The latest announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive on 7th May outlined no fundamental changes to the current Regulations. We must await the publication of any further guidance of the Executive’s ‘plan for a phased, strategic approach to recovery.’   The next statutory review of the Regulations will take place before 30th May.  

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

RYA NI believes there is a clear case for boating (sailing, windsurfing, powerboating etc) to be able to resume as part of any easing of restrictions, while following any necessary parameters for social distancing, to avoid unnecessary transmission of Coronavirus or putting additional strain on frontline services, including the RNLI or HM Coastguard.    

We have seen the boating community acting in a responsible and patient manner throughout this period. As the National Governing Body, we urge all members of the boating community in Northern Ireland to continue to do so until instructed otherwise.  

Clubs, Training Centres etc in England will be receiving guidance based upon 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 plan is made.   

While we welcome the Republic of Ireland and England now have some level of blueprint plans, we continue to await the Northern Ireland Executive’s announcements of any potential return to activity.   As we have seen, water sports have been included in the UK Government’s announcement and we hope that this will follow through to Northern Ireland in due 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, but this can only take place once the implications of any modification the current lockdown restrictions have been assessed.  For now all clubs, centres and participants must continue to follow the current Public Health Agency 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 can safely return to the water.  

Richard Honeyford
Chief Operating Officer
RYA Northern Ireland