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News & Events

Chichester Harbour Conservancy COVID-19 Updated Guidelines


On Wednesday 13 May, advice was issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirming that all forms of water sport are now permitted under the latest Covid-19 advice issued by the Government.

DEFRA have stated that:

“all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed. You can continue to use towpaths for walking, running and cycling, being mindful of other users and people living in boats along the water”

Chichester Harbour Conservancy confirm that Chichester Harbour is open for recreational boating.

Social distancing is still playing a huge part in everyone’s daily lives and will continue to do so for the immediate future. The current Government advice under the Stay Alert campaign is to ‘Stay at home where possible’ and we would encourage all harbour users to be judicious in planning their recreation.

The harbour is likely to become busy as people take to the water, especially while schools remain closed. Government advice on social distancing remains in place and we would urge people to adhere to the rules prohibiting large gatherings of people and to stick to social distancing guidelines.

It is incumbent on the Conservancy and other operators of marine facilities in Chichester Harbour to look after the safety of users and importantly the safety of their staff:

  • Please follow social distancing guidance (stay 2 metres apart where possible).
  • Conservancy jetties at Itchenor and Emsworth are marked with direction of travel and 2m spacing on the ‘T’ Head.
  • Please wash your hands regularly.
  • Please confirm that any facilities you intend to travel to are open and have agreed to receive you, both in Chichester Harbour and beyond.
  • Rescues pose a risk to both the casualty and the rescuer and there is likely to be reduced rescue response capacity in the Harbour.  Please ensure that your craft is well maintained and that you sail within the limits of your abilities.  
  • If social distancing requirements cannot be maintained, facilities may need more intrusive management or to be closed

Please continue to take action to prevent the potential spread of infection. Recreational boating by its very nature can be an act of social distancing if some basic guidelines are followed:

  • No guests on your boat. Only boat with those in your immediate household.
  • Maintain your distance from others at carparks and launching sites. Make as many preparations as you can at home so that you can launch as quickly as possible.
  • Do not beach your boat right next to someone else. The East Head anchorage in particular is very popular and if you cannot find clear space then consider moving elsewhere.
  • Do not raft up, keep your distance on the water.
  • Go straight from your house to your boat and back, minimising unnecessary contact.

To get in touch with our patrol team call CHICHESTER HARBOUR PATROL on VHF Channel 14, or telephone the Harbour Office on 01243 512301. In an emergency please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

To read the latest news from Chichester Harbour Conservancy click here.