Call 01983 293952 or email chc@cowes.co.uk

Coronavirus statement

Coronavirus statement

08 January 2021
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021 
CHC Coronavirus update on marine leisure activities 

Following clarification from the Department for Transport on guidance relating to boating and leisure activities, it has been confirmed that boating is allowed as exercise in England. This covers all sailing boats/yachts, motorboats and RIBs etc. as long as they abide by the UK Government’s gathering limits, social distance rules and stay local rules of lockdown. 

Cowes Harbour Commission will therefore be allowing controlled access to Shepards Marina for customers to use their boats for exercise in line with Government guidance, limited to between the hours of 0900 to 1700. Short stays and overnight stays are not be permitted.

Customers wishing to access their boat for exercise should contact Shepards Marina. If customers have any queries, they are requested to email the Marina via: shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk or phone 01983 297821.

Stay Home - Protect the NHS - Save Lives
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Updated Tuesday, 5th January 2021
CHC statement on new UK Government lockdown


Following the UK Government’s announcement last night on the new lockdown measures put in place, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) has closed all its sites to customers, including Shepards Marina in Cowes and the Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard in East Cowes.

CHC has taken this action in line with Government guidance and for the safety and protection of our customers and staff. CHC sites will remain closed to customers until further notice. Contractors will still be able to carry out work on site providing they have valid CHC Contractors Permit.

CHC will constantly monitor and review its policies where necessary, based on Government and industry guidance. CHC will continue to patrol the harbour and all our sites to ensure vessels and assets remain safe and protected.

Shepards Marina
Customers who need to check their boat should contact the Marina. All lifting operations at Shepards have been suspended indefinitely. If customers have any queries, they are requested to email the Marina via: shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk or phone 01983 297821.

Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard
CHC will be offering a collection or delivery service for any customer who requires their boat to be lifted or launched. Customers should email or phone the Boatyard to arrange this service.
 
Customers who need to check their boat should contact the Boatyard. If customers have any queries, they are requested to email the Boatyard via: boatyard.chc@cowes.co.uk or phone 01983 299385.

Harbour Office
Cowes Harbour Office will be closed to customers and visitors and all communications are requested to be sent via email to chc@cowes.co.uk or alternatively, customers may phone on 01983 293952.

Cowes Harbour Services Fuel Berth
The fuel barge will remain open for the time being but is under review; opening times may vary. Customers should check the CHC website or contact 01983 297821 for revised times.

Visitor moorings
In line with current Government guidance, no overnight, or short stay visitors will be permitted at CHC owned mooring facilities until further notice. See LNTM No. 02(T) of 2021 - Covid-19 - Guidelines for Recreational Boating.

Water taxis
The harbour water taxi service has been suspended until further notice.

Open Port
As Harbour Authority, CHC has a statutory duty to maintain an ‘Open Port Policy’ for freedom of navigation and public use. Ferries and commercial shipping will continue to operate as usual, and unless notified otherwise by the UK Government, the harbour will remain open to any vessel that needs to transit the harbour or access a berth.

Stay at home

Stay at home rules
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Updated Monday, 4th January 2021 
CHC Coronavirus statement on Tier 4 status 


Happy New Year to all harbour users, albeit in very challenging times. On 31st December the UK Government placed the Isle of Wight into the Tier 4 category for Coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. Due to this recent change in tiers, Cowes Harbour Commission has decided, based on Government and industry guidance, to amend the customer access hours to Shepards Marina and Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard, as per the information below: 

Shepards Marina 
Customer access hours 0900 to 1630 from 2nd January 2021. All customer queries should be directed to the marina team via shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk or 01983 297821. 
Dry Sailing 
Customers will continue to be able to book launches and lifts from Monday, 4th January 2021 on a first come first serve basis. In consultation with our customers, a strictly controlled Dry Sailing service meeting current COVID-19 restrictions will be provided. 
Marina
In line with current Government guidance, no overnight, or short stay visitors will be permitted into the marina until further notice. You are encouraged to use Town Quay or the Gridiron to collect/drop off family members. The harbour water taxi will be running but on a limited service.

Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard
Customer access hours 0900 to 1630 from 2nd January 2021. For all yard enquiries, customers and visitors are requested to email boatyard.chc@cowes.co.uk or phone 01983 299385.
Lifting and Launching
The lifting and launching of boats will continue at the Boatyard but we would ask for your patience due to necessary changes that may be implemented to ensure safe operations for our staff and customers.

Harbour Office
Cowes Harbour Office will be closed to customers and visitors and all communications are requested to be sent via email to chc@cowes.co.uk or alternatively, customers may phone on 01983 293952.

Cowes Harbour Services Fuel Berth
The fuel barge will remain open, however, opening times may vary. Customers should check the CHC website or contact 01983 297821 for revised times.

