COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Broads.
(Page last updated 08 January)
1. Accessing the Broads
1.1 Can I visit the Broads from 6 January?
Please see our table that provides guidance on whether activities are permitted or not during the third National Lockdown on our Coronavirus information page.
1.2 Can I stay on a privately owned or hire boat overnight from 6 January during the third National Lockdown?
Overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons.
1.3 Can I cruise on the river using my private motor boat?
During the National Lockdown, it is essential travel only - travel on waterways and overnight stays are only permitted where the boat is your permanent residence or it is necessary for work, education or similar reasons.
1.4 Can I visit my motor boat to undertake maintenance tasks, such as winterising it?
Maintaining second homes, caravans, boats and other assets is not generally a reasonable excuse for leaving home. However, people may leave home to secure their second home, caravan or boat in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to themselves or others.
1.5 Can I sail or use my canoe, kayak or paddleboard?
Yes this is permitted under all tiers but subject to social contact restrictions at each tier.
1.6 Can I go angling and can I fish from my boat?
An updated news release from the Angling Trust (07 January) states that recreational angling is now allowed as a form of exercise during the National Lockdown.
The advice from the Angling Trust is that you should 'only fish locally' and 'if you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways'.
Overnight fishing is not allowed.
The Authority and our partners at Norfolk Police urge anglers to stay in their local area if they wish to go fishing, including if they choose to do so from a boat.
You can read more information on the Angling Trust website.
2. Hire craft and other commercial operations
2.1 Are hire boat companies allowed to hire boats out after 26 December?
No, all non-essential businesses have been required to close.
3. Marinas, boatyards and other facilities
3.1 Are marinas, boatyards and other related businesses able to open?
Please see the British Marine website for information on waterways related businesses.
3.2 Are Broads Authority Yacht Stations and Tourist Information Centres closed?
Yes, our facilities at Yacht Stations and Tourist Information Centres are closed until spring 2021.
4. Boating concerns
4.1 My Boat Safety certificate has run out and I can’t renew it – what should I do?
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.
4.2 Can I have a discount on my toll for the period I couldn't use my boat?
There are no plans for a tolls discount or rebate at this moment in time. Private boats that are kept or used in the Broads navigation area or adjacent waters do still need to be tolled, regardless of whether the Government lockdown meant they could not be accessed. We fully appreciate the frustrations that some private owners have had in not being able to use their vessels during this time, coupled with financial concerns that many are facing. We ask for your understanding that your tolls have funded essential navigation works.
If you are having difficulty paying your toll or are experiencing financial concerns, the Authority will give careful consideration to exceptional circumstances. Please speak to our Tolls Team on 01603 756080 for more information and advice.
Wednesday 2 December 2020