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Various guidance issued about Covid-19 will be listed here. Last updated 10th June. New: Charity Commission guidance on reporting serious incidents (in particular financial difficulties due to the pandemic), Sail Scotland guidance, preventing Legionella at your premises.

Sailing again!  Some german ships are sailing again, and dutch ships have set up guidelines to start. The german ones are still keeping their distance which is 1.5 m there. They are doing day sails, recommend masks, maximum number of people on board, regular cleaning of facilities and that seems to be it. Approved by their local authorities. Will keep you updated on whether it actually works!


What you can and can't do (Gov't advice updated 1st June 2020) - you can meet up to 6 other people outside your household in the outdoors, while maintaining social distancing (leisure advice). 

How to make your workplace Covid-secure

Doing a Covid risk assessment (link to HSE)

Access to green spaces (Gov't advice updated 1st June 2020) - includes permission for all types of watersports

Using a boat inland and on the coast - bareboat charter allowed but skippered charter not yet. (Gov guidance 11th June)


RYA return to boating guidance - still need to maintain social distancing so no practical training with groups unless they're all part of the same household

Sail Scotland guidance (added 10th June 2020)

Government recovery strategy 

DSC summary of government guidance (7 pages rather than 50)


Legionella advice from RYA - if your office building has been unoccupied for a while, making the water supply safe 


Charity Commission - reporting serious incidents during coronavirus pandemic. The example table at the bottom is particularly helpful. For example, you should report if closure or lack of income due to the pandemic results in you closing or a high likelihood of insolvency in next 12 months.



NCVO guide on latest developments in funding. Really useful information including a long list of funders (scroll down)

Links to other funding that you might apply for:

Top-up to local business grant funds - aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs. Grants up to £10,000 for small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief. Contact your local authority for details, some ASTO members have had success.

Local community foundations may also have grants available


Job Retention Scheme. The scheme has been extended as-is until the end of July, and will continue with some changes until October. Changes to be clarified by end of May.

Job Retention Scheme - updated 22nd June.  Scheme will change from July, furloughed employees can come back to part-time work (employer needs to pay their wages while working). Scheme closes to new entrants from 30th June, i.e after this date you cannot furlough anyone who has not previously been furloughed for at least 3 weeks. (This means if you want to add new people to the scheme they need to be furloughed by 10th June, so they have done the minimum 3 weeks before the scheme closes to new entrants)

Easy to read factsheet about the Job Retention Scheme and also the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Step by Step guide to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - the HMRC portal is now open and aims to pay within 6 days.

Claim calculator - work out how much you can claim

Link to the Claim Portal


Acas advice on furloughing including template furlough agreement


The Department for Education is still advising against domestic trips (residential and non-residential) for children under 18 organised by educational settings. Currently being reviewed (3rd June 2020). Government Travel guidance for educational settings  



NCVO (national charity umbrella body) advice for all charities 

NCVO webinar presentation includes advice on job retention scheme, being insolvent etc

Tech offers available to charities (incl Office, Dropbox etc for working from home)

NCVO update - supporting charities and volunteers 


DSC (Directory of Social Change) - Provider of books and training courses on how to run charities, are now offering their online training for free! Access the training portal on


RYA - collection of updates from the RYA including guidance to recreational boaters

RYA return to boating guidance - some thoughts on how sail cruising could happen

RYA Training Centre advice. Lots of really useful information including about rent on buildings, extension of validity of qualifications, 

 My commercial endorsement has expired, can I still work? (from RYA guidance)

The MCA has approved a temporary extension for all RYA certificates with commercial endorsements which expire during the period affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. RYA certificates that expired from 01 March 2020 onwards, will be accepted as valid up to and including the 30 September 2020. Further details and information about commercial endorsement extensions, including expired RYA First Aid certificates or medical fitness certificates, are available here.


MCA guidance - mainly to do with certificates expiring while at sea

MIN 612 Amendment 1  - MCA guidance note on vessel certification, including Small Commercial Vessels. 3 month extensions may be given if no surveyor able to attend.

ENG1/ML5 guidance - extension may be given if no doctor's appointment available

If you are at sea:  Guidance on restrictions for vessels arriving


 UK Government advice and support (regularly updated)

Guidance for businesses (if the office is still open) - reducing risk, sick pay etc

Financial support for businesses - Job Retention Scheme (may be useful for sea staff), deferring VAT, Grant funding etc

Full details on how the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) works: claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Further info on the Job Retention Scheme: Business Support

'A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work or training, as long as it does not provide services to or generate revenue for, or on behalf of your organisation.

However, if workers are required to complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NLW/NMW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.'

i.e. you can require your furloughed staff to do training as long as they are being paid at least the minimum wage.




International Chamber of Shipping (published 3rd March) includes how to deal with a case on board (aimed at merchant shipping but may still be useful)


Charity Commission: Reporting serious incidents  (this is existing guidance and still valid)

Response from some ASTO members:

Cancelled trips; some are offering trips at a later date, rather than reimbursing booking fees. Some are proposing to keep deposits until next year but it may depend on the type of clients you have.

Some member organisations are happy to share their approach.  ASTO understands that each organisation will make their own decisions but it may help to see how others have approached this.

Morning Star Trust has now suspended their season until 12th June. Statement on

Ocean Youth Trust South are not starting their sailing season, statement on

Ocean Youth Trust North are keeping the boat out of the water and planning to start sailing in May: