CRT waterways in England
Canal & River Trust (CRT) has suspended enforcement of the 14-day rule between 5th November and 2nd December 2020 in England due to the Government announcement of a lockdown from Thursday 5th November. The Government has said that non-essential travel should be avoided, and overnight stays will be limited to work purposes only. This means only essential boat movements will be permitted, such as to fill up with water etc. Leisure boaters and others who do not live aboard will not be able to stay overnight on their boats or visit them unless the visit is for essential safety purposes such as to secure a boat that is on a flooding river.
Until Thursday 5th November, CRT waterways in England are open for cruising, subject to Government guidance. As of 14th October 2020 there are additional restrictions in Tier Three areas in England and CRT advises that boaters should try to avoid entering or leaving these areas to cruise, or staying overnight. The Government advises that people should specifically try to avoid leaving or entering very high alert level areas, other than for things like work, education or youth services, to meet caring responsibilities, or travelling through as part of a longer journey.
CRT waterways in Wales
On the CRT Welsh canals, during the two-week lockdown between 23rd October and 9th November, the Welsh Government is advising that people must stay at home, except for very limited purposes, such as for exercise that must start and finish at home. This also means only essential boat movements are permitted and leisure boaters cannot stay overnight on their boats or visit them unless essential. Enforcement of the 14-day rule is being suspended for the two weeks. The Welsh Government has announced that after the Welsh lockdown ends, travel between England and Wales will be restricted to essential journeys only, such as work purposes. This means that boaters will not be able to cruise into or out of Wales unless this is essential travel.
EA and other navigation authorities in England
The NBTA anticipates that the Environment Agency (EA) and other navigation authorities in England are likely to return to the same measures that they took during the lockdown between March and June. Specifically we are assuming that mooring stay times will not be enforced during the forthcoming lockdown from 5th November. If anyone is subjected to mooring overstay charges during that time, such as the draconian and unlawful charges imposed by District Enforcement on behalf of a number of local authorities and other bodies, they should challenge these charges. Please contact the NBTA if you need assistance to do this. We are expecting navigation authorities to issue more details, which we will publish when available.