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Welcome to the Coronavirus Hub (Updated )

Accessible to all, it is here that we will be sharing the very latest Government advice, together with business support tools, guidance and best practice.

This webpage is being updated constantly. So please keep an eye on the information categorised to the right-hand side, where you will find FAQs and where applicable, a list of British Marine members who are able to provide you with 1-2-1 support.

Don't forget, our Membership Services team is also fully operational and on standby to take your calls (01784 223663/ We offer a wide range of services including legal advice, technical guidance and crisis management support.

Daily summary of yesterday afternoon’s COVID-19 press conference:

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary

  • The action plan is aiming to slow the spread of the virus so fewer people need treatment at any one time protecting the NHS ability to cope;
  • We are expanding capacity, increasing the number of beds, key staff and life-saving equipment;
  • We've completed the Nightingale hospital in just nine days.
  • Thanks to those who followed the social distancing measures;
  • 163,000 people tested, 33,718 confirmed cases; rate of infection has been doubling every three to four days; the number of people admitted to hospital is 12, 949 and of those 2,921 died;
  • We've lost NHS staff too – he said as he paid tribute to all working in the NHS;
  • I will stop at nothing to make sure that front staff have the right equipment; with the support of British military we've shipped record quantity of equipment to front line staff
  • An upgraded guidance on PPE was published today – it recommends the appropriate level of PPE to protect staff in all circumstances; it is one of the highest standards in the world and in line with WHO recommendations; any health or care organisation that needs PPE should call the hotline;
  • £300m funding for community pharmacies and £13.4bn written off historic debt for NHS trusts;
  • On testing, the roll out of Public Health England Covid-19 diagnostic test is the fastest deployment of a novel test in recent history including faster than in the Swine Flu pandemic in 2009;I am going to level with you about the challenges that we face and the plan we have to rise to those challenges;
  • Unlike other countries, we did not go into this crisis with huge diagnostic industry, not the scale that Germany has.
  • There has been a shortage of swabs and reagents; we have fixed the first shortage but not yet the latter; this is a global challenge;
    There is a challenge of prioritisation: I took the decision that the first priority should be the patients; I am proud that ever single patient who's needed a test for life saving treatment;has had access to a test. But of course, NHS staff should have access too and I am proud that we could roll out this access for the first time in the weekend;
  • Several of the tests that we are have checked have failed, with one missing three out of four cases;
  • Plan to boost testing: first priority patients who need it, expand to critical NHS staff and their families, then expand testing for NHS staff further, test critical key workers and over time expand further in the community;
  • The plan has five pillars: I am now setting the goal of 100,000 tests per day by the end of this month – I am determined that we will get there. The new goal of 100,000 tests a day is across all the five pillars including the antibody tests; we will not be allowing one of those to proceed until confident is a good test; Prof. Newton will take a new role to coordinate this national effort for testing.
  • Mass testing is how we defeat the virus;
  • Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives;
  • The number of spare beds are significantly above the demand.

Prof Steve Powis, National medical director for the NHS

  • We continue to see a large reduction of public transport; motor vehicles went up a couple of days ago and would like to see that come down;
  • It will take some weeks for the measures to reap benefits – there is still an increase in infections;
  • It is important not to take any single day, but instead look at the trend;
  • Other areas in the country seeing pressure aside from London, such as the Midlands;
  • We are still seeing the number of deaths increase and we are likely to still see those high number of deaths for a few weeks yet until all the actions taken will start to bear fruit and lead to a reduction in deaths;
  • We do see that the public is complying, and the transmission rate may have fallen below one;

Prof John Newton, Public Heath and Epidemiology, University of Manchester

  • The initial priority is for the swab tests; the antibody tests are ideally done 28 days after an infection so the requirement for these tests is not immediate;
  • The need to increase testing was recognised from the outset, but the requirement for testing is increasing exponentially.
  • We could not increase testing exponentially in the NHS, so that is why these mega labs were needed outside the NHS, three of them are in existence already and they have started to do tests.

What is the current advice?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has advised Britons to avoid non-essential contact, stop all unnecessary travel and work from home wherever possible.

British Marine understand that cases of COVID-19 are expected to rise in the coming weeks which may have implications for our members and their day-to-day operations. The situation is constantly evolving which means the Government’s advice may change in the future.

We would like to reassure our members that we are monitoring the situation closely and will post regular updates on this page as the situation develops. We therefore encourage our members to check back regularly for updates.  The Environment Agency has posted advice for boaters which can be found below.

What help is available from the Government? 

Latest update on finance: 

On 2 April 2020 the Government put in place a series of measures to prevent lenders from requesting personal guarantees on loans under £250,000. British Marine is pleased to see this and welcomes the announcement of a new Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support businesses with a turnover between £45m and £500m. Over the coming weeks and months we will continue to ensure our members understand what support is available to them and work with them to manage the impact of the virus on their business.

British Marine would encourage its members to visit our list of Frequently Asked Questions for further information on the support available and details of how they should access this support. 

Full details of the measures announced by Government can be found here

How British Marine can help you

We would encourage our members to read the most up to date information and advice from the Government. Members can visit the dedicated NHS webpage which provides further information on symptoms and what to do if you think you might have the Coronavirus.

For advice on hire conditions and cancellations related to COVID-19, members should contact our membership services team for details of the Epoq legal helpline.

Please contact us If your business is affected to ensure we can discuss the support available with you.  


The information on this webpage is provided as general guidance. Although British Marine tries to ensure that all of the information is accurate and up to date, this cannot be guaranteed owing to the very fast moving situation. Members should review the Government’s full guidance themselves by following the links in this webpage and should keep up to date with the Government’s latest announcements. The information on this webpage should not be construed as constituting professional advice and we would always advise that members consider seeking appropriate professional advice before taking or refraining from taking any action.


LGA confirms marinas, hire and passenger boats should be eligible for COVID19 business grants.

02 Apr 2020

British Marine has been working closely with Tourism Alliance to ensure that its members in the marine sector can qualify for the business grants announced by the Government.


Inquiry into the impact of Coronavirus on UK businesses and workers

01 Apr 2020

Last month the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee launched an inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on UK businesses and workers.

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Urgent support requested for waterway businesses following Covid-19 impact

26 Mar 2020

British Marine, alongside the Canal and River Trust and the Broads Authority, has this week sent a joint letter to the Secretary of State, DEFRA, requesting urgent support for waterway businesses.

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New MCA update for ship registration services amid COVID-19 pandemic

26 Mar 2020

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published a UK Ship Register (UKSR) update in light of the COVID-19 outbreak

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MCA issues update on COVID-19 impact and safety measures for Vessel Traffic Services

26 Mar 2020

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published a Marine Information Note (MIN) detailing the impact of COVID-19 on Vessel Traffic Services (VTS).


Coronavirus - What support is available to you?

25 Mar 2020

News coverage over the last few weeks has focused on Coronavirus and its impact around the world.


COVID-19 guidance on apprenticeship programmes for employers and training providers

24 Mar 2020

Following the urgent UK government measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has set out guidance for apprentices, employers, training providers and assessment organisations.

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New MCA contingency plan includes information on Boatmaster License revalidation

24 Mar 2020

New MCA contingency plan includes information on Boatmaster License revalidation and COVID-19 Guidelines for Seafarers

Business Rates Holiday

19 Mar 2020

Today, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday and details of the discount available to businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors.


MCA releases contingency plans for surveys during the COVID-19 outbreak

19 Mar 2020

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has released a Marine Information Note (MIN) on ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the MCA’s approach to survey and certification of UK vessels’