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Accessing private vessels and aircraft during COVID-19 restrictions

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Friday 03 April 2020

The States of Guernsey has received several enquiries from boat and aircraft owners asking if they can access their vessels and planes in marinas and hangars or aprons or airfields during the current restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Guernsey Ports is providing additional guidance, which is based on guidance from States of Guernsey's Public Health Services. Pleasure boating (using any type of vessel, whether motorised or not) is not considered to be an essential activity or an open sea activity for the purpose of health and welfare. Therefore pleasure boating is strongly discouraged at this time.

However, walking or cycling to visit a vessel on its mooring or berth, or to a private aircraft to carry out basic maintenance checks could be part of the two-hour period of exercise in every 24-hour period.

Boat and private aircraft owners and operators must, however, adhere to the strict social distancing rules currently in place when visiting vessels and aircraft, especially in confined spaces.

Surfaces and objects that are touched regularly, should be frequently cleaned and disinfected thoroughly using appropriate products and equipment on board a vessel or aircraft.

A new Local Notices to Mariners (LMTM) and Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) will be issued to reflect this latest guidance from Public Health Services. In addition, any private aircraft movements to or from Guernsey or Alderney Airports need to apply for 'Prior Permission' as part of their flight planning.

Captain David Barker, Harbourmaster said:

"Clearly stopping the spread of COVID-19 should be the top priority and the public are urged to follow the relevant guidance and stay at home. We do recognise with the Easter holidays on the horizon that boat and aircraft owners will want to check their aircraft and vessels after the winter period. Whilst vessels and aircraft should not be put to sea or take to the skies under this advice, it is recognised that the owners and operators of both craft need to ensure their planes and boats are air and seaworthy as there are multiple local, national and international regulations governing this. These restrictions to stop COVID-19 from spreading will be constantly reviewed as the situation changes and develops in liaison with Public Health Services."

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