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Passenger Boat Sector Guidance on the Road Map

On the 22nd of February the UK government published its roadmap with key dates for the easing and ultimately ending restrictions placed on businesses and consumers due to COVID-19. Following discussions with DEFRA the marine industry has published a table to show how each of the sectors are affected by these dates, the full table can be found on the back to business main page. Passenger boats are grouped in with skippered boats. It should be noted that these dates apply only to England as the devolved nations are setting their own timetables, information on each devolved nation can be found on the British Marine website here.


The dates shown below are subject to the government reviews at each stage and could change, this page will be updated as necessary with the latest advice from government.


When read in conjunction with the road map and other sectors our interpretation of the above dates is as follows (please note that all operations up to the 21st June when deciding to open must follow COVID secure protocols with social distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes and test and trace in place as outlined in the downloadable Control on Passenger Vessel Operations document found on the main back to business page):

12th April – Operations are permitted with passengers only permitted in the outside areas of the vessel. The rule of six/2 households applies to each group booking but not the total number of passengers on board. Social distancing and full COVID protocols need to be in place including limiting the numbers taken on each trip to the available space i.e each operator must assess how many passengers they can have solely in the open areas with social distancing in place.  If passengers need to go through the internal of the vessel to get to the outside space this is permitted, and toilets can be used but both the through fares and toilets need to be monitored to ensure passengers are not congregating in the internal of the vessel. Additional cleaning regimes should be implemented in these areas. Food and drink is now allowed to be served with table service only. Vessels exterior spaces (over 50% open to the air) can be booked for life events such as wedding receptions, wakes, christenings, bar mitzvahs for groups of up to 15 people.

17th May – Vessels can start to use the enclosed spaces for passengers with full COVID secure protocols in place. Bookings for individual groups is under the rule of six/2 households when using the internal spaces of the vessel, for the external space bookings for up to 30 people in a group can be taken. Food and drink can be served inside or outside but strictly table service only. Life events such as wedding receptions, wakes, christenings, bar mitzvahs for groups of up to 30 people can take place (for the internal of the vessel)

21st June *Now Delayed until 19th July*– All restrictions lifted, no limits (other than those on the passenger certificate) on the number of passengers and social distancing dropped. Charter bookings resume as per pre-COVID.

* The rule of 6/2 households definition is that you can have either groups from up to two households of any number of people or groups totaling up to six people from multiple households.