Leisure and hire boating in England to resume from 4th July as Coronavirus lockdown is eased further

With the Government’s announcement of 23rd June that overnight stays away from home will be permitted in England from 4th July 2020, this means that leisure boaters will be able to stay overnight on their boats and hire and hotel boat companies may resume trading. Most navigation authorities will revert to their normal enforcement practices from 4th July in England. However, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are still in lockdown and enforcement will not resume as yet, though dates later in July have been put forward for overnight stays away from home to be permitted again by the devolved Governments.

Most waterways in England will therefore be back in operation under ‘new normal’ socially distanced conditions from 4th July, although if the number of Covid-19 infections increases significantly, navigation authorities will re-visit this decision.

Both Canal & River Trust (CRT) and the Environment Agency (EA) have issued updated guidance to boaters. See



20200625_FINAL approved NAV Guidance Note 7

Both authorities also warn boaters of the resumption of enforcement of summer visitor mooring time limits and charges where these are imposed.

The EA previously issued this updated guidance and a leaflet for boaters on 4th June 20200604 _ Final approved NAV Guidance Note 6  and 20200605 flyer for boaters FINAL v3

The EA says that: “If you are experiencing difficulty moving on from one of our moorings, because you are self-isolating, shielding or are a key worker, then please get in touch with your local waterways team”.

CRT has already stated that any liveaboard boaters who are self-isolating, shielding or who are key workers will not normally have enforcement action taken against them if they overstay, but they need to inform CRT. On CRT waterways, all boaters without a home mooring are entitled by Section 17 (3) (c) (ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995 to stay in any one place for more than 14 days if this is reasonable in the circumstances. You do not need CRT’s permission to do this, but we would recommend telling CRT in writing by email or letter why you are staying more than 14 days.

We recommend that if you do not feel it is safe to move your boat due to the risk of catching or spreading Coronavirus, that you inform the navigation or other authority that carries out enforcement where you are moored in writing by letter or email as soon as possible. If you need support in dealing with any enforcement action against you please contact the NBTA on 0118 321 4128 or secretariat@bargee-traveller.org.uk