COVID-19 – Coronavirus: Guidance for Recreational Boating and General Aviation1st May 2020
Effective from 7 May 2020 14:00pm (local time)
The Bailiwick’s public health objective has not changed: to minimise contacts between households as far as possible so that we can reduce the rate of transmission of the virus and the number of COVID-19 cases, ensuring that our health care system is not overwhelmed.
The core instruction to our community has not changed – “STAY AT HOME”. You should not leave your home except to exercise, to buy necessary food and supplies, for medical appointments or to work – either where that work is essential, and/or where the States has decided that that certain types of business can operate in line with the public health directions.
This approach is consistent with the cautious approach adopted to date. It presents a series of limited extensions to permitted activities, which will gradually allow people back into the workplace in a controlled way. However, if the public health evidence indicate that this approach should be reversed to protect the community that will be done.
The guidance below sets out the following:
- Changes to the current restrictions to enable recreational boating, subject to some controls – section A
- Changes to the current restrictions to allow general aviation flights and activities, subject to some controls – section B
SECTION A: Recreational Boating
Recreational boat owners (using any type of vessel, whether motorised or not) are now permitted to use their boats in local waters for recreational purposes subject to the following conditions:
- The latest weather forecast has been obtained and the vessel has been checked and inspected thoroughly before putting to sea. This should include ensuring that all boat systems and engines are operating correctly and all equipment is in date and operating as it should. This is particularly important in order to minimise the need for our emergency services to be mobilised potentially placing them and you at risk.
- It is anticipated that a significant number of boaters will want to take advantage of this relaxation on the first few suitable tides. Boat skippers are urged to exercise good seamanship, courtesy, patience and common sense as they move in and out of marinas. Guernsey Harbours’ dory’s will be operating in the marinas for the first few tides to monitor activity.
- Boat skippers may only be accompanied by persons permanently residing at the same address or, where the vessel is sufficiently large to maintain social distancing, with one other person from a different household.
- Boat owners and operators must continue to adhere to the strict social distancing rules currently in place.
- Boat owners are limited to a four-hour period of water based activities in every 24-hour period.
- At the request of the authorities of Alderney, Sark and Herm, landing in those Islands is not permitted.
- Refuelling is permitted but only adhering to the strict social distancing rules currently in place and ensuring continued good hygiene practices including the use of gloves whilst handling refuelling equipment.
- Surfaces and objects that are touched regularly should be frequently cleaned and disinfected thoroughly using appropriate products and equipment on board the vessel.
- Attention is also drawn to the Skipper and crew of any vessel which makes landfall outside of the Bailiwick’s territorial waters that they must observe Customs regulations as well as following the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days immediately upon return as set out in separate guidance for travel.
- These requirements have also been published by the Guernsey Harbour Master via local notices to mariners. Vessel owners are required to check the latest local notices regularly for updated instructions and changes, before putting to sea, using Guernsey Harbours’ website http://www.harbours.gg/Guernsey-Navigation-Warnings-Notices.
SECTION B: General Aviation
General Aviation aircraft owners and pilots are now permitted to operate their aircraft in local air space for maintenance flights and engine health flights subject to the following conditions:
- All flights are arranged with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice through their appointed fixed based operator or the Guernsey Aero Club.
- All flights require prior permission with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice using the published ‘Prior Permission Required’ (PPR) process.
- All flights will be operated within the current published operating hours of Guernsey Airport. Airport extensions are not available.
- Aircraft owners and pilots must continue to adhere to the strict social distancing rules currently in place.
- The aircraft pilot may only be accompanied by persons permanently residing at the same address or, where the aircraft is sufficiently large to maintain social distancing, with one other person from a different household.
- Pilots are limited to a four-hour period of flying every seven days and are not permitted to leave local air space.
- All flights are required to take off and directly land back at their airport of origin.