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Posted By Discussion Topic: BA covid update

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Alone1
Mar-08-2021 @ 1:39 PM                           Permalink
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Environment Agency Update:

Coronavirus
Update for waterway users - 5 March 2021
Following the Prime Ministers announcement of the 4 step road map for lifting Coronavirus
restrictions, this is our updated guidance for boating customers, which we are issuing ahead of
8 March when the Government begins to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England.
Each step of the roadmap will continue for at least 5 weeks to allow the Government to make
an assessment before easing restrictions further. Further guidance on the Government
roadmap can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-responsespring-2021/covid-19-response-spring-2021-summary
What this means for our waterways
- For all steps of the Government roadmap, those who live aboard their boats can continue to
travel to access essential services and facilities.
All boating activity on our waterways should follow the guidance in the Table below. From 29
March, as part of the first step, 'Stay at Home' restrictions will be lifted, however Government
guidance instructs you to continue to stay local where possible and minimise travel throughout
the first 3 steps of the roadmap. “Staying in your local area means stay in the village, town, or
part of the city where you live.” Guidance – National Lockdown: Stay at Home updated 22nd
Feb 2021 https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home. This means that
during the first step from 29th March, people should avoid travelling further than is reasonably
necessary on board their boat or to take part in their waterway activity.
All references to permitted activities must still adhere to the latest social distancing rules.
COVID-Secure guidance will also remain in place up to and including Step 3 (subject to a
proposed review of social distancing rules ahead of Step 4).
Boats and businesses must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits at each step unless
meeting the conditions for a permitted organised gathering. These will be reintroduced at Step
2 for outdoor gatherings and Step 3 for indoor gatherings.
Anyone making plans for later in the summer should follow government advice carefully and
check GOV.UK to ensure you are keeping yourselves and others safe.
Our service at this time
We will continue to support this national effort through these challenging times and will, as
always, make protecting the safety of our customers and staff our top priority.
Our staff continue to work, managing and maintaining our waterways within the safe ways of
working we have implemented over the past year. As we start to follow the roadmap out of
Government restrictions, our operational priorities will be:
- Ensuring safe navigation, by inspecting each reach of our waterways for obstructions and
marking them accordingly.
- A safe, phased approach to resume assisted passage in line with government advice that
gives staff time to adjust to new ways of working.
- Recruitment of Environment Agency seasonal staff, aiming for their return on 1 April.
As we start to move out of the current lockdown, some local restrictions may still be in place
and assets could be subject to closures for maintenance. Our level of service may also be
affected due to some staff who are vulnerable and still need to shield. This means some taskscustomer service line 03708 506 506 floodline 03459 88 11 88
incident hotline 0800 80 70 60 Page 2 of 3
may not be carried out straight away, including assisted passage at some locks, however
wherever possible we will maintain essential services and facilities for those boaters who live
aboard and who have to make essential journeys.
To keep up to date with local information, see the following websites:
River Thames: http://riverconditions.environment-agency.gov.uk/
Anglian Waterways: https://www.visitanglianwaterways.org/
River Medway: http://allingtonlock.co.uk/home.php
For the latest guidance on Boat Safety Scheme certificates, please see the Boat Safety
Scheme website.
We will continue to update our guidance as the national situation develops so please do keep
checking the guidance via this link for the latest information on restrictions.
Andy Wilkinson
National Navigation Manager

This guidance defines 'local' boat-sail

Bob Huppendoun

There would be no life without water!!!

L'sBelles
Mar-08-2021 @ 1:40 PM                           Permalink
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Still couldn't quite bring themselves to amend this phrase "There remains a requirement to minimise travel and stay local" under step 1.2 which the consensus on this forum believe to be factually incorrect. The "requirement" does not include mention of locality in the accepted lockdown definition but states "stay local where possible".
Not suggesting we all rush out and flout the guidance but HMG 'guidance' appears as BNA 'requirement' too often.
Even when BNA attempt to correct their initial mistakes they just appear to dredge the hole deeper and continue to alienate people!



This message was edited by L'sBelles on Mar-8-21 @ 1:49 PM

L'sBelles
Mar-08-2021 @ 2:10 PM                           Permalink
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Alone1 wrote "This guidance defines 'local'"

But does it when it includes the statement "This means that during the first step from 29th March, people should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary on board their boat or to take part in their waterway activity."?

This defines nothing and leaves the choice of travelling or not to an individual's discretion.

How much is "reasonably necessary"?



This message was edited by L'sBelles on Mar-8-21 @ 2:12 PM

Paladine
Mar-08-2021 @ 3:20 PM                           Permalink
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Alone1 wrote: ”This guidance defines 'local'”

No, it doesn’t. It simply points to the HMG guidance (not enforceable), which suggested what ‘local’ means.

But a number of senior government ministers, when asked for clarification, hid behind such meaningless comments as:

”people should exercise their judgment;
local means you can get there under your own steam;
the public were expected to recognise what "local" meant;
this guidance relies on people to use their common sense to determine what is and is not a reasonable distance for their outdoor exercise.”


But, in any case, the Broads No-Authority has got no jurisdiction nor enforcement powers in relation to the covid restrictions, and should keep out of a matter it has no authority in and, apparently, doesn’t understand. It is clear to me that they wish to keep as many boaters as possible off the water for as long as they can.

