing can be achieved) is still allowed on Broads Authority 24 hour moorings, however it is not permitted at Yacht Stations in order to facilitate social distancing between Broads Authority Quay Assistants and visitors who wish to moor.
As a result of this, spaces at Yacht Stations will be limited. We therefore urge hirers to plan their journey ahead and arrive in good time before dusk, particularly at Great Yarmouth where the nearest 24 hour mooring is a considerable distance away. Hirers are encouraged to contact our Yacht Stations in advance if they are planning to arrive late on in the day to receive advice and check for availability of spaces.
We continue to ask that people are considerate to others and make sensible decisions when implementing guidance.
There are no specific restrictions on waterways businesses from 4 July, including skippered boat trips, providing that risk assessments are undertaken and measures are put in place based on the relevant sources of government guidance on working safely during COVID-19.
Please see our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page which details how different aspects of visiting the Broads have changed from 4 July onwards.
Staying safe using what3words
Before exploring the park and going off the beaten track it’s important to ensure you know your route, have packed the correct equipment and checked the weather forecast. Another simple step to take before heading off is make sure you’ve downloaded the free what3words app.
what3words is an addressing system that gives every 3m square in the world a unique three word identifier. It allows you to communicate any precise location using just three words. For example ///munched.multiply.tasks is an exact spot along the popular Weaver’s Way walking route.
what3words is used by emergency services in Norfolk and Suffolk to locate callers. So if you find yourself in trouble in a hard-to-describe or unknown location you can open the app and read the three words for your current location to help 999 know exactly where you are.
Find out more about what3words: watch here
Self-drive day boat hire to resume on the Broads: 11 June update
Self-drive day boats, canoes and other paddle craft may be hired (no overnight stays) by members of a single household or ‘support bubble’ and operators will have to fulfil requirements to observe social distancing and cleanliness guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and the public.
The Authority urges anyone considering hiring a boat to think about ongoing restrictions which may require them to plan ahead by bringing drinks and picnics or finding out in advance which businesses are open. It is also wise to avoid known popular Broads hotspots so that social distancing can be maintained. Litter has been a problem is some other National Parks so visitors are urged to take litter home with them.
For full detail of the new Government guidance relating to boating go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-using-a-boat-inland-and-on-the-coast
To help plan ahead and for further advice on boating in the Broads go to: https://www.visitthebroads.co.uk/things-to-do/boating/boathire
Further advice for boaters
Broads Authority Rangers will continue to patrol the Broads and Broads Control (01603 756056) remains in operation for those who are on board their boats. Private boat owners should be vigilant and mindful of bridge heights in the Lower Bure. They will be able to call the Great Yarmouth Yacht Station for advice on 01493 842794 / 07766 398238.
If you are on board your boat in rural or isolated areas, make sure you inform friends or relatives where you are going and that you know your precise location in case you start to feel unwell. If there is a medical emergency the emergency services will be able to identify your location more easily if you have a postcode or a ‘what3words’ phrase.
You can identify your exact location using a ‘what3words phrase’. You can do this using the what3words smartphone app. Alternatively if you locate your position on http://www.streetmap.co.uk . You can then get the ‘what3words’ phrase using the “click here to convert coordinates” link just under the map. Google Maps does not provide a ‘what3words’ phrase but can accept one.
If you want to contact the Broads rangers to report an incident, you can phone Broads Control on 01603 756056 or email Broads.email@example.com.
Always phone 999 in case of emergency.
We will keep the situation under active review and update you in line with changing circumstances and guidance.
Information for businesses
Please see the below links for useful information for tourism businesses:
- Visit Britain latest information and advice for businesses
- Government COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses
- Advice to small businesses and FSB members about the novel coronavirus
There is also information for businesses and visitors on the Visit the Broads website.
Check these sites for the latest advice:
Impact on the Broads Authority's operations
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.
Management have taken the decision to postpone non-urgent committee meetings and gatherings to minimise the potential for spreading COVID-19. These are now being held remotely.
2. 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.
3. Day to day operations
Our office will have reduced staffing levels to minimise contact between employees. The majority of office employees will be working from home, and our reception will be 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 by email.
4. Planning queries
In accordance with current Government guidance, our Planning Department are mostly working from home. We are encouraging the public to use the planning email for correspondence at this time, rather than calling, as this will enable your enquiry to be dealt with more quickly.
Monday 19 October 2020