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Scotland

Scotland has released further guidance on the easing of COVID restrictions. Scotland are keeping the level system they have already in place ranging from 0 (least restrictions) to 4 (full restrictions). They have now confirmed that from the 26th April 2021 the whole of mainland Scotland and the Islands will be lowered from level 4 to level 3 (some Islands are already at level 3 and these will remain at level 3). The table of restrictions at each level can be found on the Scottish government website here. Further to the easing on the 26th April the Scottish government have announced dates they hope to move to lower levels further easing restrictions:

  • 26 April: mainland Scotland and islands at Level 4 are expected to move to Level 3. Islands at Level 3 will remain there until 17 May
  • 17 May: all of Scotland will move to Level 2
  • 7 June: all of Scotland will move to Level 1
  • June (late): all of Scotland will move to Level 0

It should be noted that although Scotland is keeping the levels it is their current intention to move the whole of Scotland from one level to the next and not by area but the current legislative framework would allow for different areas in Scotland to move at different rates if the evidence shows this needs to happen.

To help our members British Marine has taken the table and applied it to the various sectors of the marine industry and our interpretation of the easing of restrictions is as follows:

Note Children under the age of 12 do not count towards the number of people in a group but do count towards the number of households in a group. Business venues must capture the details of ALL visitors for test and trace purposes.

26th April – Scotland to move to Level 3

Passenger vessels can start to operate with full COVID secure protocols and risk assessments in place. The vessels will be operating at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. For passengers booking on to the outside decks, each individual group will be limited to a maximum of 6 people from 6 households. Alcohol can be served to passengers in outside spaces. The internal of the vessel can also open but each booking is limited to 6 people from two households. No alcohol can be served or consumed in the internal space of the vessel. For both group bookings on the external decks and the internal space operators will need to remind customers of the regulations in place for the size of booking and the number of households in each booking. The internal space of the vessel will need to close at 8pm. For both internal and external spaced full social distancing must be maintained between different groups of passengers.

Charter bookings of up to 50 passengers can be taken for wedding receptions and wakes but no alcohol is to be served to the group. Social distancing should be maintained between different households in the charter booking.

Day hire boats (open air) – These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. Bookings can be taken for groups of up to 6 people from 6 households. Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Day Hire (with enclosure) - These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. As the vessel has an enclosure which can be accessed by the customers only one household per vessel is allowed. Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Holiday hire - These can resume with full COVID secure protocols in place. If self-catering (i.e. bareboat charter) each vessel can have a single household only.

*Please note British Marine are still awaiting further information on how skippered yacht charter can proceed i.e. if the skipper counts towards the number of people/households on board

Brokerage – this can now resume with COVID secure protocols in place with viewings between clients and brokers both for the external and internal of the vessel

Retail – All marine retail can open to the public with full COVID secure protocols in place.

Move to Level 2 – currently scheduled for 17th May

Passenger Boats – As per the 26th of April passenger boats can run with full covid secure protocols in place but now alcohol can be served both on external decks and the internal of the craft, if serving to customers in the internal space of the craft then this must be done in maximum of 2 hour slots per group. External deck bookings can now be 8 people from 8 households and internal bookings can now be 6 people from three households.  The vessels internal spaces must close at 10.30pm (standard vessel certificate permitting).

Charter bookings of up to 50 passengers can be taken for wedding receptions and wakes. Social distancing should be maintained between different households in the charter booking. Alcohol is permitted to be served.

Day Hire (open air) – Can run with full COVID protocols in place. Each vessel can now take a group of 8 people from 8 households (space and normal licence requirements permitting). Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Day Hire (with enclosure) - These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. As the vessel has an enclosure which can be accessed by the customers up to 4 people from 2 households per vessel (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household). Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Holiday hire (bareboat charter i.e. self-catering holiday accommodation) - These can resume with full COVID secure protocols in place. If self-catering i.e. bareboat charter each vessel can have 4 people from 2 households per vessel (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household).

Move to Level 1 - currently scheduled for 7th June

Passenger Boats – Passenger boats can run with full covid secure protocols in place, alcohol can be served both on external decks and the internal of the craft. External deck bookings can now be 12 people from 12 households and internal bookings can now be 8 people from three households.  The vessels internal spaces must close at 11.00pm(standard vessel certificate permitting).

Charter bookings of up to 100 passengers can be taken (normal licence requirements and COVID risk assessments permitting) for wedding receptions and wakes. Social distancing should be maintained between different households in the charter booking. Alcohol is permitted to be served.

Day Hire (open air) – Can run with full COVID protocols in place. Each vessel can now take a group of 12 people from 12 households (space and normal vessel licence requirements permitting). Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Day Hire (with enclosure) - These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. As the vessel has an enclosure which can be accessed by the customers up to 6 people from 3 households per vessel (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household). Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Holiday hire (bareboat charter i.e. self-catering holiday accommodation) - These can resume with full COVID secure protocols in place each vessel can have 6 people from 3 households per vessel (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household).

