You will see that the newsletter is focusing again on support and help for businesses during the Covid 19 restrictions to our industry. We make no apology as we need to ensure our voice is heard and support is forthcoming. Please report any changes you see that aid you to gain support. Any change maybe the precedent we need to help others.
British Marine and The Federation of Small Businesses is helping to drive support for change and financial assistance.
VERY RECENT DEFRA Q AND A
(13/05/20) What water-based activities can I take part in?
All forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed.
You may participate in water-based activities as an individual, household group, or as a pair of two people from different households who are socially distancing (i.e. you should keep 2 metres apart). For example, it would not be possible to form a ‘double’ canoe or kayak or rowing boat with someone from outside your household because it would be impossible when doing so to follow social distancing guidelines.
As longer trips outdoors generally are allowed from Wednesday 13 May, owners of both private and commercial boats can now make day visits to their moored boats in marinas and elsewhere to ensure they are properly maintained.
Non-essential travel on waterways by privately-owned boats (both powered and non-powered) may be resumed, subject to guidance permitting it by the relevant navigation authority and compliance with all licensing requirements.
Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures. For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June.
Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July.
If angling is being permitted then am I also allowed to go canoeing/paddling?
• Where individuals have either a licence with the navigation authority or a voluntary agreement with riparian landowners in place, then private canoeing/paddling for individuals within a household only is permitted, subject to being careful and staying away from other users and houseboats. If travel generally no longer has to be essential, can I go to visit my private boat to sit on it and enjoy the sunshine?
• People are permitted to travel to make day visits to their private boats in marinas and elsewhere to sit in them with their household only, subject to being careful and staying away from other users and houseboats in line with social distancing guidelines. Can I now go and stay on my boat overnight or for a few days?
• The guidance on staying at your primary residence still applies, so no overnight visits to private boats or for extended stays are permitted. Can I go on my private boat with someone from a different household if we stay two metres apart?
On small private boats it would not be possible to be in the same boat with someone from outside of your household because it would be impossible when doing so to follow social distancing guidelines.
On larger private boats, where possible we recommend that you avoid sharing a boat with a person from a different household. If you do share a boat with someone outside of your household, then where possible, you should stay at least two metres apart – and it should only be with one other person. Cleaning protocols should be put in place to limit coronavirus transmission on boats. It is advised that touch points (e.g. handrails) should be particular areas of focus for increased cleaning. Frequent cleaning of boats, using your usual cleaning products, is advised. As is removing waste and belongings from boats when finishing a day-trip.
If we are allowing people to visit their private boats, am I also allowed to travel on a private boat along waterways for leisure?
Private boating on waterways may be resumed at this stage only for day visits, subject to guidance and/or any restrictions put in place by the relevant navigation authority. Overnight stays are not permitted.
Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before private leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures. For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June.
Am I allowed to walk around marinas, as well as access my boat to sit on?
• This is primarily a matter for the marina operators to decide, but if it can be done safely following social distancing guidelines then it should be possible. Am I allowed remove my boat from the marina for private boating?
• This is primarily a matter for the marina operators to decide, but if it can be done safely following social distancing guidelines then it should be possible.
Will marinas re-open to allow people to visit their boats and carry out essential maintenance?
• Marinas may re-open to allow people to visit their boats to carry out maintenance,
ensuring appropriate measures are in place to follow social distancing guidelines.
• Navigation authorities may apply a time-lag before leisure travel on their waterways can resume, to allow their teams to carry out essential safety inspections and maintenance to canal and river channels and structures. For example, for the Environment Agency, private boating may not recommence until June. What steps should be taken to safely open a marina?
• Refer to government guidance on outdoor sports facilities and maintaining social distancing.
Can members of the same household travel from their house to use a hire boat operation?
• Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July. Are waterways businesses such as tour boats allowed open now under this guidance, or in July onwards under hospitality?
• Commercial boating operations will remain closed though may resume when the hospitality sector is anticipating starting to re-open in July.
WE ARE SEEKING CLARIFICATION FROM BRITISH MARINE IN RELATION TO BAREBOAT CHARTERS- We are unsure what the difference is from a family taking their own boat out or a hire boat.
Commercial endorsements and medical fitness certificates
The MCA has agreed to extend:
ENG1 and ML5 medical fitness certificates up to a maximum of 6 months
RYA certificates with commercial endorsements which expire after 01 March 2020 extend up to 30 September 2020
Our industry faces some challenges, firstly on a likely date to restart, we can all make guesses but none of us know. Secondly will those clients wish to book on boats if social distancing still is the main thought? Will they also have funds for their events?
