Like most organisations across the world Covid-19 is having a big impact on our business. To allow us to open for the season and operate safely we have had to think outside the box and change how we do things.
This means that for loyal customers who have visited us in the past there are quite a few changes that you need to be aware of, for new customers visiting us for this first time we would like to extend a warm welcome to you and to let you know what to expect during your visit.
- Locks and bridges may be manned by mobile teams who will move between sections of the canal to let boats through, this is likely to mean it will take longer to move through the canal, to account for this we would encourage you to add a day or two onto your transit.
- The need to maintain a safe social distance between boaters, lock keepers and the public means that we will be able to fit fewer boats into each lock chamber. This means you may be asked to wait if the lock chamber has reached its safe capacity.
- To ensure that we can operate the canal safely, in line with Covid-19 public health guidance, we require all boaters to be responsible for their own lines at every lock – either from the boat at single locks or from ashore at lock flights. We would recommend you have ropes, at least 12 metres in length ready at all times.
- All vessels should have sufficient competent crew aboard the boat at all times when on transit through the canal. We will not be able to accommodate transit for boats with insufficient crew.
- All facilities blocks will operate on a one in and one out basis please respect your fellow boaters and follow this
- Crew disembark at the jetty approaching lock 5 to operate lock gates
Crinan Canal – Sea locks and bridges will be operated by Scottish Canals staff, all other structures will be self-service, for crews of one a private pilot will be required you can find contacts for private pilots here. Please note crew should disembark at the jetty approaching lock 5 to operate lock gates
Caledonian Canal – All locks and bridges will be operated by Scottish Canals.
Dochgarroch, Tomahurich Bridge, Laggan Bridge, Laggan Locks and Gairlochy Locks will usually have team members stationed there. On arrival and in the absence of a lock / bridge keeper then please check to see if there is a telephone number to call on the door of the operation booth.
Visiting from abroad?
Important Guidance for Overseas Vessels Visiting Scotland’s Canals
Post-Brexit Customs and Immigration Requirements
Overseas vessels wishing to make first UK landfall at the Caledonian, Crinan or Forth and Clyde Canals must now follow carefully these two entry procedures, from UK Border Force, in advance of arrival:
- Customs reporting procedure
- Fly the yellow Q flag on entering UK Territorial waters (the 12-mile limit).
- Complete Part 2 of the HMRC C1331 form (available on Gov.UK)
- Call the HMRC National Yachtline +44 (0)300 123 2012 on arrival.
- Declare any excess goods on the C1331 form and pay the duty/tax using the Online Service for Passengers via Gov.UK
- Immigration reporting procedure
- Before disembarking your vessel, you must contact the local Border Force office to request permission to enter. In all cases for vessels visiting one of Scotland’s canals, this would be +44(0) 300 106 5725 (Border Force North, 24/7)
Scottish Government Covid-19 International Travel and Entry Restrictions
In recognition of the gradual easing of international travel to and from Scotland for leisure purposes, and the adoption of Red, Amber and Green travel lists, the following criteria will apply to leisure vessels wishing to access the Scottish Canal network until notified otherwise:
- Red Countries: No entry for vessels
- Amber Countries: vessels can only enter the canal on completion of their 10 days self-isolation (i.e. the canal cannot be the first port of entry) and evidence of a negative PCR test after the first 8 days
- Green Countries: vessels can only enter the canal after 3 days in the UK (i.e. the canal cannot be the first port of entry) and they can evidence a negative PCR test after the first 2 days
- Arrivals from Common Travel Area (UK and Ireland including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands): vessels will be permitted normal entry into the canals
Details of which colour categories countries fall into and more detailed guidance can be found here https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/red-amber-and-green-list-countries/
For more information relating to Covid-19 and how it may affect your transit please click here.