COVID-19: RYA training in the UK

This page was last updated on 9 December 2021

The RYA is committed to our fundamental principles of supporting the boating community to be considerate and responsible during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Coronavirus Regulations

The regulations and guidance in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue to follow their own timetables and Training Centres should make sure they are both familiar and compliant with the regulations and guidance in their location. 

Home Countries

For further details, please follow the links below: 


Northern Ireland:


Current guidance for England 

The Government is reminding people that it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. Following the guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread.

The Government has announced that England will move to Plan B in response to the risks of the Omicron variant.

This means:

  • From 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor settings.
  • From 13 December office workers who can work from home should do so.
  • From 15 December, certain venues and events will be required by law to check that all visitors aged 18 years or over are fully vaccinated, have proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours, or have an exemption.

Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months. For more information about keeping yourself and others safe, please visit the GOV.UK website here

What does the easing of restrictions mean for RYA Training activity in England?

Whilst the easing of lockdown restrictions has been fantastic news for training activity, it is essential for all of us to remember that the pandemic is far from over and we are not yet ‘back to normal’. Many of the safeguarding measures you will have put in place over the last 18 months should be retained where possible and appropriate, including:

• Frequent hand washing
• Wearing face coverings in certain contexts
• Maintaining distance from those not in your household
• Being outside or letting fresh air in
• Minimising social contacts
• Frequent testing
• Isolating when positive or when contacted by NHS Test and Trace

Employers will still have a legal duty to manage the risks to those affected by their business. We would recommend that all training centres continue to carry out health and safety risk assessments, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate against any risks you identify.

The Government’s Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations employers should consider, including:

• Cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly
• Identifying poorly-ventilated areas and taking steps to improve air flow
• Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
• Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place

Organisations in higher risk settings should consider using the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

It is important to recognise that many people will be feeling differently about the current situation. We encourage all centres to be respectful of both their staff and customers and to work with them to ensure everyone feels comfortable and safe.

Temporary adjustments to the RYA Conditions of Recognition

Many of the temporary adjustments we implemented to help the RYA Training network during the coronavirus pandemic will remain in place, view the full list here.

RYA practical and shorebased courses

RYA training for all disciplines may take place in England. There will be no restrictions on either recreational or vocational courses, however centres should continue to risk assess their operations and put measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard their staff and customers. 

Instructor courses

All instructor courses will be able to recommence, including Dinghy Instructor and Senior Instructor courses in double-handed boats. For further details about running instructor courses, please see the organising instructor courses page

Overnight stays and indoor facilities

There will no longer be any restrictions on overnight stays or using indoor facilities.

Training centres should be mindful that indoor settings have an increased risk of COVID-19 spreading and consider minimising the time used in changing rooms, other indoor settings like wheelhouses, below deck or classrooms, and take steps to improve ventilation.

Overnight stays are permitted. However the temporary adjustment for sail and motor cruising courses to day sail and not be residential remains in place for centres and customers that do not wish to stay onboard overnight.

RYA Training Centre inspections 

Inspections resumed on 01 April 2021 and centre inspectors are in the process of contacting their allocated centres. Where a centre is operational, a physical inspection should take place. Where it is not possible for a physical inspection to take place then a virtual inspection remains an option.  

Further information

In addition to the information above, centres should ensure they are familiar with the temporary adjustments to the RYA Conditions of Recognition and the General and scheme-specific considerations for running RYA training activity. We will continue to update our guidance as the situation evolves and encourage you to monitor these areas regularly. 

Government guidance

The UK Government has issued the following guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation, and working safely during coronavirus: 

RYA Guidance

If you have any questions, or want to discuss any of the guidance in further detail, please contact the RYA Training team by emailing or calling +44 (0) 23 8060 4181.

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