Covid-19 FAQs

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Covid-19

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


Government guidance is to help control the virus spreading by following these basic guidelines:

It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

  • HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 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 or increasing ventilation indoors).We are working hard to return life at the marina to as near as ‘normal’ as we can.

The Government have also asked us to “work from home where possible”. Whilst many of our services require our teams to be on site, there to serve you and the needs of your boat, you may see a few operational changes while we continue to minimise the number of team members working in offices across the business.

For the time being our teams will be unable to take lines for customers.

Whilst the phones at our marinas is the best way to talk to us, we also have a new 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.


How does the new Local Covid Alert Level tiers effect me and my boat?

Any person from a very high level alert tier must NOT visit the marina.

The Government has set a baseline of measures for any area in this local alert level. Consultation with local authorities will determine additional measures. The baseline means the below additional measures are in place:

  • Pubs and bars must close. They can only remain open where they operate as if they were a restaurant.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed.
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space.
  • People should try to avoid travelling outside the ‘Very High’ area they are in, or entering a ‘Very High’ area, other than for things like work, education, accessing youth services, to meet caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they are resident in a ‘Very High’ area, or avoid staying overnight in a ‘Very High’ area if they are resident elsewhere.
From Wednesday 14th October the Liverpool City Region will be placed onto the ‘Very High’ Local Covid Alert Level. The Liverpool City Region includes the local authority districts of Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, as well as the City of Liverpool.

A postcode checker on gov.uk will show which alert level applies in each area and the NHS Covid-19 app will also direct people to this information.


The Rule of 6: Seeing Friends and Family

When at the marina and seeing friends and family you do not live with you should:

  • meet in groups of 6 or less
  • follow social distancing rules
  • limit how many different people you see socially over a short period of time
  • meet people outdoors where practical: meeting people outdoors is safer than meeting people indoors because fresh air provides better ventilation
Limits on the number of people you can see socially have changed. From Monday 14 September, when meeting friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors. This is against the law and the police will have the powers to enforce these legal limits, including to issue fines (fixed penalty notices) of £100, doubling for further breaches up to a maximum of £3,200.


UK Travel Corridors

Coronavirus regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

However, it is now possible that a berth holder could legitimately travel to a country listed within the current UK travel corridor, i.e. France, and then not be unable to return to one of our marinas if that country is excluded from the UK list prior to the boat returning to the UK.

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.


Face Coverings

From Saturday 8th August, it is now compulsory to wear face coverings in any indoor space when visiting an MDL marina or boatyard.


On-Site Bars and Restaurants

As of Thursday 24th September, on-site restaurants and licensed premises at MDL's marinas are to close at 10pm prompt. This is a nationwide Government restriction to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Can people visit my boat now?

The more people you have interactions with, the more chance the virus has to spread. Therefore, try to limit the number of people you see - especially over short periods of time. The risk of transmission is also higher inside homes and boats, so you should take extra care to stay as safe as possible.


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

We will start opening shower facilities from 4th July, with the intention of having all available by 10th July. You’ll notice we’re implementing even stricter cleaning protocols and making sure that social distancing guidelines can be followed.

Currently, you need to be aware that:

  • Showers will be available from 7am-10am & 6pm–8pm (from 4th July to end of August).
  • One shower block per site will open initially, but toilets will be available in all blocks.
  • Cleaners will man the shower facilities and clean each one after use.
  • A red/green disk will be placed on each shower door. Green means the shower is ready to use, red means it’s not available.
  • A queue system will be in place outside the block, with a one in / one out approach.
  • Family rooms and large cubicles can be used by one household at a time.
  • Shaving at hand sinks is not allowed.

You can read more here.


Boats on Dry Stacks

Currently we’re asking people to book a launch slot 24 hours in advance. We know that this is a big change, but it’s for social distancing reasons. 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.


Boatyards

We know how much you all want to get back to boating as soon as possible and our teams are doing everything they can to facilitate that. With many boats ashore across our network, it will take some time to get everyone where they want to be. But you can access your boat ashore for maintenance purposes as normal.

Boatyard operations will operate at different times in different marinas. Some marinas will have longer days and (in a few cases) use different teams. This is because we’re providing all of our teams with refresher training to ensure they provide the very best service following a period of inactivity. Because of the geography of our marinas, this will take a little while to complete, so please bear with us as we get up and running.

We have received a high volume of calls requesting launch dates. We are working hard to return boats to the water and contacting owners to design a launch plan around their needs. Please wait for your marina office to contact you about your yard’s launch plan as they’ll be juggling where each boat is. At some marinas we provided provisional summer launch dates to many customers and we are now in a position that these dates can be bought forward.


Can I attend my boat launch?

Please do not attend the launching of your boat. This is so our team can operate freely around the boatyard while maintaining social distancing and operating inside their risk assessment. Once your boat has been launched and the team have returned to the boatyard, you may collect it.


Trolleys

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 must book prior to arrival and pay in advance over the telephone. During this period:

  • 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 only be offered at some sites on a limited and pre-booked basis only, 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.


Berth Holder New Season Packs

New season packs are now ready for you to collect. If you would like your pack or new access cards to be sent to you in the post please email your marina who will be happy to help.


Contractors and Tenants

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.

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.


Are there restrictions on how far I can travel to the marina?

No. You can travel irrespective of distance, but you should take hygiene and safety precautions if using services on the way. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

If you wish to travel internationally, you should follow the laws of other countries and FCO international travel guidance. It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of Covid-19 can occur during these, so avoid travelling with someone from outside your household, unless you can practice social distancing - for example by cycling.


Can I stay on my boat overnight?

We are delighted that, from 4th July 2020, overnight stays are permitted. This includes the hire of craft by two households, as long as they adhere to the new social distancing guidance.


Self-Isolation

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

If you cannot safely travel to perform security checks on your boat, then our core marina teams will continue to look after your boat on your behalf. Please contact your marina office to arrange what you need. 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.


Back to Boating Bonus

To celebrate the easing of lockdown restrictions, and the brilliant news we can now get back on the water, we introduced a Back to Boating Bonus for all of our loyal annual Freedom Berth Holders and annual Freedom Berth Dry Stack customers. Due to huge demand, we are currently working through all submissions. If you have completed your Back to Boating Bonus form, then rest assured that this is being dealt with by your home marina. Please be patient while this is being done. Your home marina will be in touch as soon as they have further information about your specific refund. These are expected to land with berth holders during July.


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.


Is Lockdown Over?

We will update all customers and tenants as the guidance changes. We are tracking the progress through the new Covid Alert System. The Covid Alert Level will tell us how tough we have to be in our social distancing measures – the lower the level, the fewer the measures.

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 in recent weeks. We respectfully ask for your patience, understanding and above all adherence to the rules to avoid a further lockdown. Please show them your support as we adjust to our ‘new normal’.

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