Visit the Broads understands that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is severely impacting both visitors' plans and businesses within the Broads National Park.
Please also read the Broads Authority response which accompanies this guidance.
Now is not the time for tourism
We look forward to welcoming visitors to the Broads National Park in future, but now is not the time. We ask people not to come while the country endures the pandemic and until it is safe again.
The government has said "people should avoid travelling unless it is essential". Essential travel, the Department for Health and Social Care said, "does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays".
For residents and people who are already here, please act responsibly and conform to government guidelines of social distancing and staying at least 2 metres away from others.
Please stay safe.
- A number of boatyards, accommodation providers and attractions are shutting down. If you have made a booking with an accommodation provider, boatyard, attraction, restaurant etc. please contact the organiser directly if you have any queries or concerns about your visit. They will be able to assist with cancellation if required or inform you of additional measures in place.
- Events listed on our 'What's on?' section may be subject to cancellation, please contact the event organiser if you have any queries.
- The Broads Authority Tourist Information Centres at Hoveton and How Hill, and 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). The Broads Authority have issued a full response to Coronavirus which can be found on their website.
- This challenging situation will unfortunately have implications for us all, although local, rural and independent businesses are expected to be particularly affected over the coming months. You can show your support by purchasing vouchers from them, buying goods from their online store if possible or rescheduling your custom to a time when the crisis has hopefully blown over.
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 http://www.streetmap.co.uk 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.firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.