March 5, 2021
Berthon Covid-19 Protocol (5th March 2021)
NB All italics (brown & purple) are quoted Govt Guidance; purple & brown denotes latest updates throughout the document.
The UK remains in national lockdown but now with a tiered ease in restrictions with freedom on the horizon in June (subject to a continued decrease in Covid cases). We are obviously delighted that boating is still recognised as a safe recreational occupation (and thank you for abiding with previous guidelines thus protecting this privilege):
ROADMAP STEP 1a
Stay local and minimise time away from home.
On boat maintenance
Until 29th March, you may leave home to secure your second home, caravan or boat in order to avoid it posing a risk of harm/injury to yourself or others. You should not stay longer than for the length of time required to undertake the necessary work. Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) examiners can access boats in the course of professional activity to conduct safety examinations where these are necessary to renew or obtain a BSS certificate, akin to an MOT for a road vehicle.
On social distancing
For now, we are asking you to stay 2m away from anyone you don’t live with (unless they are your support bubble, if eligible)……. At this early stage in the vaccination programme, we do not have sufficient data to know how well vaccines block transmission. As soon as we learn more about vaccine efficacy, including its effect on transmission and no later than Step 3, we will review social distancing guidance for friends and family. Ahead of Step 4, we will also complete a review of other long-term measures that have been used to reduce transmission (e.g. 1m+, face coverings, working from home), with a view to informing when and under what circumstances these measures can be lifted.
On accessing indoor facilities on boats during recreational use with one’s household in the period to 29 March
When using a boat for outdoor recreation alone or with your household or support bubble from 8th March, you must not go inside except to access a toilet or for safety reasons or navigation.
*We ask that masks be worn at all times on site. Berthon continues to have staff working in the boatyard and on the marina and until Govt has provided sufficient evidence regarding the efficacy of vaccines, we ask all owners to join us wearing face masks on site at all times, which means from and back to the entrance barrier/car to prevent possible transmission.
Owners should report to dockmasters to inform us when you are on board to prevent staff turning up and to ensure you do not encounter staff working on board. We recommend you also check with your project manager prior to arrival.
ROADMAP STEP 1b
From 29th March, you may travel to your boat for general maintenance. However, stay local rules lifted; minimise travel outside of your local areas and – until Step 2 – should not stay overnight away from home.
ROADMAP STEP 2
Berthon (including all its subsidiaries) has continued to be fully operational, working within the government guidelines in a Covid safe environment: This is essential to keeping the country operating and supporting sectors and employers’ businesses providing manufacturing [&] repair services, storage and distribution facilities.
The sun has brought out more servicing demand, but as predicted spare parts are much more difficult to procure with ease or speed. Therefore, if you have not requested spring commissioning, please don’t leave it to the last minute and contact the project managers listed below for any works you require to make sure your boat is in tip top condition ready for warmer brighter weather.
We will carry on performing bespoke virtual security checks on boats at owners’ requests so please contact our Dockmasters if you would like to make use of this service.
As per the information above;
We will be providing short stays (IE up to 4 hours) but not overnight berths for visitors in line with the stay at home policy. Long term casual or annual berths (starting from the beginning of each month) are still available but under certain limitations. Berthon can arrange for boats to be collected if necessary; please call the Dockmasters on 01590 647405 to verify arrival rules and on VHF Channel 80 as you enter the river.
Government guidance states that the population should not stay ‘overnight away from your main home unless permitted by law’. Therefore overnight stays on boats are not permitted except for specific reasons (which includes if the boat is a primary residence) stated in government guidance. Overnight stays are predicted to be permitted from March 29 for single household bubble.
We ask individuals to distance themselves 2m from our staff and other owners at all times. All piers are more than 8’ (>2m) wide; individual finger pontoons are between 2’and 5’ (<2m) wide. Accordingly, please be alert and move into a finger when someone is coming in the other direction.
This is for the safety for all parties and we specifically request owners, buyers and contractors not to make impromptu visits if jobs are outstanding in case a contractor or we are working aboard.
We will welcome any yachts returning from overseas and will assist in their 14-day mandatory quarantine (if not from a country with a travel corridor to the UK) quarantine or the balance of 14 days if you have been outside the common travel area and have isolated at sea by providing a berth, fuel, water, power and a provisioning service where needed to allow diligent quarantining for the mandated time period. Please check here for the latest country guidance. Yachting has always been a community sport and now more than ever is the time to look after one another. Please contact the Dockmasters for more information.
You’ll also need to self-isolate in the place you’re staying after you arrive. It is not permissible to visit your boat during this period or undertake any activity away from that address. Further information under Useful Links, below or call the dockmasters and we can do a specific Risk Assessment for you.
