Safe Sailing Guidance Covid-19

Date published: 17 June 2020

Returning to Boating


The Scottish Government published on 18th June 2020:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Tourism and Hospitality Sector Guidance Scotland Link Here

Within the document the Government provides overview guidance on the re-opening of the Tourism and Hospitality sector and provides links to specific sector guidance documents. 

Industry Sector Guidance 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.

V1 Issued 18th June 2020 HERE

V2 Issued 25th June 2020 HERE

V3 Issued 3rd July 2020 HERE

The document outlines a series of guidelines for commercial and leisure sailors. The document is led by the Scottish Government Route Map of What you can and cannot do. Here

The V3 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




Alan Rankin