New guidance from the RYA now gives clear direction to those who enjoy sailing or racing as part of a team. And it means you’re allowed out to play and / or race in parts of the UK.
The guidance has been reviewed by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) after the RYA submitted its action plan two weeks ago as part of the Return to Recreational Team Sport Framework.
As a sport that naturally benefits from being outdoors in the elements, the RYA has successfully demonstrated that boating is appropriate for teams of sailors, made up of different households, to be permitted to sail and race together – providing the appropriate mitigation is in place.
The RYA says the highest risk will often be before and after going afloat and the guidance highlights the increased risk of certain onboard activities such as rigging, hiking out or two person winch operation. It recognises that while social distancing of 1m+ may not always be possible onboard, it should always be possible to maintain a minimum separation of 0.5m. Mitigation of the risk of being separated by less than 1m can be provided by reducing the time spent in close proximity, avoiding face-to-face contact and not shouting.
Face coverings are discretionary.
However, crews sleeping in communal areas down below is not currently advisable. People from different households should not share confined spaces for long periods of time.
“This has been a real team effort within the RYA and we are delighted that DCMS has taken time to understand our sport and that they trust our stakeholders to act responsibly,” says Ian Walker, RYA Director of Racing.
“Boating has many natural advantages that reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission, but we are acutely aware that there will always be an element of risk. As this pandemic continues to unfold, it will remain vitally important that we all take personal responsibility for assessing the risks and take the appropriate mitigating actions. It remains crucial that we all respect any rules and safety measures that our clubs deem necessary to put in place.”
Clubs should be aware that the pace at which the regulations are being eased varies considerably between the four nations and they should heed country specific guidance.