The Dockmasters regularly patrol the piers and gantries to ensure the overall safety of our property and in the process may notice and correct issues that may cause damage. If this involves a berth holder’s boat, an email is sent as an aide memoire. We offer bespoke security checks on boats (often with FaceTime) at owners’ requests; contact the Dockmasters if you wish to take advantage of this.
The marina washrooms have had a rigorous cleaning routine since early summer 2020 and until further notice, the marina washrooms will be unavailable between 1500-1700hrs seven days a week whilst being decontaminated (fogging); additionally, we are cleaning washrooms regularly throughout each day whilst open.
We politely request that after you have used the lavatory you close the lid before flushing. This prevents airborne particles (possibly containing bacteria and/or viruses) being released into the air. Wipes will be provided for cleaning loo seats, door handles etc, including those at the exit; bins for the wipes are inside and outside the washrooms.
However, we cannot guarantee washrooms will be Covid-19 free at any given time. Where possible and for your own safety purposes, owners are asked to use their boat’s showers & toilets please.
Whilst the dockmasters and cleaners will continue to monitor the washrooms, please do report any situation that merits immediate attention at the Dockmasters’ office.
Please return trollies to the trolley pound having first cleaned the handle with wipes provided; we still recommend NO touching other parts of the trolley, that are not easy to clean. Please convey this to children.
BHG’s boat show trailer carries on as a centre for brief discussion with managers; 2m distancing is mandatory and we request only one-on-one meetings where possible; the adjacent 20’ container is where testing occurs. Berthon has carried out 1000 tests so far this year.
The security gatehouse at the marina entrance demonstrates that we are private property and general access is not permitted to the public; it will be manned at weekends. Please inform dockmasters if you have a guest arriving in another vehicle from March 29; they can mention your name or boat name to verify access.
The office continues to hand out sanitised keys using the protocol we adopted prior to lockdown. This includes sterilising keys on return.
Annual Berth Holder Reviews
We thank those who filled in the annual review form. We scored between 8.2 and 9.5 /10 over the nine questions and this year we still plan more changes to ensure we continue to improve where we can. If you have time, please add a comment to Trust Pilot or Google. We appreciate your support.
We continue to test all our staff on a two weekly basis including sub contractors and crew that we are working closely with. Most of our management team, who are not high risk, and skilled employees are at work along with all our apprentices whilst only a few sales roles are being performed at home to ensure pods. Our collective challenge is still to monitor when you, contractors, and we are aboard boats on site if we are to be working on them or showing them for sale (virtually at present) – see link for viewing boats. With Covid-19 surviving airborne and on surfaces we have been quarantining boats with a 72-hour moratorium between individuals going aboard. The amount of work and demand for separate skills has necessitated a change in protocol.
The reception on the 2nd floor remains closed to owners. If you would like to discuss works with a member of the YMR team please call the project manager.
Yacht Maintenance and Repair (YMR) phone numbers:
Berthon Offices and sheds remain closed for owners; meetings can occur by Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
We are all aware boats have a habit of hiding problems until the last minute. With necessary parts taking longer to arrive, and labour needing to be allocated carefully in advance, why not be certain that your boat is running well, and include windlasses, electronics and other moving parts within your service instructions and ask us to perform a sea trial. This will avoid any angst after a long drive when overnight staying on board is eventually permitted.
Thank you to all owners and contractors who have diligently checked in and out at the Dockmasters office, as part of our collective challenge to work on as many boats as possible. We will continue to monitor when owners, contractors, and our staff are on board, to comply with 2m social distancing and either with a 72-hour quarantine period or subject to availability, decontamination.
The above renders the boat safer for all parties.
The boatyard-gated entrance at Bath Road will remain closed and access to sheds is for Berthon staff only; owners and contractors are simply not permitted unless accompanied by a project manager. The stores are operating with a closed counter and all items and materials ordered via your project manager for delivery to our Berthon staff. Project Managers can place orders for owners.
We continue to ask that owners do NOT come to watch the launch/lift of their boat during these hazardous times.
After launching, boats may be berthed on the north side of A pier to aid ongoing work activities and distancing measures on the yard wall.
New Yachts Sales & Brokerage Viewings
Berthon International have a specific protocol for viewing boats for sale. Please call direct on 01590 679222 to make an appointment.
We thank you all for your continued patience and determination to see off the virus. We, collectively, now need to ready ourselves for a different way of boating that is mindful of the safety of all boat owners, your household members, and the wider Berthon and contractor workforce, as well as maintaining sensible behaviour afloat to prevent poor press that might jeopardise the gift that has been returned to us, IE going to sea.