Coronavirus guidance and the Broads

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Please see this page for information relating to the Coronavirus pandemic and the Broads National Park.

Third National Lockdown from 06 January 2021

On 4 January the Government announced further national lockdown measures. The full details can be found on the Government website.

The main requirement of the restrictions for those living in England is to stay at home. You may only leave your home for specific reasons as detailed within the Government guidance. Travel is only permitted under specific circumstances and even then the advice is to stay local wherever possible. This includes travelling by boat. You should not be making short trips or breaks on your boat for leisure purposes, these are classed as non-essential journeys.

Travelling on the waterways should be limited to essential use only. Boaters who are not currently occupying their boat should not take short overnight breaks on their boat during the period. Those living aboard are advised to limit their navigation, moving only a minimal amount to access essential facilities or services when necessary. Our COVID-19 information for liveaboard boaters has details of local services which remain open.

Leaving your home to exercise is permitted once a day provided relevant guidelines are followed. We ask that anybody wishing to exercise on the Broads is mindful of social distancing with anybody they come into contact with and to be aware of the impact on emergency services should they get into difficulty.

Guidance for different activities

Step 2 - 12 April

Minimise domestic travel where you can.

Private boats

Private boating permitted for recreation for a single household or bubble. Lifting of ban on overnight stays away from home allows for single households/bubbles to stay away overnight on boats.

Self drive day hire

Recreational day hire is permitted for a single household or bubble (if vessel is enclosed), or for up to 6 people / or any number of people from 2 households per boat (if vessel is open air, provided it is outdoors and social distancing can be maintained between people from different households).

Self drive holiday hire

Permitted for a single household / bubble per boat.

Skippered boat trips

Restrictions are the same as Step 1.


Watersports are permitted and outdoor attractions at waterparks/aqua parks may reopen.

Boat maintenance

Boat maintenance is permitted, assuming you follow appropriate social distancing between individuals/households. Overnight stays for maintenance purposes is allowed at this stage.

Step 3 - No earlier than 17 May

Private boats

Same as step 2 but now with up to 6 people from different households / or any number of people from 2 households able to mix on indoor boats.

On outdoor (open air) boats groups of up to 30 allowed.

Self drive day hire

No restrictions (if the vessel is open air) or up to 6 people from different households / any number of people from 2 households per boat (if vessel is enclosed).

Please note that the usual capacity of the vessel still applies.

Self drive holiday hire

Permitted for up to 6 people from different households / or any number of people from 2 households per boat.

Skippered boat trips

Restrictions are the same as Step 1.


Indoor attractions at waterparks and aqua parks may reopen.

Private groups of up to 30 outdoors.

Boat maintenance

Restrictions are the same as step 3.

Step 4 - No earlier than 21 June

No restrictions for all activities.

Be a responsible visitor

A busy Wroxham
A busy Wroxham, taken in 2018

If you are planning to visit the Broads for a day visit or a holiday when restrictions allow, please be a responsible and safe visitor.

Here are some top tips for a safe and sensible visit:

  • Avoid known busy areas (hotspots) as they will be difficult to maintain social distancing - we don't want a Bournemouth style incident here!
  • Stay 2 metres/1 metre plus away from those outside of your household/social bubble.
  • Take your litter home with you or dispose of it appropriately, including disposable BBQs which should only be used in designated areas due to the fire risk.
  • Wear a life jacket if going onto the water and avoid entering the water if possible.
  • Park considerately in designated areas and don't clutter the road verges, this can affect access for emergency services.
  • Research toilet facilities in advance, please don't dump in the countryside!

Please read the Broads Authority's Frequently Asked Questions for information that will help you plan your visit.

Advice for boaters

If you are boating in rural or isolated areas, make sure you inform friends or relatives where you are going and that you know your precise location in case you start to feel unwell.

If there is a medical emergency the emergency services will be able to identify your location more easily if you have a postcode or a ‘what3words’ phrase. You can identify your exact location using a ‘what3words phrase’. You can do this using the what3words smartphone app. Alternatively if you locate your position on you can then get the ‘what3words’ phrase using the “click here to convert coordinates” link just under the map. Google Maps does not provide a ‘what3words’ phrase but can accept one.

Norwich Yacht Station will not be opening in time for the start of the season. Reedham and Great Yarmouth will open as normal (due to safety implications).

If you want to contact the Broads rangers to report an incident, you can phone Broads Control on 01603 756056  or email Broads Control is staffed between the hours of 9am and 6pm during summer, and 9am and 5pm during winter.

Always phone 999 in case of emergency.

Information for businesses

Whilst we are not in a position to provide legal advice we can help share the various resources available. This page will be kept updated as things develop so please check back regularly.

The government announced in their budget and subsequent updates several measures to help support businesses during the crisis:

  • Giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rate holiday for 12 months for the 2020/2021 financial year.
  • Providing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief of £10,000 (increased from the £3,000 originally announced) and providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000.
  • Tailored opportunities to review and agree payment plans for tax liabilities for businesses and the self-employed. If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
  • Bringing forward legislation to allow small and medium enterprises / employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for sickness absence due to COVID-19 with two weeks Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of COVID-19.
  • Mortgage lenders have agreed to support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of COVID-19 through payment holidays of up to 3 months.
  • Planning laws will be relaxed to support the food and drink industry offer alternative take away services for those self isolating without the need for a planning application.
  • Introducing new legal powers in the Covid Bill enabling Government to offer whatever further financial support they think necessary to businesses.
  • On 20/03 a new 'wage bailout' package was announced where where the Government is offering to pay up to 80% of wages in instances where employees have been furloughed (see 'Government support for businesses' below for more information).

Please see the below links for useful information for businesses:

Finally, the Broads Authority are aware and concerned about the likely impact of the Coronavirus emergency on the important tourism businesses in the Broads and in particular on the hire boat industry. They are in touch with the Broads Hire Boat Federation and have agreed to stay in regular contact to monitor the situation and develop a collective response.