COVID-19: RYA training in the UK

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    07 January 2021: As you will be aware, in recent days further national lockdown restrictions have been announced and come into effect for EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland as part of the government's strategy to control the spread of the coronavirus.

    We are continuing to review the latest legislation and expect to be able to publish more detailed guidance later this week. We urge you to monitor this page as well as the ‘further information’ pages listed below for the latest updates.

    This page was last updated on 07 January 2021.

    The RYA is committed to our fundamental principles of supporting the boating community to be considerate and conservative during the coronavirus pandemic. 

    Coronavirus Regulations

    The regulations enable the Government and devolved administrations to respond to the serious and imminent threat to public health which is posed by the incidence and spread of the coronavirus.

    While guidance sets out how Governments expect people should behave, the regulations set out how people must behave and it is the regulations (rather than the guidance) that may be enforced within the law.

    The regulations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continue to differ, but are still aimed at controlling the virus. RTCs should make sure they are familiar with both the regulations and guidance in their location. 

    Home Countries

    The COVID-19 restrictions continue to differ for each of the Home Countries. For further details, please follow the links below: 


    Northern Ireland:


    Current guidance for England

    The Government is asking everybody to observe the following key behaviours:

    • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
    • FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
    • SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).

    The Government has issued new guidance for the national lockdown in England, which came into force on Tuesday 05 January 2021. The new guidance states that you must not leave, or be outside of your home except where necessary. 

    The RYA is continuing to review the latest legislation and Government guidance, however in the meantime we have prepared a set of FAQs based on what we believe the guidance means for recreational boating in England.

    What do the current restrictions mean for RYA Training activity in England?

    It is clear that any face-to-face RYA training (both practical and classroom based) that is being undertaken purely for leisure purposes should not occur at this time.

    On a positive note, the legislation indicates that training and / or assessment being undertaken for work purposes or leading to a formal qualification that can be used for employment may continue, assuming of course the usual risk assessments are undertaken and mitigating actions taken to minimise risk of infection.

    Whilst training for work related purposes may take place we would continue to urge you to question whether or not it should take place at this time. Where training can be delayed or deferred until after this current lockdown consideration should be given to doing so in an effort to help support efforts to bring the coronavirus under control.

    It is anticipated that these measures will remain in place until later in February.

    We would encourage all centres to continue to monitor the relevant Government guidance as well as this page and the ‘further information’ pages listed below for the latest guidance and information as it becomes available.

    Further information

    In addition to the information above, centres should ensure they are familiar with the temporary adjustments to the RYA Conditions of Recognition and the General and scheme-specific considerations for running RYA training activity

    Government guidance

    The UK Government has issued the following guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation, and working safely during coronavirus: 

    RYA Guidance

    If you have any questions, or want to discuss any of the guidance in further detail, please contact the RYA Training team by emailing or calling +44 (0) 23 8060 4181.