The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has called on the Government to consider easing some restrictions currently imposed on the marine sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic response.
In an letter to Brendan Griffin TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, as seen by Afloat.ie, IMF chairman Paal Janson suggests “some responsible steps” to allow small businesses within the sector to resume limited trading “in light of the considerations now being given” to a gradual easing of movement restrictions.
These steps would allow for the pick-up of a boat or boat equipment from a dealer, broker or seller “as it is considered a reasonable justification under obtaining goods and services”.
They would also allow a boat-owner to access their vessel at a marina or mooring “to male sure it is safe and compliant”, or to take their vessel to a marina or boat shed for repairs or servicing (or likewise return it to its mooring it after same).
“In addition, we would suggest that once recreational activities are once again permissible, boating is one of the more responsible and acceptable forms of enjoying the outdoors,” Janson says, provided boaters stick to the following:
- Only boat with those already in your immediate household. No guests on your boat.
- Go right from your house to the boat and back, no unnecessary contact with anyone or any loitering at the marina/dock.
- Maintain your distance at the fuel dock and when purchasing provisions.
- No rafting up, keep your distance when out on the water.
- Wash your hands any time there is contact with shared surfaces.
- Be safe and responsible, do nothing that would require the assistance of the rescue services.
“The Irish Marine Federation is committed to ensuring that the safety of its members and customers alike is of overarching importance and hopes to be able to work with the relevant Government authorities to see a gradual return to a safe and responsible recreational activity,” Janson adds.