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Recreational boating in the UK
The Government has now introduced new restrictions on activity in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus. From the evening of 23 March, people must stay at home except to shop for basic necessities, one form of daily exercise, medical need and travelling to and from essential work. This includes us all and the RYA strongly urges recreational boaters to respect the new Government rules so that those who may become ill do not increase the pressure on local services and facilities.
At this time the RYA is not aware of any law that enables harbour authorities to prohibit recreational boating per se, but you should understand that many do have existi local rules relating to organised activities (e.g. regattas) and some have local powers that might enable them to restrict navigation within the harbour and/or the use of harbour facilities.
The Government’s strict new measures on public movement and association mean that recreational boating activity will not escape unscathed. Understandably and under normal circumstances, the RYA would not want to discourage recreational boating activity. However, these are exceptional times and if the rules are ignored it not only could you put yourself and others at increased risk of contracting the virus, you risk placing an unnecessary burden on the emergency services.