Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday afternoon, the RYA team have been working hard to understand what this means for RYA Affiliated clubs in England.

The government have made it clear that sports like sailing, which have submitted their guidance to DCMS as part of the Return to Organised Team Sport Framework, can continue to operate in a Covid secure way. It is still appropriate to run club on-water activities including racing and events, and people from different households can continue to sail together as long as they observe the RYA guidance.

As before, it is our interpretation that groups of boats do not constitute a gathering so there are no restrictions to the number of boats that can participate together afloat. Crews do not have to be limited to 6 as they constitute a team sport activity but they must observe social distancing and use appropriate mitigation as per the RYA guidance. We continue to recommend limiting crew numbers where possible.

However, it is clear that clubs and members will have to take more precautions when onshore.

Members will need to ensure they only gather in groups of 6 or less and that these groups do not interact with each other (from Monday this will become law, whereas up until then we have been advised to do so in the form of Government guidance). As of 18th September clubs must maintain records of staff/volunteers, customers/members and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace and follow the Government guidance in this area.

It is also clear, after viewing the statistics the Prime Minister presented yesterday afternoon, that Covid-19 rates in England are increasing fairly significantly. Therefore, we would recommend that clubs reinitiate Covid-19 task groups, refresh their Covid-19 plans and be prepared for any further restrictions which may follow. We would continue to urge all sailors to maintain good hygiene practices, observe social distancing and respect all relevant club and RYA guidance. Let’s keep sailing Covid free so we can all carry on enjoying being on the water.

We have updated our English Club Guidance which can be found on the RYA Return to Boating hub.

We will be delivering a live webinar on these changes and what they mean for clubs at 2 pm on Friday 11th September. We will record this and make a copy available if you are not able to join us at this time. Please register your place here to view live or see a recording later.

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via sport.development@rya.org.uk and we will endeavour to get back to you as soon as we can.