Protecting customers, contractors and staff
Cowes Harbour Commission’s overriding priority throughout the COVID-19 situation is the safety and protection of both our staff and customers. All Marina and Boatyard users, contractors and our staff are being asked to follow our guidance policy, which is being implemented for everyone’s safety and protection at CHC sites:

1. Social distancing rules MUST be maintained at all times.
2. Respect ALL CHC staff and other Marina/Boatyard users and maintain 2 metre distance.
3. Respect ALL rules in place when visiting Receptions.
4. Maximum of two persons from the same household or bubble to work on a boat at any one time.
5. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently or use hand sanitiser.
6. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and bin the tissue straight away.
7. Do NOT spend more time on site than is necessary to conduct your business / work.
8. AVOID face-to-face contact with other site visitors and CHC staff.
9. Equipment and tools should NOT be borrowed or lent to anybody outside your household.
10. If you believe you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should LEAVE the site immediately and self-isolate in line with the latest Government guidance.

Further information
Cowes Harbour Commission will continue to issue updates when necessary and further information can be found below:
LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS No. 39(T) of 2020
COVID-19 – Government Guidelines for Recreational Boating


Tier 4 stay at home

Symptoms poster

Space poster

Symptoms and space poster
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Updated Wednesday, 4th November 2020 
CHC Coronavirus statement on new lockdown 


Following Saturday’s announcement by the UK Prime Minister that England will go into lockdown from Thursday, 5th November to Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is continuing to consult with Government agencies through the British Ports Association (BPA) and Solent & Southern Harbour Masters Association (SASHMA) to seek clarification and guidance on the new national restrictions and the measures required to be taken by ports and harbours. 

We are still awaiting definitive guidance from the UK Government but in the interim, the majority of SASHMA members have agreed the following principles based on an understanding of the current guidance and have confirmed this position with the UK Government.

CHC’s number one priority remains as always to ensure the safety of the harbour, as well as CHC staff and customers, throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. All harbour users and customers are strongly encouraged to adhere to the Government’s lockdown guidelines requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.

Based on the information currently available, CHC will take the following actions from 5th November until further notice, to ensure compliance with lockdown guidance and rules:

Harbour Office
Cowes Harbour Office will be closed to customers and visitors and all communications are requested to be sent via email to chc@cowes.co.uk or alternatively, customers may phone on 01983 293952.

Cowes Harbour Visitor Moorings
There will be no overnight berthing at CHC visitor pontoons at Cowes; this includes Trinity Landing, Shepards Marina, and all CHC visitor pontoons on the river at Whitegates and the Folly. There will be increased Harbour Patrols to ensure that all vessels on river moorings and pontoons are safe and secure. The harbour water taxi will be running but on a limited service. For any concerns or enquiries about vessels on the river, CHC customers may contact the moorings team at Shepards Marina by email to shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk or by phone on 01983 297821.

Cowes Harbour Shepards Marina
CHC’s Shepards Marina will remain open, but in line with Government guidelines, including not accepting overnight visitors. Customers will be permitted to access their vessels; however, customers should ensure all trips to the marina are in line with the latest UK Government guidance. All customer queries should be directed to the marina team via shepards.chc@cowes.co.uk or 01983 297821.

For Cowes Yacht Haven, East Cowes Marina, and other mooring providers at Cowes, boat users are advised to visit their respective websites and contact them directly for their most up-to-date information.

Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard
CHC Boatyard operations will continue and the yard will remain open, but customers are reminded that all trips to the boatyard should be in line with UK Government guidance. Contractors will be allowed to work on vessels providing they have completed a valid COVID-19 Contractors Form. For all yard enquiries, customers and visitors are requested to email boatyard.chc@cowes.co.uk or phone 01983 299385.

Cowes Harbour Services Fuel Berth
The fuel barge will remain open, however, opening times may vary. Customers should check the CHC website or contact 01983 297821 for revised times.

Open Port
As Harbour Authority, CHC has a statutory duty to maintain an ‘Open Port Policy’ for freedom of navigation and public use. Ferries and commercial shipping will continue to operate as usual, and unless notified otherwise by the UK Government, the harbour will remain open to any vessel that needs to transit the harbour or access a berth.

Notices to Mariners
Please read Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No. 35(T) of 2020 COVID-19: Guidelines for Recreational Boating.

Further Information
CHC will keep these policies under review in line with UK Government guidance and inform harbour users on any further updates. CHC would like to reiterate that all customers and harbour users should adhere to the latest Government guidelines regarding leaving home and ensure their trip to any CHC facility is in compliance with these rules.
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Updated Friday, 24th July 2020
CHC marine operations update on rafting procedures and shower facilities
Following consultation with local marinas and customers, and whilst adhering to all current COVID-19 Government guidance, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) will start permitting the rafting of two boats maximum, bow to stern, from Friday, 24th July 2020 at Shepards Marina and at our visitor pontoons on the River Medina.

