RYA Northern Ireland position on return to boating activity in NI

11 May 20

The latestannouncement by the Northern Ireland Executive on 7th Mayoutlined no fundamental changes to the current Regulations. We must await thepublication of any further guidance of the Executive’s ‘plan for a phased, strategicapproach to recovery.’   Thenext statutory review of the Regulations will take place before 30th May. 

RYA Northern Ireland has supported the Northern Ireland Governmentguidance on the lockdown and will continue to do so as long as is necessary tocombat the pandemic.  We have an activeand responsible part to play, by following guidelines laid down by the NI Executive. 

RYA NI believesthere is a clear case for boating (sailing, windsurfing, powerboating etc) tobe able to resume as part of any easing of restrictions, while following anynecessary parameters for social distancing, to avoid unnecessary transmissionof Coronavirus or putting additional strain on frontline services, including theRNLI or HM Coastguard.  

We have seen the boating community acting in a responsible and patientmanner throughout this period. As the National Governing Body, we urge allmembers of the boating community in Northern Ireland to continue to do so untilinstructed otherwise. 

Clubs, Training Centres etc in England will be receiving guidance basedupon the advice issued by the UK Government for England only.  RYANI will issue this guidance for clubs,centres etc. only, once a full assessment of any future NI Executive recovery planis made.  

While we welcome the Republic of Ireland and England now have some levelof blueprint plans, we continue to await the Northern Ireland Executive’s announcementsof any potential return to activity.   Aswe have seen, water sports have been included in the UK Government’sannouncement and we hope that this will follow through to Northern Ireland indue course, once the NI Executive deem it safe to do so. 

RYANI is very aware, that people are eager to get back on the water, butthis can only take place once the implications of any modification the currentlockdown restrictions have been assessed. For now all clubs, centres and participants must continue to follow thecurrent Public HealthAgency advice in Northern Ireland to Stay at Home, Keep your Distance,Wash your Hands. 

We look forward to the time that restrictions are eased and we cansafely return to the water. 

Richard Honeyford
Chief Operating Officer
RYA Northern Ireland