Easter 2020 is not about boating

9 April 2020

On the eve of the Easter long weekend and NSW school break, authorities are reminding boaters the safest thing to do in the fight against COVID-19 is to stay home and on dry land.

“All eyes will be on NSW waterways this long weekend,” NSW Maritime A/ Executive Director Alex Barrell said.

The last thing we want is for people to flock to NSW waterways and crowd boat ramps causing social distancing problems in the same way that was experienced on NSW beaches, requiring their closure.”

NSW Government advice requires everyone in the community to practise social distancing and stay at home wherever possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The NSW Government has also advised that all non-essential travel to regional areas and remote communities must be cancelled.

NSW Maritime and NSW Police Force Marine Area Command officers remain out on the water to ensure the safety of essential and commercial waterway users.

“Unless you have a reasonable excuse to be out - stay ashore or consider another form of exercise,” Mr Barrell said.

“Easter is traditionally a popular time for boating in NSW, but it is important to know that at this time, packing up your boat for a road trip and a half day fishing expedition is not in the spirit of the restrictions. This is about everyone doing their bit to save lives.”

NSW Police Force Marine Area Commander, Superintendent Steve Hegarty, said recreational boaters are advised to use common sense, and remember to follow social distancing rules at all times.

“Skippers who are adhering to social distancing guidelines need to ensure they are complying with the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020,” Supt Hegarty said.

“This weekend NSW Police will be continuing their patrols to ensure that everyone is playing their part in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19, and this includes on the water and at boat ramps.”

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