Everything you need to know about the Broads during lockdown

Hire boats moored at the Acle Bridge Inn on the Broads. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Hire boats moored at the Acle Bridge Inn on the Broads. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

As the country prepares to enter a second national lockdown, the Broads Authority has unveiled new guidance for Norfolk’s waterways.

From holidays to fishing, here is everything you need to know about the Broads during lockdown.

Q: Can I visit the Broads?

A: People have been told to stay at home, except for exemptions such as shopping for essential items and exercise, when lockdown comes into force on Thursday.

Guidance from the Broads Authority on visiting the Broads says: “Now is not the time to visit the Broads if you live outside the area and you should avoid all non-essential travel.”

Q: Can I stay on my boat if it’s not my main residence?

A: The government guidelines states that international travel, UK staycations and staying at another residence are banned.

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This also applies to people who have boats on the Broads but do not live there permanently.

The Broads Authority said: “Overnight stays and holidays are not allowed. This includes overnight stays on a boat if it is not your normal residence.”

Q: I’m currently on holiday on the Broads and it’s due to end after Thursday. Do I have to leave early?

A: According to government guidelines, people who are currently on holiday in the UK are allowed to finish their holidays but are “still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse.”

This includes people who are on holiday in the Broads, although the Broads Authority said they were seeking clarification if the same applies to people currently staying on private boats.

The Broads Authority added: “Those currently on a domestic holiday, will be allowed to finish their holidays, but are still subject to the requirements in England not to go out without a reasonable excuse.

“You are permitted to make a short journey in order to exercise but please think carefully before you access the waterways. For example, if you want to exercise by paddle craft, you might put lives at risk and extra strain on our emergency services if you got in difficulty.”

Q: Can I do paddle sports on the Broads?

A: People can have unlimited exercise outside under the new lockdown rules.

But the Broads Authority said they were seeking advice if this applies to paddle sports such as canoeing.

They added: “This may be viewed as exercise but again we ask you to be mindful of the spirit of the government travel restrictions if driving to slipways, and also consider the impact on emergency services should you get into difficulties on the water.”

Q: How can I keep my boat in good condition during lockdown?

A: The Broads Authority have urged people to ‘winterise’ their boats by Thursday.

They said: “We strongly advise that private boat owners take steps to ‘winterise’ their boats (if required by the owner) before November 5.

“We recognise the concern that this may cause boat owners and we are urgently seeking clarification on whether this activity will be permitted.”

Q: I won’t be using my boat. Will I still be tolled?

A: Private boats that are kept in the Broads will still be tolled.

The Broads Authority said: “We fully appreciate the frustrations of private owners have in not being able to use their vessels during this time. We ask for your understanding that tolls fund essential navigation works which need to carry on even if the majority of boaters cannot currently benefit from them.

Q: Can I go fishing on the Broads?

A: Angling is allowed as long as you have travelled locally and social distancing rules are followed.

But the Broads Authority said they were seeking further information on angling from a boat and overnight fishing.

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