COVID-19 FAQs for clubs, class associations and recreational boaters

Updated 9th June 2021

These Frequently Asked Questions have been updated in accordance with the current restrictions and guidance from Welsh Government.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALES

Whilst we aim to provide a useful resource for our stakeholders, the decision to go boating ultimately lies with the individual concerned. There are fines in place for those deemed to be in breach of the regulations and it is essential that in the event you do decide to participate in boating activity you have properly assessed whether it is permitted within the most recent Welsh Government guidance and regulations.

Please note -
  • The guidance within these FAQs is not intended to cover RYA Recognised Training Centres. Please refer to the current guidance for RYA Training centres in Wales.
  • All additional information mentioned is linked below 
Can I go Boating?

Yes, however, to support the prevention of the spread of the virus, the Welsh Government legislation and guidance places restrictions on the organisation of and participation in physical exercise which includes boating. Aside from a few exemptions (which are covered later in this document), boating will only be possible if-

  • you can launch and recover your boat from a publicly accessible place
  • you must only take to the water in conditions well within their ability and which assume a self-sufficient approach to your activity.
  • the relevant waterway authorities permit boating.
  • The limits on numbers placed by organised regulated gatherings is adhered to.
We continue to urge boaters to take a considerate and responsible approach by complying with the Welsh Government’s guidance.
Can clubs and facilities be open?

The following Indoor facilities can open; 

  • Indoor spaces can currently be used for organised activities of up to 30 people and it is possible to open club spaces up under the hospitability guidance like a pub or café, with test, trace & protect protocols in place.
  • Club catering and bar facilities are able to open for indoor dining and drinking only.If opening a bar, restaurant or catering facility, ensure you carefully read and implement Government guidance: Tourism and Hospitality Businesses: Guidance for a phased reopening.
  • Toilet facilities can be made available, as long as social distancing and cleaning measures are in place to mitigate any transfer of the virus.

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.

Further details on changing room use and management can be found in the RYA Cymru Wales Club & Centre Facility guidance.

How do I manage our club/facility?

You should adopt procedures and practices as identified in the RYA Cymru Wales Club & Centre Facility guidance including an online booking system to allow staggered arrivals and departures at the club/boat park and identify through your risk assessments any safety measures that you might need to adopt.

Are people able to collect equipment from facilities to enable individual exercise? (e.g. boat parks).

Yes, personal equipment belonging to an individual should be made accessible.

Can we run organised on water activity such as club racing and events?

Yes, the term for organised activity now is ‘regulated gathering’ where outdoors these may now have up to 4000 attendees who are standing/participating or 10,000 seated attendees. The numbers to include anyone involved on the water during the event and spectators.  

There will need to be a thorough risk assessment and clear mitigating measures in place to minimise the risk of transfer of infection. This should include maintaining social distancing of 2 metres on and off shore and an appropriate test and trace process.   

Spectators will be allowed, but must be included within the numbers, whilst social distancing of 2m must be maintained. They will also need to be included in the Test & Trace process.  

A person working, or providing voluntary services, on-shore in relation to the holding of an event is not to be treated as attending the event. 

When preparing for the event please refer to the RYA Guidance on major events and COVID-19 

Welsh Government advise is to seek Local Authority engagement, potentially through their Safety Advisory Group. They are not there to sign-off your events, but can offer advice. However any events that take place on council land agreement must be sought from the Local Authority.  

Please see the guidance linked below for re-started RYA Training in Wales.
Is it possible to have multiple groups of 50 (club races for example) running simultaneously?

Simultaneous gatherings of groups and individuals in the same location are allowed, where there is sufficient space to do so safely and independently.

Can I access my boat for maintenance purposes?


Is volunteering possible?

Yes, Outdoor regulated gatherings (formerly known as organised outdoor activities) are able to take place;  for example; work parties organised by the club, should be supervised by a responsible person and should comply with COVID Safe procedures.

Can marinas open?


Can I travel to my boat?


Can I stay overnight on my boat?

 Yes, however you may only stay overnight with your household or extended household/ bubble.

What about elite sport and professional sailors?

There are continuing exceptions for elite athletes so that they can train or compete. Within RYA Cymru Wales activity, this currently relates to the British Sailing Team, selected youth performance or transitional squads and professional sailors, with RYA Cymru Wales working with the Welsh Government/Sport Wales National Sport Group on allowing exemptions. 

Can a Club or Centre hire out equipment?

The regulations don’t specify this, however if the regulations can be obeyed this possible, but given the nature of the pandemic, people are encouraged to use their own equipment in line with the mitigation and risk assessment procedures

The above guidance to members and affiliates is RYA Cymru Wales’s interpretation of the Welsh Government’s current position. Although we strive to ensure that all the information is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed due to the developing and fast-moving situation. RYA Cymru Wales members should review the Welsh Government’s full guidance themselves and follow the latest announcements at Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALES

Specific advice for clubs and class associations organising events in Wales

Find out more

Restarting boating activity and managing COVID 19

Welsh Government guidance
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