Sub-menu Navigation

Boating Guidance for Scotland

Updated 20th November 2020

The Scottish Government has introduced a new strategic framework document for managing COVID-19 which became effective from 2 November 2020. This provides a 5-Level approach to restrictions with each local authority area (or subarea) placed in a relevant protection level depending upon its COVID-19 status which will be reviewed weekly.

Whilst most boating activity can take place; our activity will look and feel different from ‘normal’ due to the extra measures that need to be put in place. Participants, clubs and centres should continue to operate in a considerate and conservative manner to determine how they can get the best experience possible whilst ensuring safety.

Before participating in any boating activity, for leisure, training or competition, please check the most up to date guidance and associated restrictions for your local area. Participants, clubs and centres should be prepared for restrictions to change at short notice and this may result in activity being adapted, postponed or cancelled.

To check what level of measures apply in your area or venue where you intend to participate in activity, please check the postcode on the Government webpage.


Our guiding principles remain:

We will always follow Government adviceScottish Government

  • The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on frontline services. We have a collective and individual role to play by following the Scottish Government guidelines.

We will, as a boating community, take a considerate and conservative approach

  • Considerate of others: be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and local communities. Do not place unnecessary extra strain on the RNLI and emergency services
  • Conservative of risk: help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to your boating
  • rescue techniques and considerations.

The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on frontline services. We have a collective and individual role to play by following the Government guidelines.

Remember FACTS for a safer Scotland.

  • Face covering
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Clean hands and surfaces regularly
  • Two metre distance from other people
  • Self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms

People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 10 days and household members for 14 days. No one who is self-isolating should attend a sports facility or activity.

The information within the RYA Scotland Guidance document is tailored towards RYA affiliated clubs and recognised training centres but is applicable to all boating and is designed to aid your decision-making process and planning, not replace it.

All planning decisions should be made using this information as assistance and considering both the current advice and all the unique considerations in which you operate. In doing this, clubs and training centres should use risk assessment tools and processes to make the most effective decisions, individual participants should remain considerate and conservative in their boating choices.

Clubs and centres will also need to make sure that facility staff, volunteers and participants are made aware and can adapt to changes in guidance at short notice. Information on Scottish Governments approach to managing Covid-19 is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.

It is recommended that clubs and training centres identify an individual as the Covid-19 Officer to oversee assessments for grounds, facilities and activity and implementation of mitigating actions and protocols. This is a mandatory requirement for any organised activity.

sportscotland has produced the Getting your Facilities Fit for Sport guidance. This is very pertinent to clubs and training centres in planning for activity. The guidance is applicable to all levels of the Scottish Government Covid-19 strategic framework and can be adapted to support other planning-based work being undertaken by sports, clubs and community organisations.

Find books for your course at the RYA Shop

eBooks in the cloud
Our handy guide shows the books & DVDs that go with your course!
Please select...