Sail Scotland developing guidelines for charter and sailing holiday operators

Sail Scotland is developing guidelines for a return to business for charter and fully serviced sailing and cruise operators.

This is part of its work with the Scottish Government and a working group of trade membership organisations, National Park authorities, unions, enterprise agencies, VisitScotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, and UK Hospitality to develop a framework for the re-opening of tourism and hospitality in Scotland.

Its current draft guidance notes – to Support the Phased Return of Commercial Charter and Fully Serviced Sailing/Cruising Holidays Operating in and from Scottish Waters – set out its principles, the Scottish Government’s route map, and guidelines for boat operators among other subjects.

It includes the cleaning requirements for life jackets, harnesses, etc., using suitable antibacterial products, after each use, or not re-using for 72 hours. Waterproofs and other hire items should be stored (where possible) for 72 hours prior to next usage. Where this is not possible, they should be cleaned appropriately before redistribution.

According to Cleaning Protocols for Self-Catering Properties and Short-Term Lets in the Context of Covid-19, Covid-19 can live on some common household surfaces for up to three days. Information and knowledge is evolving all the time. Currently it is thought that the virus can live for up to:

  • 2-3 hours in the air
  • Up to 4 hours on copper
  • Up to 24 hours on cardboard, glass and metal
  • Up to 2 or 3 days on plastic and stainless steel

which is why ABYA recommend 72 hours before viewings on boats.

Sail Scotland is keen to support the marine tourism industry plan with an industry specific route map for the sailing charter, fully serviced skippered sailing and MV adventure sailing holiday sectors, the document says.

It’s seeking input and refinement by charter and serviced sailing holiday operators working in Scottish waters. Many of those operators have chosen not to open in 2020 as restricted sailing will potentially add to anticipated losses before operations can resume in 2021. However, it should be stated that there are many other operators in this sector who would wish to salvage any remaining 2020 business opportunities and to get back to work as soon as practically possible whilst operating within the guidelines of both the UK and Scottish Governments. Every booking counts towards the survival of these small businesses, the document concludes.

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