You will see that we have been contacting members regularly and if you have not heard from us or need to speak, please email email@example.com. The other main area of our drive has been to monitor all events about business support and finance packages from the government. This has led to us liaising with lobby groups, British Marine, Federation of Small Businesses and some local authorities. This is ongoing almost daily. Another imports area was our submission to The Government Select Committee on impact of Coronavirus on businesses and workers in The maritime world. The PCA submitted a report on 16th April well ahead of the deadline of 24th April.
Many local MPs have been contacted using a draft letter format we sent out.
We are hearing from around the UK some horror stories of loses due to cancellations and also no support for so many of us. Latest information on grants is that some are seeing the payment where they have rateable value attached to their premises with Local Authorities . In the Midland we are hearing that the Local Authorities have agreed to pay grants to all small businesses that have a dedicated office at their home address whether as a separate outbuilding or dedicated room turned to an office. This is what was requested using discretion. The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) are calling for similar and also asking for vessels held in Marinas to have their fees treated as a rent and then pay the grant to small businesses like many of ours. Presently I can say this has failed (Chair) for my business but the FSB are challenging this. Any precedent set will be sent out . I await the decisions of the FSB challenge. I am also asking British Marine to push harder for our industry.
We are again submitting evidence to another government select committee. This time on the Economic impact of coronavirus on The Marine Industry, paying particular attention to boat charters and training aspects.
We mentioned before that the government had extended to Local Authority Grants system to include many more businesses. The advice I am receiving from The Federation of Small Businesses is that this change should support our applications for grants. This is still being tested with quite a few operators submitting more claims despite being initially turned down. The cat states " “Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need. The allocation of funding will be at the discretion of local authorities." Please find the link here https://www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-to-local-business-grant-funds-scheme
We will report back as we hear new news on this very important issue.
If there is something you think we have missed please let us know, it appears we still have some time on our hands!!
Advice to small businesses and PCA members about the Coronavirus COVID-19
An every changing situation- This is what we forwarded in March just ahead of the shutdown but it has still relevant points- We have been watching probably like most people on the latest developments on the Corona Virus and what we can do to protect ourselves and of course our businesses- See the link below to NHS site which will be most up to date informations-
how to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
what advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific areas, as outlined by the Chief Medical Officer
advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from COVID-19
Have an up-to-date business continuity plan (BCP)
Have a relevant business continuity plan (BCP) in place, Make it specific to a potential virus-related situation – some of the issues you may need to think about are supply chains, employees, cashflow, travel.
Business insurance – what happens if your business closes due to an outbreak of COVID-19?
Think about how your business insurance will work if your business closes due to an outbreak of the virus.
Check your policy wording as standard policies may not include any protection if your business suffers due to an outbreak of disease, regardless of circumstance.
Firstly, you need to check your policy, or confer with your broker to see if you have Business Interruption cover in your commercial insurance policy. Business Interruption insurance covers the income that you lose after a disaster, and often comes up when discussing terrorism cover (for example, after the London Bridge attack, local businesses that were forced to close for a period of time would have been able to claim for revenue lost under this clause).
Once you have confirmed that you have Business Interruption cover, you will need to check whether you have an extension for “notifiable diseases”. If you have this in your policy wording, you will need to contact your broker/insurer to confirm whether coronavirus is covered. As at 27 February, the UK Government has not declared COVID-19 as a notifiable disease. Holyrood has declared coronavirus as a notifiable disease in Scotland.
If it isn’t, you may be able to ask for it to be added by your insurer, but they are within their rights to refuse, or to ask for an increased premium.
Recognising the importance of undertaking actions to combat the spread of Coronavirus in the UK, the members of the PCA are committed to protecting the health and safety of both passengers and crew.
PCA members operate small passenger vessels that provide transportation, environmental, educational/Training and entertainment experiences on the waters. They always strive to provide safe and professional services to the general public,
PCA recommends that its members strictly adhere to well documented guidelines and procedures to combat the spread of Coronavirus issued by UK Government and Dept of Health- The link at the top takes you to the most recent updates and could change daily.
Ensuring that employees who are ill or displaying signs of illness (fever, cough) do not come to work.
Sanitizing (not merely cleaning) areas of the vessel in which passengers and crew come into contact
Mandating that all employees frequently wash their hands according to recommended procedures.
Emphasize the utmost levels of cleanliness during food preparation, serving and clean-up.
Partnering with agencies and operators that book or sell our tours to ensure that any guest identified with possible signs be immediately reported to our crews so that a determination can be made whether the guest will take the excursion or not.
This is a fast acting situation and will change daily if not hourly so please follow the links above to latest info. The PCA are not the experts in this field and we advice all members to keep up to date and manage their risk assessments and how you are checking on your clients conditions. This covers having a policy at work on how to advice your clients about recent travel and medical conditions.
Facebook and Twitter
Hopefully everyone is aware we run a Facebook and Twitter account for the PCA.
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