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COVID-19 Updates

Exeter Port Authority

Covid-19 restrictions as of 2 March 2021

Exeter Port Authority are delighted to be able to pass on the following information passed on via the UK Harbour Masters Association.

COVID-19 - Reopening of the Recreational Marine Industry in England

Good Day All,

The following and attached guidance kindly received from British Marine, the RYA and the Yacht Harbour Association relates to England although we are circulating to all UKHMA members for your information.
The attached COVID-19 Reopening of the Marine Industry in England has been developed by Government, navigation authorities, and user groups from across the sector in conjunction with British Marine and RYA.

Ports, Harbours & Marinas will be pleased to learn that private boat owners can access and use their boats from 8 March (subject to staying local) – please see the British Marine website for full details.

Also the RYA have also issued some FAQs for guidance

Whilst comprehensive, the attached guidance does not cover two specific areas that members of the public have asked for guidance on, these being boat maintenance and the use of sanitary facilities.

Therefore the British Marine industry’s interpretation (where clear guidance is not available from Government) is as follows:
Boat Maintenance:

  • If a boat owner needs to work on their boat to ensure that it is safe to use (seaworthy) then this is permitted from 8 March.
  • Other general maintenance on boats is not permitted until 12 April at the earliest. 
  • Access to boats in boatyards/Clubs is still subject to the risk assessment/policy of the site concerned.

Shared Facilities:

  • Toilet facilities may open subject to Covid secure procedures and cleaning regimes being in place
  • Shower and bathroom facilities
    • where these are self-contained individual shower/bathroom facilities that do not require people to ‘share space’ they may open (subject to Covid secure procedures and cleaning regimes being in place)
    • where people are required to share space whist using the facility these areas should be closed until 17 May (at the earliest)

Following industry meetings the Department for Transport won’t be issuing their own guidance or directions regarding the re-opening of recreational boating and are supportive of the industry Associations taking the lead on this subject.

We trust this guidance maybe useful to you as we look forward to the gradual re-opening of leisure boating in the UK during 2021. No doubt further updates and guidance shall follow which we shall endeavour to bring forward to sailors for their information and attention.


For any further help with the guidance, please contact the Port Authority via

Grahame Forshaw MBE MNI

Harbour Master

Exeter Port Authority




When this content has been updated

Last updated 1 June 2021