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.

Government's new 'rule of six' relating to social gatherings

From Monday 14 September, new rules apply that mean it will be against the law to meet people you do not live with in a group larger than 6 (unless you are meeting as a household or support bubble).

The police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (in the form of a fixed penalty notice) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.

There will be exceptions where groups can be larger than 6 people, including where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents.

The laws will apply to the boat hire and boating holiday industry in the same manner as other self-contained breaks. Only families or support bubbles will be permitted to gather together on vessels in groups larger than six including on day boats, trip boats and holiday cruisers.

If you are a private boat owner who is planning to visit the area please ensure you follow the Government's new rules or you could face police fines.

If you are hiring a boat or other accommodation and believe your holiday will be affected by the new rules please contact your booking provider directly to make alternative arrangements or to seek a refund/credit note.

The Government continues to urge the public to follow social distancing guidelines and has launched the Hands. Face. Space. campaign in a bid to keep the public safe from Coronavirus this winter.

hands face space graphic
Wash your hands regularly, wear a face mask and give other people space in public places

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, please be a responsible and safe visitor. We appreciate that the lockdown has been difficult for many people, but freedom to go on holidays does not mean that the threat of Coronavirus has disappeared and that our countryside is now open to be abused.

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.

Broads holidays permitted from 4 July

Following the announcement on 23 June, we are looking forward to welcoming boat owners and hirers back to the Broads for overnight stays from 4 July.

The Prime Minister announced that 'self-contained trips' such as boating holidays can go ahead, and certain elements of the hospitality industry can re-open, under the proviso that new social distancing and hygiene regulations are followed.

This means that although your bookings can go ahead and things are moving back towards normality, there may be additional procedures in place when it comes to hiring a boat, taking paddle craft out or visiting an attraction in the Broads area.

We encourage visitors to make bookings directly and support our local businesses who may have been struggling through these difficult times, but urge them to plan ahead, follow social distancing guidelines and make themselves aware of any changes implemented by their booking provider. Please contact your booking provider directly to find out more and if you have any questions.

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

Thank you and we look forward to your safe and responsible visit!

Waterways open to day visitors, but please stay safe

As of 13 May, the Government has relaxed the lockdown restrictions regarding exercise and accessing outdoor spaces. This means that day visits are allowed, visitors can hire boats for the day and also hire paddle craft.

Please visit the Broads Authority website for up-to-date information on how this affects the Broads area.

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.