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COVID-19 Guidance

Updated 5th March 2021

Boating during Spring 2021 COVID-19 Response Roadmap

Littlehampton Harbour Board is committed to protecting our staff, harbour users and local residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister set out the expected timescales for the lifting of restrictions in a 4-step “roadmap” for Spring 2021. On 2nd March British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association published further guidance for marine leisure (with UK government  approval from DfT, DEFRA and DCMS). This notice provides an update on the relevant changing restrictions as well as local implications.

Please note that until “Step 4” (no earlier than 29th June), the 1m+ social distancing and hygiene rules continue to apply everywhere (including afloat) and take precedence over all other guidance.

Until 29th March:

  • Harbour Office and visitor moorings / facilities remain closed. You can still contact us via, 01903 721 215 or VHF 71 to arrange harbour dues or other services. New PWC user permits only issued by scheduled appointment (see
  • Private vessels: Using your boat for leisure purposes with your household or bubble remains appropriate as daily exercise if you live in the local area. However, attending slipways and marinas poses a risk of spreading the virus – particularly if the emergency services are required – so please continue to take extra care.
  • Slipways: The Public Slipway remains open. Please check operator policies before travelling to privately managed slipways elsewhere in the harbour.
  • Commercial operations may continue subject to operators working in compliance with Government ‘COVID-Secure’ guidance for marine workplaces (which differs to leisure guidance).
  • Charter vessels are not currently permitted to operate with leisure customers.
  • Overnight stays away from a person’s primary place of residence are not permitted (including on moored vessels) except in the limited circumstances published by Government.
  • Safety checks/maintenance: With the approval of their mooring operator, mooring license holders may periodically undertake minimum safety checks of their bilges, lines and fendering.

Changes from 29th March:

  • Private vessels: Permitted crewing increases to 6 persons or 2 households outdoors (not in cabins).
  • Charter vessels: It is up to the discretion of each individual charter skipper whether their individual boat may operate compliantly and with how many passengers (certainly no more than Skipper + 6 persons or 2 households). Skippers should consider the wider rules governing indoor and outdoor gathering at each step and their ability to ensure social distancing between individuals/households.
  • No further changes

Expected changes at Step 2: Date TBC (No earlier than 12th April):

  • Overnight stays on moored vessels now permitted (single households only)
  • Visitor Moorings: Open to yachts who have onboard toilet facilities and holding tanks. Shoreside visitor toilets/showers remain closed.
  • Maintenance: With the permission of their mooring operator, boat owners may visit boats more regularly for general maintenance.
  • Harbour Office: Foyer open to visitors for in-person enquiries/payments on a 1-in / 1-out basis.

Expected changes at Step 3: Date TBC (No earlier than 17th May):

  • Visitor toilets open (showers remain closed), small rallies permitted (10 yachts or 30 persons).

Expected changes at Step 4: Date TBC by government (No earlier than 21st June):

  • Subject to further review, all remaining restrictions lifted.