Coronavirus boat movement suspension continues to 23rd May on CRT waterways

Yesterday (11th May 2020) Canal & River Trust (CRT) announced that the suspension of all but essential boat movements would continue until 23rd May. Visitor moorings can continue to be used for 14 days where this applies. However, with the Government announcement of a very limited lifting of the lockdown, angling and watersports such as canoeing and paddleboarding can resume from tomorrow (13th May) on all navigation authorities’ waterways in England. Leisure boaters in England can visit their boats unless this means travelling long distances, but they may not navigate for leisure purposes.

The lockdown continues as before in Wales and Scotland. Navigation authorities in England are reviewing when navigation can resume in light of the new Government advice.

CRT made a further announcement today which we copy below:

Coronavirus & boating update, 12 May 2020

The Government has now set out some detail about the first stages of easing the current Coronavirus lockdown. These first steps come in to force tomorrow (Weds 13 May).

With a view to boating, your two main questions are likely to be: Can I visit my boat? And, can I go for a cruise on my boat? These are both covered below.

Can I visit my boat?
The latest government guidance [for England] states that “Day trips to outdoor open space, in a private vehicle, are permitted … irrespective of distance. You should practise social distancing from other people outside your household.”

Our interpretation of this is that you can now visit your boat – provided both you and your boat are in England. Clearly you will have to confirm that your mooring provider has opened the site where your boat is moored and that you can access it safely. Alternatively, they may be able to carry out checks on your behalf if they are continuing to restrict access.

In Wales, separate rules apply which mean you cannot visit your boat.

Overnight stays are not permitted. Hence the Trust advises against travelling long distances to visit your boat.

Can I go out on my boat for a cruise?
No. Boat movement is currently restricted; only those living on their boat can make short essential trips to facilities or services – as set out on our website.

We are currently reviewing when navigation might re-open, in conjunction with other navigation authorities, and hope to make a further announcement over the next few days about our plans for reopening canals and rivers for navigation.

As always, please follow the latest Government’s advice. We are constantly reviewing our own guidance in light of Government updates so do please regularly check our website.