Following the Government’s announcement on 4th January 2021 of a national Covid-19 lockdown in England, CRT has suspended enforcement of the 14-day rule. The Regulations governing the lockdown are in force until 31st March 2021, although the lockdown may be lifted before then.
This means that all navigation should be limited to essential boat movement by liveaboard boaters only. Leisure boaters should not navigate for recreation as these journeys are non-essential, and they should not stay overnight on their boat during the lockdown. Paddle sports are permitted as part of daily exercise. It is still unclear whether or not recreational angling is permitted in England.
People who are clinically extremely vulnerable have again been advised to shield and they should receive a letter from their GP. See https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
If you are shielding and you need help to get essentials like food, fill your water tank etc, you should be able to get support from the Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service if you are between the Long Pound and Hanham, or through the Waterways Chaplaincy. Contact the Julian House co-ordinators Alice on 07960 097719 if you’re west of Bradford on Avon, or Carla on 07539 926809 if you’re in Wiltshire. Or see https://www.waterwayschaplaincy.org.uk/
CRT says “Those living aboard are advised to limit their navigation, moving only a minimal amount to access essential facilities or services when necessary. Please moor considerately. Boat licence terms and conditions regarding moving every 14 days will be suspended until the restrictions come to an end”.
CRT gives some examples of essential boat travel:
“If you are a live-aboard boater or are currently occupying your boat, then essential movement could be:
to access water or waste facilities
to access essential food and supplies
to access hospital, GP, and other medical appointments, or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
for emergency mechanical service for your boat
for emergency vet treatment for your pet
for caring responsibilities”
We think that essential boat movement also includes moving to a quieter part of the towpath for your own safety, although in winter the towpaths should be less busy.