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Various guidance issued about Covid-19 will be listed here. Last updated 3rd April 2020.


Government Guidance - schools closed to all but children of key workers, social distancing and isolation advice.

The Department for Education is currently advising against domestic trips (residential and non-residential) for children under 18 organised by educational settings. Government Travel guidance for educational settings  (updated 25 March 2020)

Guidance for staff in the transport sector - Maritime Declarations of Health are already required for all ships arriving from a foreign port. If the Maritime Declaration of Health reports any instances of illness, the usual procedures for infectious diseases will be followed. Further information from your local port authority.


RYA - collection of updates from the RYA including guidance to recreational boaters

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


NCVO (national charity umbrella body) advice for all charities

NCVO guide on latest developments in funding

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 


 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)

Response from some ASTO members:

Cancelled trips; some are offering trips at a later date, rather than reimbursing booking fees. Some are proposing to keep deposits until next year but it may depend on the type of clients you have.

Some member organisations are happy to share their approach.  ASTO understands that each organisation will make their own decisions but it may help to see how others have approached this.

Morning Star Trust has now suspended their season until 12th June. Statement on

Ocean Youth Trust South are not starting their sailing season, statement on

Ocean Youth Trust North are keeping the boat out of the water and planning to start sailing in May: