Covid-19 Restrictions on Cruising
CA RATS Advice
Cruisers will be aware that Covid-19 presents an unprecedented challenge to cruising. The situation and the measures being taken by various governments are dynamic and generally unco-ordinated between nations. Consideration of the impact of constraints due to Covid-19 are essentially now a part of cruise planning.
In deciding whether and where to cruise the CA’s RATS (Regulations and Technical Services) group advises that the following should be considered:
- Restrictions on cross-border and in-country travel may restrict access to boats abroad and, once on board, limit cruising grounds;
- The availability of medical care in your destination countries; insurance will not help you if the local healthcare services are overwhelmed;
- Your travel and medical insurance; it may be difficult to obtain travel or medical insurance that will provide cover against Covid-19;
- How you will deal with you or your crew becoming ill;
- How you will get yourself and/or your crew home if in trouble (EHIC will not cover this);
- What will you do if the local government ask you to leave at short notice;
- The risk that, while on passage, further restrictions are introduced in your intended destination.
- You have a duty to act responsibly; if something goes wrong and your activity requires the use of the emergency or health services this will pose an avoidable additional burden and risk for those services.
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Official Sources of Information
Disclaimer: Any advice has been prepared voluntarily by the Cruising Association, its members and others and they and it have tried to ensure that the contents are accurate. However, the Cruising Association, its employees, contributors and relevant members shall not be liable for any loss, damage or inconvenience of any kind howsoever arising in connection with the use of such advice, save to the extent required by applicable law.
Against a background of frequent changes in advice and regulations, RATS approach is to provide, where possible, links so that users can quickly find the information they require. Users should be wary though, that in some instances even Government websites lag the decisions announced by Ministers, and 'local interpretations' may differ from the official national statements.
In all cases it is important to consider not just the restrictions on cruising but also restrictions on travel to and from your boat.
CA Members are strongly advised to join appropriate 'Sections' and monitor/contribute to their Forum postings – these provide unsurpassed access to 'feet on the ground' information.
Current UK Restrictions
There are notable variations between different regions and the four UK nations have applied different approaches to the timing and extent of measures taken to curb the spread of the virus. It is thus vital that you investigate the current situation for any part of the UK that you intend to visit or travel through. In addition harbour authorities and marina operators may make local arrangements and operating rules, depending on local regulations, their facilities and available staff – check and pre-book if possible.
The international travel ban has been lifted and a traffic light system has been adopted by all of the UK Nations and it would appear that the same Red, Amber and Green lists have been adopted by them all. It is feasible that the UK Nations may diverge over time and members are recommended to make relevant checks.
- England: Red, amber and green list rules for entering England
- Scotland: Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation
- Wales: Rules for foreign travel to and from Wales: coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Northern Ireland: Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel advice
Key points to note:
Check which countries require proof of vaccination here.
The Current Situation
The lifting of the travel ban and introduction of the traffic light system makes international travel easier but there remain significant restrictions and differing requirements for the all four UK nations. It is therefore essential that members check the specific requirements in relation to their travel plans. The following link provides advice for each of the four UK nations.
Status of European and Mediterranean Cruising Grounds
These pages offer links to websites found to provide authoritative information about travel to, and restrictions in, the various countries around Europe and the Mediterranean. Based on the cruising grounds of the majority of CA members, this information is focused on Europe and the Mediterranean; however, the CA is of course active and available for those of you further afield – CA members should maintain contact directly through the ‘Bluewater Section’. Noonsite is also highly recommended. CA Members are also recommended to refer to information provided by the relevant area Sections and Forums that often provide more localised information.
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Status by Country
The Cruising Association (CA) is Britain’s leading organisation for cruising sailors with members in over 40 countries worldwide. The advice on this page is provided as an example of the wealth of information available to CA members via our member-only web pages and forums. In addition to valuable content from the CA’s Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS), members can also tap into a vast array of information and advice wherever they are in the world, through the website and through our own cruising app, CAptain's Mate.