RYA Northern Ireland has updated its guidance for boaters following recent announcements by the NI Executive.
Sport Northern Ireland officials confirmed that the sport sector remains in Step 2 of the Roadmap to Recovery until further announcements.
The situation in Northern Ireland is summarised as follows:
- Groups of up to 10 who do not share a household are permitted to take part in socially distanced outdoor activity. Recent announcements regarding increased group gathering sizes does not apply to outdoor activity, which remains at 10.
- Indoor facilities are to remain closed with the exception of restricted access to small shared facilities, eg storage area/toilet/through-ways. These are disinfected regularly with sanitation products available.
- Elite athletes are permitted to train indoors.
- Bars/restaurants in registered clubs will now be able to open alongside the hospitality sector. The NI Executive, at its meeting on 2 July, agreed to the restricted opening of restaurants and bars in private members’ clubs on 3 July. Guidance is available on the Tourism NI website. The Chief Scientific Adviser in Northern Ireland has also advised that a register of those present is kept on the premises. This will assist in contact tracing if necessary.
- Overnight stays onboard can take place with the easing of restrictions on second homes from 26 June.
- Social distancing remains at two metres unless you use mitigating measures, which could allow a reduction to a minimum of one metre. The NI Executive has reiterated that two metres remains the optimum. RYANI has updated Step 2 Guidance with this change and considerations for smaller craft.
RYANI chief operating officer Richard Honeyford said it “welcomes an outline timetable going forward that includes competitive sport potentially resuming from 17 July”.
He added: “This will have potential restrictions on numbers able to undertake activity at that time and facility access remains a key consideration on what may be delivered.”
The governing body for sailing in Northern Ireland has issued ongoing updates to clubs, training centres and engagement through its webinar forums.
Questions remain over more specific elements, however, and RYANI says it will continue to raise these with the Sports’ Expert Panel and working alongside the joint watersports group. This includes matters such as changing room access and guidance.
Full updated guidance and FAQs can be found on the RYANI’s Return to Boating webpage.