Move to Level 0 - currently scheduled for late June

Passenger Boats – Passenger boats can run with full covid secure protocols in place, alcohol can be served both on external decks and the internal of the craft. External deck bookings can now be 15 people from 15 households and internal bookings can now be 10 people from 4 households. Limits on how long the vessels internal spaces can stay open now only governed by the normal operating licence.

Charter bookings of up to 200 passengers can be taken (normal licence requirements and COVID risk assessments permitting) for wedding receptions and wakes. Social distancing should be maintained between different households in the charter booking. Alcohol is permitted to be served.

Day Hire (open air) – Can run with full COVID protocols in place. The maximum number of people and households under COVID restrictions is now larger than the licence can allow meaning these vessels can run to the company’s maximum allowed under licencing and their own COVID risk assessments.

Day Hire (with enclosure) - These can now start to operate with full COVID secure guidelines in place. As the vessel has an enclosure which can be accessed by the customers up to 8 people from 4 households per vessel, licencing and COVID risk assessment requirements permitting (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household). Advanced bookings to be encouraged and at all times at the point of booking customers to be reminded of the maximum group booking per vessel.

Holiday hire (bareboat charter i.e. self-catering holiday accommodation) - These can resume with full COVID secure protocols in place each vessel can have 8 people from 4 households per vessel (or as many customers as the vessel licence allows from a single household).

Further information can be found here

Is there any further information on the businesses in Scotland which are eligible for the leisure, hospitality and retail grant?

British Marine is disappointed to see boathouses and slipways on the list of exclusions produced by the Scottish Parliament. 

British Marine and British Marine Scotland are working closely with our Scottish partners to ensure our members receive the financial support they need. We have, and will continue to, convey our concerns and those of the businesses we represent to members of the Scottish Parliament.

British Marine worked closely with Tourism Alliance and was pleased to see the Local Government Association, which represents councils in England and Wales,confirm that marinas, boat hire and passenger boat facilities, should, in its view, be eligible for the leisure, hospitality retail grant.

Whilst the LGA does not represent councils in Scotland, British Marine was disappointed to see the Scottish Parliament adopt a different position to that of the LGA without a clear explanation. We will continue our discussions and lobbying efforts with key parties to improve the support available to our members based in Scotland.

We have written to MSPs and COSLA, the body which represents local authorities in Scotland to outline our concerns.

How does the support announced by the UK Government and the Scottish Parliament differ?

There are a number of similarities. The UK Government has created a separate website which sets out the details of all the support announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This website contains information on who can apply for each measure and whether it is UK-wide, or only available in England. 

Most of the measures announced by the UK Government are applicable to businesses in Scotland. The key and notable differenceinclude the administration of the business rates relief and grants. This is because the measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2020 only apply in England, they do not apply in Scotland. 

However, the Scottish Parliament has announced its own business rates holiday and grants. Full details of the support for Scottish businesses can be found here

I am a business based in Scotland am I eligible to receive a grant?

The Scottish Parliament has announced further phases of its business support package to help firms struggling with the impact of COVID-19. The changes announced include an extension to the Small Business Grant Scheme and new support for SMEs and the recently self-employed. This £100 million fund can be broken down as follows:

  •    Newly self-employed hardship fund – with hardship grants of £2,000 available
  •   Creative, tourism and hospitality companies – with hardship grants of between £3,000 and £25,000 available
  •   Vulnerable SMEs – can apply to the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund for a bespoke grant based on the company’s individual circumstances

The Scottish Parliament has announced further grants for businesses affected by COVID-19.

These additional grants are for businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector. The other type of grant is for small businesses. This support can be broken down as follows:

Leisure, Hospitality and Retail

Firstly, all businesses in the leisure, hospitality and retail sector will receive a 12-month business rates holiday. This applies to all businesses in these sectors, regardless of size. This relief is available from 1 April 2020 and will finish on 31 March 2021. This policy means all eligible businesses will pay no business rates during this period. 

Businesses in these sectors could also be eligible for a £25,000 grant. To apply, a business must have a rateable value between £18,001 and £51,000. British Marine understands this grant is a one-off payment to support eligible businesses. Rather, the grant is not per property.   

Small Businesses

Secondly, all businesses which are in receipt of Small Business Bonus or Rural Relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant. Following an announcement on 15 April 2020, the small business grant scheme was extended. The changes mean that, for this specific grant, business will be eligible to a 100% grant on the first property and a 75% grant on all subsequent properties. 

Business Rates

Finally, our members should note that the Scottish Parliament has taken the decision to lower business rates for all non-domestic properties for 2020-21. This means that all businesses, regardless of sector will receive a 1.6% rates relief.

You must apply for the grants through your local authority.  

Our members do not need to apply for the businesses rates relief as local authorities will apply this discount automatically. More information on these measures, including details of how to apply for the grants can be found here.