Update - 8th July 2020
As the restrictions imposed by government in relation to coronavirus continue to be eased, I would like to take this opportunity to update you about using your vessel in our harbours.
The majority of contracted vessels have remained in our harbours and some vessels have previously been lifted in by appointment. Following the initial relaxation of government guidelines, our slipways reopened to all users on 1 June, including day launchers and ad-hoc lift ins. Subsequently our onshore facilities were reopened to all users, having been available throughout for the wellbeing of our live aboard customers.
The latest relaxation came into effect on 4 July and this now means overnight stays on boats are allowed. However, these must still be in accordance with the latest government guidance. The guidelines also continue to refer to social distancing/mixing measures, whereby the number of households or ‘bubbles’ which can interact at the same time remains limited.
With regards to the earlier guidance issued by DEFRA titled ‘Using a boat inland and on the coast’, this has now been withdrawn.
Guidance received from the Department of Transport states that:
“Latest government guidance on COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
“Individuals and boating operators are responsible for conducting a risk assessment drawing on the relevant sources of government guidance on COVID-19. In particular operators and individuals should consider:
- Working Safely during coronavirus
- Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July
- Meeting People Outside Your House
- Staying Safe Outside Your Home
- Safer transport guidance for operators
- Safer travel guidance for passengers
- Phased return of outdoor sport and recreation
I am sure that you will agree with me that a return towards normality is most welcome, however we must continue to protect ourselves and our communities by following all government guidance. With this in mind, you will continue to see a number of measures in force around the harbours following consultation with partner agencies including:
- Sanitation stations and enhanced cleaning regimes in our facilities.
- Limitations on which toilets, showers and sinks can be used in our facilities.
- Staff maintaining social distancing of 2m where possible.
- No staff have been furloughed during this time, however staff rotas have been changed to ensure that as far as possible, we can protect our workforce and maintain service continuity to customers in the event of an outbreak.
- We are currently managing to maintain scheduled bridge openings, although you will notice staff wearing enhanced PPE, including visors, on Whitby Swing Bridge. Following a bridge opening, a pedestrian one-way system is operational to allow for some measure of separation for the large crowds of people who utilise the bridge.
- Additional bridge openings cannot be provided due to multi agency safeguarding concerns and the risk of potential transmission of coronavirus through the crowds of people that gather during bridge openings.
- Rotational staffing in our offices, including staff working from home, to deal with enquiries in the usual manner.
- An appointment system for those who have no other option but to visit an office.
- Additional provisions for the payment of invoices have been made available at Whitby Marina Office and Scarborough Port Control.
- Enhanced vessel patrols, in particular focusing on vessels whose owners continue to shield and therefore cannot check on their own vessels.
By working together and staying alert we can continue down the path towards normality. I thank you for your continued patience and support during these unprecedented times.
Capt. Ian Vasey
Borough Harbour Master