Without going through their amended advice (which I will ignore, anyway, not because I intend to break the law, but because I have more confidence in my own ability to interpret the legislation than theirs) line by line, consider this point:

BNA interpretation:

”Private boats

Private boating on an open air boat permitted for recreation for a single household or bubble, subject to the overarching requirements to stay local and minimise time spent away from home.”


Advice from the Yacht Harbours Association (a professional body for marinas):

”Privately owned boats can be used by a single household/bubble where participants remain outside except to access toilet, for safety reasons or to navigate.

The amendment to the legislation, effect from 8 March (keeping to the bit that affects boating) is that we are now allowed to leave home:

"d)to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation—
(i)alone,
(ii)with—
(aa)one or more members of their household or their linked household..."


So if I want to visit, for example, How Hill, which is about 2 miles from my house as the crow flies, for open air recreation (or even exercise) that’s OK (the PM cycled 7 miles and that was OK). If I want to drive there (in an enclosed car), that’s OK as well, ‘cos mode of transport has never been considered by the legislators. But the BNA is telling me that I can’t go to the same destination, for the same purpose, in my (enclosed) boat. My mooring is well within that 2 mile radius.

I won’t test the forum’s word blocker by writing what I think of that!


"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)


This message was edited by Paladine on Mar-8-21 @ 3:20 PM

Paladine
Mar-08-2021 @ 8:40 PM                           Permalink
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Herbert Woods is offering day-boat hire to anyone only from the Norfolk area, as that is their interpretation of 'local'.

So if you live in the Walpoles, which are the other side of Kings Lynn, about 55 miles from Potter Heigham, in a straight line, you can hire one of their boats. But if you live in Beccles, Suffolk (within the BNA's executive area), you can't hire one, even though it's only 17 miles as the crow flies.

They've based this on the BNA's 'authorisation' on the BNA web site.

Confused

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Marshman
Mar-08-2021 @ 8:57 PM                           Permalink
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There is probably a word to define that kind of logic - but somehow my fingers just cannot type it!!!!

Perhaps they should just stand aside and not make these pronouncements and just let people make their own minds up on what they can or cannot do - after all the Government announcements are also confusing but why do the BNA muddy the waters still further?

If people then make the wrong decisions , its then down to the individuals.

Karen&Mike
Mar-08-2021 @ 12:55 AM                           Permalink
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So, the  BNA throughout this Covid pandemic, have:

- repeatedly instructed private boat owners,
- at varying times and to varying degrees
- as well as directing other organisations/businesses to do the same, - to stay away,
  even when the legal requirements did not support this.

With us being not local they have effectively barred us from using our boat at various times. So, on that basis I feel I would be perfectly entitled to pay only a proportion of the river tax for 2020 and 2021 to account pro rata for the times they prevented me from being on the river. This being not a government restriction , but their own!  Either that or they can *** off and I will do what the government asks and ignore the BNA . They can't have it both ways ( to quote another current and very hot public debate ! )

Karen



"Wind up the elastic band Karen - we're setting off!!"

This message was edited by Karen&Mike on Mar-9-21 @ 1:03 AM

Alone1
Mar-09-2021 @ 6:47 AM                           Permalink
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The BA cant and havent restricted you. They have given guidance that they cannot enforce. You have the choice whether to follow it or not.
Several boats out yesterday including gin palaces as well as hired day boats. boat-sail

Bob Huppendoun

There would be no life without water!!!

Paladine
Mar-10-2021 @ 3:14 PM                           Permalink
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Just seen this in the Press https://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/news/broads-boat-hire-resumes-amid-concern-from-residents-7816810?fbclid=IwAR0sgFNnGxqfQmls99h4XKQW0ieNuMWL8epP2-VyDEXc3U99olQS_7Y1EA0

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Moderately_Slow
Mar-10-2021 @ 3:47 PM                           Permalink
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The BA have only 1 aim in life and that is to keep their paymmasters (DEFRA) sweet. DEFRA have little or no experience of boating and similar sports or pastimes. Hence the fudged and utter twaddle that the BA spout when explaining Gov't law/advice/guidance or whatever.
After the complete mess they made of it in Lockdown 1.0 and the following relaxations one might have expected them to have learnt from their mistakes in Lockdown 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) and the current Gov't Road Map.
The RYA produced guidance of some clarity after Lockdown 1.0 as their point of reference for gaining clarifications was the DCMS and not DEFRA. Although a bit less clear for Lockdown 2.0 it is still better than the BA's effort (subsequently amended).
Why the EA have decided to stick their oar in is beyond me! The waters are muddy enough as it is.

For boaters it is somewhat simpler for us this time as we know we are getting classed as self-catering when it comes to overnight stays. The rest of the changes are merely to do with semantics on the phrases that contain "essential/minimise/local/should" etc.

My interpretation of the Gov'ts Road Map without requiring any explanation/guidance from the BA, DEFRA, DCMS or even The EA is simply put as follows:-

From March 29th "Stay at Home" withdrawn and for the purposes of boat owners maintenance and/or a trip on the water (subject to party size and relationship restrictions) is possible no matter how far from the boat you live.

From April 12th it's as above but you can now stay overnight subject, once again to party size and relationship restrictions.

In neither case is distance from home to a boat a consideration since the travel distance is fixed and unavoidable to do any activity permissible at any given date. An "essential" reason is not required to travel therefore any permitted activity may be carried out regardless of distance travelled.

Okay, one should still avoid long distances but should your boat be 200 miles from home you can hardly avoid travelling this distance to carry out a permitted activity. This becomes all the more relevant from April 12th.

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