Coronavirus and boating FAQs
Many of your questions regarding coronavirus and boating are answered on this page, which we are regularly updating. The two main ones are likely to be:
Can I visit my boat?
Yes. With the government announcing a first step in lifting restrictions on outdoor activities, and allowing people to drive to spend time outdoors with members of the same household, the Trust is lifting any remaining restrictions on boat owners visiting their boats, provided you and your boat are in England.
In Wales, separate rules apply that mean you cannot visit your boat. See below for more information.
If your boat is in a privately operated marina or mooring, please check with the operator before travelling, to make sure that they are open.
Can I go out on my boat for a cruise?
From Wednesday 13 May 2020:
You may undertake short boating trips only, avoiding the use of locks and any staff-operated structures if possible, providing that you do not stay away from home overnight and that you return to your home mooring (where you have one). This is based on current government guidance.
From Saturday 23 May:
Mooring exemptions will come to an end and our guidance for continuous cruisers comes back into force. This doesn’t mean that every boat without a home mooring needs to move on this day, just that we’d expect you to move off your current mooring within 14 days (i.e. by 6 June). If you are in a high-risk group, and need to continue to shield or self-isolate, then special arrangements can be agreed with your licence support officer if you haven’t already told us.
From Monday, 1 June:
On this date we anticipate that our navigations will re-open in full, subject to some exceptions, and that you will be able to undertake longer journeys.
According to current government guidance, those who do not liveaboard should not stay on their boat overnight. We will seek further clarification as to whether overnight stays will be permissible once full navigation resumes.
Please bear in mind that it will take time to get the entire network fully operational, and booking for some passages and services will be required. Some sections may be closed for a further period. Our website will be updated with the details closer to the time.
As you start to make use of equipment that may not have been operated for a few weeks, we would ask you to be cautious. We’re getting out to check the network, but if you come across a problem or something that isn’t working, please report it in the normal way. We will respond as quickly as we can, but our response times may be longer than you are used to in more normal circumstances.