The Government has announced the addition of Tier 4 in England as a measure to further control COVID-19. This guidance is to help marinas in England to comply with and apply government guidance on all levels of the COVID-19 Tier system.
In all Tiers, everyone who can work from home should do so, but where this is not possible people should return to work following COVID-19 protocols.
The following is a summary of the impact on marina businesses in Tiers 1, 2 and 3
In Tiers 1, 2 and 3 the following marina operations can remain open (subject to up to date risk assessments and COVID-19 protocols):
Marina leisure berths: can stay open, and in general restrictions on travel have been lifted so boat owners can travel again to use their vessels. Owners can travel between Tiers 1 and 3 to maintain their boat. However, the government advises against overnight stays away from home, other than for specific reasons when in Tier 3. Marinas should remind customers to follow the guidelines and to avoid travelling in from Tier 3 areas: DCMS guidance page on accommodation
Boatyard Operations: including lift out, boat repair/refit
Retail: essential and non-essential retail, for example brokerage and chandleries
Food & Beverage: Cafes, bars and restaurants on marina sites must follow the correct procedures for the Tier. When in Tier 3, cafes, bars and restaurants can offer takeaway service only
Tier 1 (Medium Alert)
Marina businesses in Tier 1 will be impacted as follows:
All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marina retail of all descriptions can open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels are free to operate as long as the guests are following government guidelines on socialising in line with the rule of six. Cafes, bars and restaurants must abide by the government rules (i.e. table service only, no orders past 10pm and must close at 11pm).
Boats can be visited/used and staying overnight on boats is generally permitted.
Tier 2 (High Alert)
Marina businesses in Tier 2 will be impacted as follows:
All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marina retail of all descriptions can open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels can still operate but there are tighter restrictions on socialising and mixing of households, if the vessel has a cabin then only one household can hire the vessel and if the vessel is an open vessel they can hire out in line with the rule of six. Cafes, bars and restaurants must abide by the government rules (i.e. table service only, alcohol can only be served with a substantial meal, no orders past 10pm and must close at 11pm).
Boats can be visited/used and staying overnight on boats is generally permitted.
Tier 3 (Very High Alert)
Marina businesses in Tier 3 will be impacted as follows:
All staff should, where possible, work from home. Marina retail of all descriptions can stay open and operate according to their COVID-19 secure protocols. Holiday hire vessels must stop operations. Cafes, bars and restaurants, must close unless they are providing takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
Government guidance states that people should ‘avoid travel to or overnight stays in Tier 3 areas other than where necessary, such as for work, education, youth services, to receive medical treatment, or because of caring responsibilities.’ This may preclude using or overnight stays on boats where the boat owner lives in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 area.
The following is a summary of the impact on marina businesses in Tier 4
Tier 4 (stay at Home)
The government states that in Tier 4:
‘People can also exercise outdoors or visit some public outdoor places, such as parks, the countryside, public gardens or outdoor sports facilities. You can continue to do unlimited exercise alone, or in a public outdoor place with your household, support bubble, or one other person.’
‘Indoor gyms and sports facilities will close. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, riding centres and playgrounds can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household. Organised outdoor sport for under 18s and disabled people will be allowed.’
Therefore, TYHA’s interpretation is that marina businesses in Tier 4 can remain open as can boatyard operations including lift out, boat repair/refit subject to maintaining all current COVID-19 operating practices. Local boat owners can access and use their boats on their own or with their household/support bubble. Boat owners should not travel out of a Tier 4 area to visit or use their boat.
Marinas and customers should also comply with the following:
All staff, where possible, should work from home. All non-essential retail in marinas must close however these venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. Holiday hire vessels must stop operations. Boat sales operations must close to public visits/viewings. Cafes, bars and restaurants, must close unless they are providing takeaway, click-and-collect, drive-through or delivery services.
Government guidance states that people ‘should not travel into a Tier 4 area from another part of the UK’ other than for specific reasons which does not include sport or recreation. Therefore, if your marina is in Tier 4 your customers should not travel to it if they live in Tier 1, 2 or 3.
Government guidance states that ‘If you need to travel you should stay local - meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live - and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.’ Therefore boat owners should not be encouraged to travel any significant distance to access their boat and should only do this on their own, with the people they live with, their support bubble or with one person from another household.
Government guidance states that the population should not stay ‘overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law.’ Therefore overnight stays on boats are not permitted in Tier 4 except for specific reasons (which includes if the boat is a primary residence) stated in government guidance.
We have sought clarity from government on accessing boats in Tier 4 areas from other Tiers for maintenance purposes, their response is as follows:
Boat maintenance. Whilst there is specific reference within Tiers 1 to 3 for travel for purposes of maintaining “assets including second homes, caravans and boats” within this guidance doc DCMS guidance page on accommodation [Please note – this guidance is being updated, a new version will follow in the next couple of days, so please keeping looking at gov.uk], for Tier 4 the travel restrictions are understandably much tighter. “People in Tier 4 areas must stay at home and not travel out of Tier 4. They may only leave for a limited number of exempt reasons, like work, education or caring purposes.” Under Tier 4, there is no exception for the purposes of securing or maintaining assets. Should there be critical health and safety risks which require immediate attention then the caveat of ‘reasonable excuse’ might be possible within the regulations; this would need to be a case-by-case decision for individuals and organisations to take to ensure they are compliant with the regulations as the baseline expectation is no non-essential travel.
Marina operators in Tier 4 should encourage their customers to read and comply with
government guidance prior to visiting the marina and/or their boat.
For a full list of the restrictions each Tier implements please visit the Gov.uk website.
This document is provided as general guidance to members and is TYHA’s interpretation of the Government’s position with regards to the new national Tier restrictions for England commencing 20th December 2020. Although TYHA tries to ensure that all of the information is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed owing to the continually evolving situation. Members should review the Government’s full guidance themselves by following the links in this document and should keep up to date with the Government’s latest announcements. The information in this document should not be construed as constituting professional advice and we would always advise that members consider seeking appropriate professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.