Following the announcement from the Prime Minister (8.30pm, 23 March 2020) regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, the Canal and River Trust are asking leisure boaters to stop all non-essential travel.
They said: “As a result, and to help those who live-aboard, along with those who would need to travel to their boat in order to move it, we are suspending the requirement to move every 14 days.
“The suspension will be kept under review in line with revised government guidance, applying initially until 14 April.
“We ask everyone to be considerate and make sure at least a minimal amount of essential movement is maintained to keep vital boater facilities and services accessible to those that need them.
“We will continue to maintain boater facilities and pump out cards are available from our online shop. We will be urgently reviewing the implications for face-to-face sale of pump out cards and facilities keys from our public offices.
“We are also advising people that, whilst our towpaths remain open, use of them should now be limited.
“If our canals and rivers are local to you, and you use the towpath for your daily exercise or journey to undertake essential work, please now avoid any stretches with boats moored against the towpath, and strictly observe social distancing at all times, following the latest advice from Government.”
They continue: “Colleagues whose roles are critical to the safe management of the waterways, for example those managing water levels, those carrying out statutory inspections of canal structures, ensuring essential facilities for boaters are available etc will continue their day to day work.
“We will be doing whatever we can to support our customers and protect the waterways so we can return to enjoying them fully when the crisis is over.
“We will keep the situation under active review and update you in line with changing circumstances and guidance.”