Covid-19 Update 14th September

Date published: 14 September 2020

Returning to Boating

Sail Scotland published Guidelines in July  to support commercial charter and sailing holiday businesses. The emphasis within the Guidelines advised commercial operators to adhere to Scottish Government Guidance at the time of any planned voyage.  

As of 14th September 2020 the following applies:

  • Scottish Government Phase 3 Guidance 10th September Here 
  • Local Guidelines that may be in place Here
  • Sail Scotland Guidelines  HERE

Under existing and the new guidelines the following tighter restrictions applies to the Commercial Chartering, Sail and Cruise holiday sectors:

  • Up to a maximum of 2 households and 6 people may day sail and overnight on a yacht
  • With the current localised restrictions in Scotland, those from ‘affected areas’ should not be sharing/staying overnight with another household on a boat whilst they are unable to visit other households.
  • and /
  • Physical distancing aboard a commercial charter yacht remains 2m at all times.

For further details relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19) are available: Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance Scotland Link Here

Working in partnership with the Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Tourism Emergency Recovery Group (STERG) and Scottish Government Sail Scotland has with industry consultation published the following supporting the Marine Tourism sector:

Guidance Notes to Support the Phased Return of Commercial Charter Operations and Fully Serviced Sailing/Cruising Holidays Operating in and from Scottish Waters and to Support a Safe Return to Boating for Private Cruising Vessels and Leisure Users in these Waters.

V3 Issued 3rd July 2020 HERE

V2 Issued 25th June 2020 HERE

V1 Issued 18th June 2020 HERE

The document outlines a series of guidelines for commercial and leisure sailors. The document is led by the Scottish Government Route Map published 21st May 2020 and subsequent advice. The Sail Scotland Guidance must be read in conjunction with Scottish Government Advice and Guidance in place at the time of any indented voyage.

The document outlines:

Guidelines for Commercial Operators:

  • Embarkation and Disembarkation Port 
  • At Sea
  • On Board - Cleaning, Equipment, Clothing & Bedding, Safety Equipment
  • Respecting Destinations
  • General Guidelines 
  • UK Govt 5 step plan to safe working
  • Areas of operation for coded vessels

Private Cruising Vessels and Leisure Users:

  • Embarkation and Disembarkation Port
  • At Sea and Respecting Destinations

Throughout the Guidelines there is reference to the responsibility of the commercial operator to have a robust risk assessment for operations and skippers to adhere to Govt advice at the time of any voyage. In addition the document highlights the expectation of all at sea to Respect Destinations and local communities.

The Safe Sailing Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the latest updates from RYA Scotland

Test and Protect

The Scottish Government set out guidance for hospitality businesses in Scotland, and sets out key actions and information around the collection of customer data as restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic are eased. For outdoor hospitality, it will come into effect from 6 July and for indoor hospitality it will come into effect from 15 July. From these dates, hospitality businesses serving customers who remain on the premises while engaging with the business, should gather minimal contact details from customers to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service. 



Further Scottish Government advice can be found at


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Framework for Decision Making – Scotland's Route map through and out of the crisis - Phase 2 update

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 2: staying safe and protecting others (physical distancing)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 2: business and physical distancing guidance