Can I go out on the Norfolk Broads during the second lockdown?
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
After a soaraway summer when thousands took to the waterways for socially-distanced leisure and trips, the Norfolk Broads have been declared off-limits from Thursday.
Although people are allowed to exercise the Broads Authority is asking people to “think carefully” before taking up their paddles and to consider the spirit of the guidelines when interpreting what the Government has set out.
In a statement on its website it said: “Now is not the time to visit the Broads if you live outside the area and you should avoid all non-essential travel.
“Overnight stays and holidays are not allowed. This includes overnight stays on a boat if it is not your normal residence.
“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.”
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The authority said it was still awaiting clarification on activities like paddleboarding and canoeing but urged people to think carefully as they could put extra strain on the emergency services and lives at risk if there was a problem.
The statement said: “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.”
MORE: ‘It went a bit mad’ - seaside shoppers race to beat lockdown in town centreIt added that day trips on private or hire boats were not allowed and urged boat owners to winterise their crafts.
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Rangers will continue their patrols, and operations like dredging and maintenace will continue.
Boat owners will still be expected to pay their tolls.
Angling is still permitted while observing rules around social distancing and travelling locally, but the authority says it is seeking clarification from Defra regarding angling from a boat and overnight fishing.
Meanwhile tourist information centres at Hoveton and How Hill are closed as are the yacht stations at Reedham, Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
All Broads Authority events have been cancelled.
People reacting on social media and looking to stretch the interpretation of what is allowed have been given short-shrift by many who say the “stay at home” top line is all they need to know.
Over the summer Broads boatyards enjoyed a boom in bookings with some operators declaring they didn’t have enough boats.On the down side it saw a spike in littering and illegal parking with police urging tourists to be responsible.
Under the second lockdown - which comes into force on Thursday November 5 - people are allowed to take unlimited outdoor exercise and meet one other person outdoors.