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Various guidance issued about Covid-19 will be listed here.

11th January 2021: Summary of government economic support, including new grants for businesses that have had to close or are impacted by restrictions.

28th October: Links to new Job Support Scheme

24th September: updated guidance on team sports, following tightening of 'rule of six':

Organised outdoor team sport, outdoor exercise classes and outdoor licensed physical activity are still exempt from the rule of 6, and can happen in any number as long as undertaken in line with published COVID-secure guidance.

All supervised activities for under-18s, including indoor and outdoor sports and exercise groups, are exempt (provided relevant guidance is followed and risk assessments carried out). Social interaction before and after playing any sport should be limited and only take place in separate and distinct groups consisting of up to 6 people (or larger discrete groups from the same household or support bubble).

18th September: Write to your MP to ensure Sail Training isn't forgotten in any future support packages. Sample letter here: Sample letter to MPs 18th September 2020

New 5th September: IOL guidance for opening outdoor education centres, IOL statement on talks with DfE. National Youth Agency framework for restarting youth work, RYA guidance for mixed household racing, RYA caution to adhere to guidelines, funding opportunities.

Gov'mt guidance for after school clubs and out of school settings, updated 28th September 2020:

'Providers should not offer overnight or residential trips for children. This is consistent with the latest government guidance on meeting people from outside your household, which advises that you should not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households.

The government will keep this position under review and continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time.

The government also advises against any overseas trips for children under 18 organised by educational settings.

Providers can, however, offer non-overnight domestic educational visits or trips. This should be done in line with protective measures, such as keeping children within their consistent group, relevant COVID-secure travel arrangements and the COVID-secure measures in place at the destination. Providers should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits for advice on undertaking risk assessments to ensure educational visits can be done safely. As part of this risk assessment, providers will need to consider what control measures need to be used and ensure they are aware of wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues.


A petition has been launched to allow overnight school residentials, if possible within the existing travel and accomodation guidance. Petition to restart residential school trips


Guidance for parents includes some useful information, including:

  • Scientific advice suggests that there is a moderate to high degree of confidence that the susceptibility to clinical disease of younger children (up to age 11 to 13) is lower than for adults. However, it remains important that protective measures are put in place to help reduce the risk of transmission.
  • For older children, there is not enough evidence yet to determine whether susceptibility to disease is different to adults.
  •  The government is recommending that providers keep children in small, consistent groups of no more than 15 children and one or two staff members.


What you can and can't do (Gov't advice updated 31st July 2020 to include local restrictions)


The National Youth Agency (the national body for the youthwork profession) has issued very helpful guidance on how to adapt the government guidance to youthwork scenarios. They are currenly at level 'amber' which allows for youth work in groups of 15 with social distancing in place. Their full guidance is available on  (For info, there are four levels, red, amber, yellow and green. Overnight trips fall into the green level)

The NYA guidance has been put together with input and approval from Public Health England, the Health and Safety executive and DCMS.


The Institute for Outdoor Learning is in dialogue with the Department for Education to ease restrictions on residentials. Their update is on

They have also produced Covid secure policies and procedures for outdoor learning centres, that may be of some value to ASTO members. 


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

RYA guidance on racing in mixed households - very helpful including risk flowchart. This guidance is intended for experienced sailors to allow them to return. It should be read in conjunction with all other guidance and organisations should still make their own risk assesments. Less experienced sailors may need more close quarters supervision so this guidance may not be appropriate there.  Using this guidance may allow you to resume mixed household staff training, for example.

'Centres should only consider reopening if and when they are ready and able to facilitate safe activity, with appropriate social distancing measures, hygiene procedures and risk management practices.'

RYA Caution (email to centre principals, 23rd July 2020): 'The vast majority of our training centres are returning to training with a sensible and careful approach, with thorough and realistic risk assessments and measures in place to minimize the risk of infection. However, we have seen a small number of centres blatantly disregarding government guidance and therefore placing themselves, their staff and their customers at risk.

We are all too aware of the devastating financial impact Coronavirus has had and continues to have on our centres and our instructors. However, in recommencing your operations it is absolutely essential that you balance your need for returning to operations with effective risk assessment of all that you do. If your risk assessment identifies that a certain activity cannot be conducted whilst remaining compliant with government guidance, then that activity should not be undertaken.'


Sail Scotland guidance (added 10th June 2020)

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)

Youth Futures Foundation - new organisation offering grants to help overcome barriers to youth unemployment

Culture Recovery Fund - for heritage organisations

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. This scheme ends on 31st October 2020 and will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme (see below)

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 JRT Claim Portal


Job Support Scheme - from 1st November 2020

Employee needs to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours.

Employer pays for worked hours plus 5% of hours not worked.

Goverment pays 61.67% of hours not worked - Employee receives a minimum of 73% of normal wages

Full details are here


Claims will open from 8th December 2020 when you will be able to claim for November.


Acas advice on furloughing including template furlough agreement


How to make your workplace Covid-secure

Doing a Covid risk assessment (link to HSE)


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


Government recovery strategy

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




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)