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.

Please help by emailing any updates of which you become aware to:


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 significant 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 will make local arrangements and operating rules, depending on local regulations, their facilities and available staff – check and pre-book if possible.

The Global travel Task Force published "The Safe Return of International Travel" on the 9th April setting out a plan for England. It is as yet to be seen if the other UK nations adopt a similar strategy.

Key points to note:

  • The return to international travel on the 17th May is not confirmed and will be reviewed in early May
  • A traffic light country system will be introduced

  • A green watch list will be established to give early warning of countries at risk of losing their green status
  • The system will be reviewed on 28 June, 31st July and 1st October
  • A system will be introduced to enable residents to prove their Covid test status and possibly vaccine status

    The Current Situation

    Remains that there are significant restrictions on travelling from and to foreign countries and all four UK nations have different requirements. 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.

    Entering the UK

    The UK is changing Entry Conditions on a fairly regular basis, so it is essential to inform yourself as to the latest and imminent regulations. There are differences between each of the nations that form the UK. The following link provides an overview and specific information for England together with links for each of the devolved nations which are also provided below.

    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.

    If you discover links which no longer work, are no longer relevant or find particularly useful links yourself, please help by emailing details to:


    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.

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