COVID 19- FAQs for Centres

Updated 9th June 2021

The Welsh Government is asking everybody to observe the following key behaviours to keep Wales safe:


  • always observe social distancing (also known as physical distancing) – stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from others (who are not part of your household or extended household), indoors and outdoors

  • wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser if access to soap and water is not possible

The RYA Cymru Wales is continuing to review the latest legislation and Government guidance and has prepared a set of FAQs based on what we believe the guidance means for recreational boating in Wales.


Please note 


  • All additional information mentioned within this page is linked below 
What do the restrictions mean for RYA Training activity in Wales?


Based on the information we have received from Welsh Government, we believe that RYA practical training for leisure purposes may recommence at centres in Wales, with some limits still in place.



From 7th June regulations limit participation to outdoor regulated gatherings (formerly known as organised outdoor activity) up to 4,000 standing or participating.

  • This includes both adults and under 18's. 
  • The numbers to include anyone involved on the water during the event.
  • Spectators will be allowed, but must be included within the numbers
  • A person working, or providing voluntary services, on-shore in relation to the holding of an event is not to be treated as taking part

There need's to be a thorough risk assessments and clear mitigating measures in place to minimise the risk of transfer of infection. This should include maintaining social distancing of 2 metres both ashore and afloat and an appropriate test, trace & protect protocols. 



From 17th May regulations limit, indoor organised activities for adults (up to 30 participants) and Under 18’s (no limit on numbers) can place, as long as social distancing and good hygiene protocols can be maintained.




We have received confirmation that all forms of boating are classified as sport, and training in these boating activities is also classified as organised sport. This includes instructor training. Organised sport is defined as activity “by a business, a public body, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, or a club or political organisation”.




When relying on these mitigations, the following RYA guidance must be considered:


  • Temporary adjustments to the RYA Conditions of Recognition

  • General and scheme-specific considerations for running RYA training activity

  • RYA Guidance on Sailing and Racing with Participants from Different Households during Covid-19 in Wales


Social distancing requirements remain in place which may require a reduction in the number of participants in order to comply. When delivering practical training to novices, their lack of experience must be considered, which may lead to measures beyond the guidance above being put in place.


We would encourage centres to continue to put in place appropriate measures to mitigate against the spread of coronavirus and to remind all staff, volunteers, and students of their importance.


Overnight stays and indoor facilities


It is possible to use indoor facilities include below decks and fully enclosed wheelhouses.


Overnight stays away from your home in self-contained accommodation are allowed. Thereforeovernight stays on yachts, unless the accommodation is self-contained, is not currently possible.


Classroom use may resume with good hygiene measures and ventilation in place. Please see further details in the RYA Cymru Wales COVID 19 Club & Centre Facilities Guidance


Work-based training


The current legislation indicates that training and/or assessment being undertaken for work purposes may continue, assuming, of course, the usual risk assessments are undertaken, and mitigating actions are taken to minimise the risk of infection.


Instructor training, including any compulsory qualification for the instructor award, such as first aid, is permitted as work-based training. This means that following a suitable risk assessment to identify safe numbers and the related measure required to comply with social distancing, training may take place indoors and outdoors.


Ongoing updates


Please also continue to monitor the relevant Welsh Government guidance as well as this document and the ‘further information’ pages listed below for the latest guidance and information as it becomes available. Government guidance on contract cancellations and refunds due to Coronavirus can be found in the here


Frequently asked questions


Can we restart the delivery of practical RYA Training?


RYA practical training for all disciplines can take place for all centres in Wales, both indoors and outdoors. It has been possible to run organised activities for under 18’s since 12th March, numbers for under 18’s are unlimited. Outdoor regulated gatherings (formerly known as organised outdoor activities) are limited to 4,000 standing or participants including the instructors, coaches or trainers and other on-water volunteers.


Anybody who is there to organise or support the activity on-shore, if they are working or providing a voluntary service, can also attend and do not need to be considered within the limits.


RYA Training Centres (this can be the same person for club activity, if relevant) should appoint a responsible person/s referred to as the ‘COVID officer’, to act as the point of contact on all things related to COVID-19.


Can shore-based courses take place?


RYA Shore based courses can take place indoors, however classroom use will remain restricted, by the space, the need for adequate social distancing and ventilation. Numbers indoors are currently legally limited to 30. The use of either suitable outdoor teaching or briefing areas, and/or online virtual learning should be considered for theoretical parts of a course, if this helps with space.

Is it possible to run courses simultaneously 


Simultaneous gatherings of groups and individuals in the same location are allowed, where there is sufficient space to do so safely and independently. Please consider social distancing both ashore and afloat when planning.


Can schools or colleges visit RYA Training Centres for educational visits/activity?


From May 3rd outdoor education day visits resumed, whilst from May 17th single occupancy residential visits may be able to happen – so single family in one room/tent and not shared facilities, and day provision of educational outdoor learning activities. Please check with your Local Authority as local guidance may vary.


Can we restart the delivery of instructor courses?


Yespractical instructor training for both Adults and under 18’s may be delivered from the 26th April. For further details on modifications for specific instructor courses please see the organising instructor courses page.


Can we have students from mixed households in the same boat?


Yes, and no, under the ‘RYA Guidance on Sailing and Racing with Participants from Different Households during Covid-19 in Wales’ for activity organised for under 18s at an RTC and following RYA Cymru Wales and Welsh Government guidance. At present, it should be possible to recommence organised activity for Adults from 26th April We do not believe students of L1 or L2 courses in the dinghy sailing scheme have sufficient ability to maintain social distancing and therefore would only recommend mixed crews on courses at Level 3 or above, or the advanced modules in the YSS. It is worth considering that many people will be reluctant to sail in such close proximity with others outside of their household.


There is normally a requirement for RYA Training Centres to have access to changing rooms – whilst we are not able to use these has this been relaxed from the Guidance Notes?


Indoor Facilities can open from the 3rd May, however changing rooms and showers are an area of increased risk of transmission and their use should be avoided, where possible. All venues should encourage participants to arrive already changed and, where possible, to travel home to change/shower.


If changing rooms and showers are to be used during inclement weather, measures should be put in place to limit numbers, appropriate cleaning protocols.


Toilet facilities can be accessed. Further details on changing room use and management can be found in the RYA Cymru Wales COVID 19 Club & Centre Facilities Guidance


When can RYA Training centres inspections resume?


Inspections will start to be organised from 1 April, and centre inspectors will begin contacting their allocated centres. Where a centre is operational a physical inspection should take place. Where a physical inspection can't take place then a virtual inspection remains an option.


Can family or friends stay on-site to watch the practical training?


Yes, spectators are permitted, but it's worth noting that they are counted within the numbers for an outdoor regulated gathering and therefore need to be part of your Test, Trace & Protect protocols.


Welsh Government guidance


The Welsh Government has issued guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation and working safely during coronavirus and this has formed the basis of this guidance for RYA Training centre's in Wales.


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.


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.




Guidance for running RYA training activity

COVID-19: General and scheme-specific considerations for running RYA training activity

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Restarting boating activity and managing COVID 19

Welsh Government guidance
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Guidance for organisers of activities for children and young people aged 18 and under.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs), including common questions related to sport, exercise and outdoor activity, are published and updated for each alert level. More detailed advice on sport, recreation and leisure can be found here.

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