Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) withdraws guidance preventing the use of charter boats and club dive boats in England from 4 July 2020.
On Thursday 11 June, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published guidance on inland and coastal boating on behalf of the UK government. This prevented the use of charter boats and constricted privately-owned and club boats to one household unit or support bubble per vessel.
Today (1 July 2020), following challenges and the lobbying from BSAC, RYA, Angling Trust and Charter skippers’ representatives, DEFRA has today given notice that they are withdrawing their guidance on using a boat inland and on the coast from 4 July.
This means that members can now dive from a charter boat or club rib with up to six members of different households as long as social distancing is maintained. Social distancing outdoors remains at 2m unless that is not possible to maintain at all times, where the safe distance can be reduced to 1m providing additional precautions are taken to reduce risk to the equivalent to 2m, or better.
BSAC CEO, Mary Tetley says:
We are all delighted that this change has been acknowledged by DEFRA. Working together with all of the other agencies has only strengthened our lobbying on conflicting advice.
For all the latest member updates from BSAC on Covid-19 and the safe return to diving, go to bsac.com/returntodiving or keep an eye on your email inbox for your regular BSAC Spirit updates.