Boat owners are requested to:
- Supply their contact details on booking for Track / Trace purposes.
- Be courteous and to discuss boarding arrangements with the other boat owner once alongside.
- Supply their own hand sanitiser and/or cleaning products.
- Respect other people's boats and their wishes.
- Follow all other site guidance notices.

The shower facilities at Shepards Marina are now open again with an enhanced cleaning programme in place and visitors are asked to ensure they maintain social distancing whilst using the facilities. Visitors are still encouraged to use their own onboard wash facilities wherever possible, and to be alert to the increased risk of using communal washrooms, showers and toilets.

Visitors are advised to contact Cowes Yacht Haven and East Cowes Marina direct to check the services they are currently offering.

View a PDF of CHC rafting procedures
Rafting

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Updated Friday, 17th July 2020 
CHC marine services operations update 
Cowes Harbour has been grateful to welcome back overnight visitors in the last couple of weeks, with a steady increase in visiting boats since ‘lockdown’ restrictions were eased and boat owners were allowed to get out and about. We are still ensuring that all necessary COVID-19 precautions are being taken to keep everybody safe so that visitors can come and enjoy the new freedom in Cowes and all the Island has to offer. 

The Cowes Harbour Services (CHS) Boatyard at Kingston Wharf is now fully up and running, whilst following all Government guidelines, and is seeing a good amount of work come through the yard from boat owners keen to get back on the water.

The CHS Fuel Berth has seen customers returning in quite significant numbers due to a concentrated and delayed start to the boating season, combined with the recent excellent weather. Many thanks to all our customers for their help and cooperation with our Coronavirus operating procedures.

Demand for the harbour water taxis has been lower than expected, even after the easing of restrictions and also due to the unfortunate cancellation of the majority of sailing events. Despite the current low demand, CHC is still committed to supporting the taxi service, which is available seven days a week during the most popular daytime hours.
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Updated Monday, 29th June 2020 
COVID-19 Update - Cowes Harbour Prepares for the Return of Overnight Visitors: 

Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is getting ready for the return of overnight visitors to the harbour following confirmation from the UK Government that overnighting on boats will be allowed from this Saturday, 4th July.

CHC has been taking a cautious, stepped approach to opening up its marine services and facilities in line with the Government’s continued easing of lockdown restrictions. The latest changes mean that we can now accommodate pre-booked overnight stays at our visitor moorings in the harbour, on the River Medina and at Shepards Marina. Currently, there will continue to be no rafting of boats and CHC is working with other Solent harbours on this topic towards a protocol agreement for the Solent to put to the South Coast Harbour Masters' Association and British Ports Association. Short stays at CHC visitor mooring locations will also be changing from 4th July back to the normal “up to four hours” stay. 

Safety remains CHC’s top priority in the harbour and whilst the Island's tourism sector also prepares for the return of summer visitors on 4th July, we are focused on keeping Cowes Harbour safe and protected by staying COVID-19 secure and seeking to make changes that best mitigate the risks to visitor safety that are unique to a port and marina environment.

We can confirm that we have complied with the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 at CHC sites and visitor mooring locations with extra mitigations in place to ensure that our visitor moorings are safe places to bring your family to stay overnight.

We urge all visitors to maintain the 2 metres social distancing between visitors of different boats, households or support bubbles, and where that is not viable, 1 metre is acceptable plus mitigations such as the wearing of facemasks in communal spaces.

We have made a number of adaptations to keep our staff and visitors safe, with protective screens in reception, and hand sanitisers available for visitors’ use at Shepards Marina. We continue to encourage all visitors to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities as they enter our premises and regularly during their stay as they move between different areas in the marina.

We are awaiting the full Government guidelines on overnight stays, as relevant to ports and harbours, marinas and mooring facilities, but CHC is working towards the following:
• Informing all pre-booked overnight visitors in advance about guidelines for Shepards Marina and harbour/river moorings.
• Ensuring enhanced, frequent cleaning of areas receiving higher usage with overnight stays.
• Recommending that visitors use the wash facilities onboard their own boats wherever possible.
• Putting in place measures to manage the usage of shared washroom and toilet facilities by overnight visitors.
• Keeping shower facilities closed for the first week and under review.
• Having clear information to alert visitors to the increased risk of using communal washrooms and toilets.
• Keeping customers’ contact details in case of need for track and trace.


As a result of the current COVID-19 restrictions on some holidays abroad, this is a good opportunity to take a Great British summer staycation in support of British tourism. CHC aims to offer the best berthing experience we can in the circumstances and to safely share the best of Cowes Harbour with all overnight visiting boats.

