In light of the current situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Broads Authority has issued the following updates regarding the infection and how it will impact both our work and the Broads area.
(Page last updated 31 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 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
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.
Please see the below links for useful information for tourism businesses:
There is also information for businesses and visitors on the Visit the Broads website.
Check these sites for the latest advice:
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.
Friday 31 July 2020