Hi All! Happy Christmas to you! Following the moving of Suffolk into Tier 4 I have prepared some answers to some common questions. This also forms the outline of what you personally are able to do during this time and what the club is able to offer.
The following is an extract of guidance provided by the RYA in their latest guidance published in RYA Covid-19 FAQs valid in England from 20 December 2020. This forms the basis of how we can operate our sailing activities whilst in the tiered system. Additional comments from FFSC are added for additional clarification.
Can I go boating?
RYA – Boating remains permitted as a form of exercise and/or outdoor recreation in all 4 tiers but we continue to urge boaters to take a conservative and considerate approach by complying with the Government’s guidance, particularly at this time of year. Even though boating activity is legally permitted, you should think very carefully about the risks to yourself and others caused by the new variant of the virus.
The exemption to the rule of 6 for organised outdoor sports applies in tiers 1, 2 and 3. Informal or self-organised sport is not covered by any exemptions and can only take place within the legal gathering limits applicable to the relevant tier.
In tier 4 organised sporting activity is not permitted, except for under-18s and disabled people.
Can club boat parks and slipways remain open?
RYA – Yes, outdoor sport and individual recreation is allowed in all tiers so associated amenities such as boat parks and slipways can also open.
FFSC – Club dinghy park and launching is available for use.
Can club facilities open?
RYA – Sailing clubs may open their outdoor facilities for boating. Indoor facilities in tiers 1 and 2 can be open subject to the limits on gathering for the specific tier and that the venue is Covid secure. However, in tier 3 indoor facilities, with the exception of toilets and changing rooms, must close (see below).
Indoor facilities (with the exception of toilets) in tier 4 must close. Changing rooms and showers are permitted to open in tiers 1 – 3, but clubs should encourage members to change at home where possible and may choose to impose capacity limits to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Access should be maintained for those with disabilities and will be important in bad weather.
FFSC – Clubhouse remains closed. Members should arrive dressed or change in the dinghy park. Social distancing applies.
Can we run organised on the water activity such as club racing?
RYA – Organised activity is permitted in tiers 1- 3, but in tier 4 organised activity is only permitted for under18’s and disabled people.
FFSC – Formally organised sailing events can no longer take place. The immediate events in the Club Calendar has been updated to reflect this. Cancelled events are marked as “Cancelled”. Events that are under review are marked as “Pending”.
Can we run “un-organised” on the water activity?
Government – Indoor gyms and sports facilities will close. Outdoor sports courts, outdoor gyms, golf courses, outdoor swimming pools, archery/driving/shooting ranges, riding centres and playgrounds can remain open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within your household, support bubble, or with one person from another household.
RYA – Sailing club boat parks and marinas can open for individual exercise, and for people to use with others within their household, support bubble, or with one person from another household. However, you should consider the associated risks very carefully.
FFSC – In tier 4 work or volunteering is permitted. Adults supporting organised activities for Under18s is also allowed. Therefore volunteer manned patrol boats can be available to provide support for Under18s. We will look to provide patrol boats where we know Under18s are going afloat.
Who can I go boating with?
RYA – In tiers 1 – 3, crews should be:
- From the same household or support bubble, or
- Up to six individuals from separate households, or
- When undertaking organised sporting activity, crew numbers should comply with RYA Guidance on sailing & racing with participants from different households
In tier 4, crews should be:
- From the same household or support bubble, or
- Two individuals from separate households in accordance with RYA Guidance on sailing & racing with participants from different households, however, you should think very carefully about the risks to yourself and others caused by the new variant of the virus.
In all tiers, before boating with those from a different household you should familiarise yourself with the RYA Guidance on sailing & racing with participants from different households and carefully consider the risks associated with undertaking exercise with those from another household.
FFSC – Two individuals from different households can sail together when both are happy with their review of the RYA and government guidance. It is the responsibility of the individuals to review the guidance and make their own decisions. The club will not advise beyond the guidance of the RYA.
Are club boats available for hire?
RYA – It is expected that where there is a change of crew on a vessel then they will be cleaned or left for a period of 48 hours before a new crew boards the vessel.
FFSC – Club boats are available for hire. Booking via firstname.lastname@example.org is required to facilitate the management of the 48 hour period. Club boats available during this time are large enough to adhere to RYA guidance RE distancing. It is for the crew to make their own decisions. Double handed dinghies cannot be sailed single handed without prior approval from Rear Commodore Sailing or Sailing Captain.
Can shoreside activities can take place?
RYA – In tiers 1 – 3 activities related to the facilitation of the sport such as briefings, working parties, committee meetings are permissible however, we recommend that if possible, these be held virtually or deferred.
In tiers 1- 3 when socialising or spectating ashore at the club you are limited to the rule of 6 outdoors i.e. you must not socialise in a group of more than 6. When ashore, minimising the number of people in distinct separate groups is advisable to help prevent both the spread of the virus and reputational damage.
In tier 4 organised activity is not permissible (with the exception of under-18s and disabled people), as such there is no requirement for activity briefings. Activity briefings for under-18s and disabled people should be held virtually wherever possible. In tier 4 work or volunteering is permitted so some shore side activities may be possible, however we recommend that these be minimised or deferred where possible.
Are members able to travel to a club or marina from an area in a different tier?
RYA – Those living in tier 1 and tier 2 areas can travel to clubs within tiers 1 and 2 however, they should avoid travel into tier 3 areas unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise and open air recreation (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble) or to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes or organised sport and physical activity for under-18s . Those living in tier 3 areas should avoid travel out of tier 3 areas, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise and open air recreation (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble) or to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes or organised sport and physical activity for under-18s to take place. You can travel though tiers 1 to 3 as part of a longer journey, however, those in tier 4 should only travel between adjacent tier 4 areas. You should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. People in tier 4 areas should not travel out of their tier to a sailing club or marina in tier 1, 2 or 3 unless it is for one of the exceptions set out in law for example to enable individual exercise (or exercise for people from the same household).
FFSC – Travel is permitted to exercise but journeys must be within tier 4 and kept short wherever possible.
All organised activities including racing is cancelled.
Sailing in Company is an organised event and therefore cannot happen. “Supported / Informal Sailing” has been placed in the calendar which is a suggested time for individuals to go afloat. This will not have safety boat cover. Under 18s may request volunteer manned patrol boats to support their sailing via email@example.com.
The club calendar has been updated to reflect the changes as a result of the move to Tier 4. When Tier 4 restrictions are lifted the calendar will be updated again. All previously issued FFSC Covid Guidance stands.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries or questions.