Shepards Marina will initially be offering the lower overnight berthing rate of £2.94pmpn from Monday to Sunday (to be kept under review). For CHC’s main harbour visitor moorings and river pontoon visitor moorings, overnight stays will remain as per the standard charges. For all enquiries and bookings, please contact the moorings team at Shepards Marina for more information.

For Cowes Yacht Haven, East Cowes Marina, and other mooring providers, boat users are advised to visit their respective websites and contact them directly for the most up-to-date policy information and details on visitor berthing.
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Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020: 
Daytime visitor boats now welcome at Cowes 

In brief: Cowes Harbour Commission’s visitor moorings are now open for daytime and short stay visitors as of today, Tuesday, 2nd June 2020. 

Read the full 2nd June 2020 CHC Newsletter here.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus guidance for visitors to Cowes Harbour Commission moorings:

Guidance for CHC sites

Pontoon guidance

Payments
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Updated Monday, 18th May 2020: 
COWES HARBOUR COMMISSION (CHC) VISITOR PONTOONS - Cowes Harbour Commission’s temporary policy for CHC visitor pontoons at Cowes is for no short stay berthing or overnight berthing. Therefore, in this current phase of lockdown release CHC is not recommending that visitors should come over to Cowes with their boats from the mainland or even from other Island harbours. CHC will keep this policy under review in line with UK Government guidance and inform harbour users on any further updates. 
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Updated Thursday, 14th May 2020: 

Read the full 14th May 2020 Newsletter here.
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Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020: 
Following this week’s UK Government announcements on the phased lifting of COVID-19 restrictions across the economy, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) recognises that there has been understandable interest from many leisure users who want to get back out on the water.

The Government has not yet issued any specific guidance on leisure marine activities and a number of important issues surrounding the potential reopening of marinas, slipways, pontoons etc. and access to leisure vessels still require urgent clarification by Government. Although it is expected that specific Government advice will confirm that certain sailing activities and watersports will be able to start shortly, marine leisure facilities around the country will need to be assessed and prepared to accommodate social distancing and hygiene measures.

The British Ports Association (BPA) and UK Harbour Master’s Association (UKHMA) have been in daily contact with relevant Government departments and are assured that further guidance is expected to be released shortly. The more general Transport Sector guidance released today, 12th May 2020, makes it clear that organisations are expected to consider it in full and translate its principles and examples into specific actions. To comply with their legal Health and Safety obligations organisations also need to ensure that risk assessments (which take account of relevant guidance) have been carried out and suitable policies and procedures put in place. To do this properly and safely takes time, to ensure safety for users, staff and also the public. This also means that there are likely to be certain measures we all need to follow that could alter what leisure users can do.

The BPA and UKHMA have therefore suggested that Cowes Harbour Commission considers waiting for the more specific guidance to be issued before easing our current restrictions. The intervening period can be used to consider the newly released Transport Sector guidance and to prepare the relevant policies and procedures. These can then be adapted following the release of the more specific guidance.

For the safety of everyone, recreational marine leisure users are asked to remain patient and understanding as the BPA and UKHMA continue to cooperate and work closely with Government.

Cowes Harbour Commission will be in touch again with stakeholders shortly once we have a further update. In the meantime, CHC is developing our opening plans for our marine service sites at Shepards Marina, the Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard and Fuel Berth, and we hope to be able to confirm full details to all our customers as soon as possible. Please also read Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No. 14(T) of 2020 that has just been issued.
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Updated Monday, 11th May 2020: 
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the UK on Sunday evening, 10th May 2020, Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) can confirm there is no immediate change at the moment to ‘stay off the water’ messages. CHC is liaising with the South Coast Harbour Masters’ Association, British Ports Association, Government, RYA and British Marine to clarify what the latest Government announcement means for port and marine operations and policies, and we aim to update stakeholders further by this Wednesday, 13th May. 

CHC has been following the Government’s advice in respect of Coronavirus and we have put measures in place to limit risks to port users, our staff, emergency services and the public. As the country moves towards the easing of certain provisions of the lockdown there will be an understandable interest from many leisure users who want to get back out onto the water. Whilst we are keen to see this eventually, we will need to assess the Government’s latest guidance in respect of what activities and essential travel will be permitted. 



Furthermore, even when we are able to reopen CHC’s facilities, stakeholders should be aware that arrangements to preserve social distancing will be needed. This means that there are likely to be certain measures we need to enforce that could alter what users and visitors can do. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience and support. We will continue to monitor the situation and will advise of any further updates as soon as possible this week.

• View the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy (Published May 2020)
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Red Funnel Ferries:
Visit the Red Funnel COVID-19 FAQs web page for more information.
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HM Government:

HM Government information following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), including guidance for British people travelling: gov.uk/coronavirus. 

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NHS: 

Latest NHS advice: NHS.uk/coronavirus.

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World Health Organisation:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

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