Covid-19 FAQs

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For all of our latest updates regarding Covid-19, please read this news article.

Following changes from Monday 4th January, England has entered a national lockdown.

Government guidance does not provide complete clarity and there are some uncertainties including Government’s definition of ‘exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place’. When considering if you can visit the marina you must consider it in the context of the guidance as a whole. We are unable to advise you.

Our marinas remain open with a core staff of experienced team members undertaking work that cannot be done from home and looking after your boat. Please rest assured that they will continue to complete their regular boat checks, making sure your boat is safe and secure. Our teams will also continue to lift boats ashore for both our leisure and commercial customers. As a reminder we please ask you do not attend a boat lift and our teams are on hand to arrange a tow or skippered delivery so that you can enjoy your services while you are at home. This is unchanged from our updates in May. We would encourage all berth holders to adhere to Government rules for England.

The best way to talk to us, is via the online contact form available. You can now submit your query or question online and get a response in just a few hours, if not sooner.

Read the full Government guidance here.

Hands. Face. Space.

Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space.’

  • hands – wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
  • face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
  • space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings)

In all circumstances, you should follow the guidance on meeting others safely.

Site Access

For the period from 4th January 2021 our marinas can remain open for business services including (but not limited to) safeguarding customers boats, maintaining marina infrastructure, boatyard operations, boat servicing and supporting tenants.

You may leave the home to:

  • shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
  • meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
  • attend education or childcare - for those eligible

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

Seeing Friends and Family

If you believe you must attend the marina and can do so in line with government guidelines. You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble.

You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

International Travel

You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.

If you do need to travel overseas (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice.

If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination. British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.


Therefore, the following applies to MDL berth holders only:

If an MDL berth holder is returning to one of our marinas from a water that has been removed from the current UK travel corridor list, then they are to complete the online passenger locator form as per UK law prior to arrival into UK waters and as detailed on the government website. They must then immediately leave the marina upon arrival and make their way home to their permanent address.

The passenger locator form can be found via this link.

Click on the following link to check how the Brexit rules affect you.

We have also put together advice on UK/EU Entry & Exit Formalities, following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union. Read the article here.

Face Coverings

From Thursday 5th August, it is now compulsory to wear face coverings in any enclosed space when visiting an MDL marina or boatyard.

Showers and Facilities - be aware of an increased risk using these facilities

Shower facilities will be open to any residential berth holders and tenants. You’ll notice we’re implementing even stricter cleaning protocols and making sure that social distancing guidelines can be followed. For any further information, please contact your home marina via this link.

You can read more on the government's guidance here.

Boats on Dry Stacks

Currently we’re asking people to book a launch slot 24 hours in advance for social distancing reasons, but we would recommend you don’t book any launches during this lockdown. If you do your boat will be launched and made ready for you to collect. When you return it to the berth, we’ll either pick it up after you have left, or possibly the next day. Please carefully follow all instructions given by our team members to make sure there is no pontoon crowding and / or rafting.

For commercial customers please contact the marina manager directly.

Boats in Marina Locks

Our marina teams at Hythe and Chatham will be running queues to access the locks, given that it is not possible to social distance in a packed lock. The queuing systems may include staggering boats in the lock to maintain distance, and not including smaller boats (like RIBS) in between bigger boats. The marina teams will assess the boats waiting and will endeavour to put the best queue system in place for the challenge they’re presented with. You are asked to please be patient. Contacting our teams to express your concerns will hold-up operations.

Please work with them, respect them and remember, there are still significant restrictions in place across the country. We expect to refine operations as government guidance changes.


Our boatyards will continue to operate at full capacity and we will find ways to get your boats to our lifting docks and will be in contact to make arrangements.

Can I attend my boat launch?

Please do not attend the launching or lifting of your boat. This is so our team can operate freely around the boatyard while maintaining social distancing and operating inside their risk assessment.


Please ensure all marina trolleys are returned to trolley parks. Customers are required to use hand sanitiser prior to use. Wipes are available from the marina office if required.

Visitor Berthing

Visitors should not book into a marina that isn’t their home marina from the 5th November unless they need to for work purposes.

  • marina teams will NOT be able greet visitors on the pontoons or take lines;
  • there will be NO rafting at any marina for visitors
  • we will need to take full details for all visitors. This is in order to collect the required information that may be required for Test and Trace purposes.

Fuel Services

Marine fuel will remain open for business services including (but not limited to) boatyard, boat servicing and tenants. It will only be offered at some sites on a limited and pre-booked basis, subject to availability. Booking slots are 30 minutes apart. You must arrive in your allotted time (not early or late). Our team will not be able to collect lines from you. Only one boat is allowed on the fuel berth at any one time. Demand for fuel is less during the week, so please consider whether you can make the trip then. You can book fuel by calling your marina, contact details can be found here.

Contractors,Tenants, Bars and Restaurants

As always, our marina teams are onsite and making sure your boat is safe if you cannot personally travel to the marina yourself. The teams are available to carry out minor tasks for you such as disconnecting storage heaters, opening vents, checking bilges, checking electrical supplies and adjusting fenders for your peace of mind. If you require essential work on your boat that simply can't wait, please contact your chosen contractor.

Chandleries and other non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers, click and collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and to supply the marine trade.

Our on site catering will close unless providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm). These venues can continue to be able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services. Please contact these businesses directly for full details.

We will try our best to fulfil tenants' and contractors' needs throughout this time, provided jobs can be performed safely and in line with Government guidelines and MDL's operations.

Can I stay on my boat overnight?

No overnight stays are allowed on boats as specified by the government: You cannot leave your home or the place where you are living for holidays or overnight stays unless you have a reasonable excuse for doing so.

This includes staying in a second home or boat if that is not your primary residence.

You are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition

If you are already on staying on your boat and it is not your primary residence, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

Woolverstone Lodge Park and Mercury Holiday Park may remain open for the specific reasons set out in law, including where guests are unable to return to their main residence, or need accommodation while moving house. A full list of reasons can be found in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England can be found at this link.


People shouldn’t self-isolate on their boats. This will put our staff and tenants at unnecessary high risk. Self-isolators will be much more comfortable at their primary address.

Security of Boat

Our core marina teams will continue to look after your boat on your behalf. Please contact your marina office to arrange what you need. Our team can also share a video of your boat with you online, if you would like them to do so please let us know. If you have a particular concern about your boat – like an electrical appliance being switched on – please email your marina office and they will check it for you. Contact details can be found here.

Risk Assessments

We confirm we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 at our marinas. Read more here.

To access the NHS England Data Protection Impact Assessment, click here.

Lockdown Progress?

We will update all customers and tenants as the guidance changes as we have done swiftly and factually through the pandemic. As with all of the measures above, we’re asking our customers to be patient, and to respect all social distancing guidance and the ways in which our marina teams respond to the individual challenges each marina presents.

As you know, we couldn’t be prouder of our marina teams who have been looking after our marina network although, in some cases, they have been treated inappropriately by some customers. We respectfully ask for your patience, understanding and above all adherence to the rules to avoid further lockdowns. Please show them your support as we adjust to our ‘new normal’.

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