COVID-19 boating update

COVID updates for boaters.

A sail charter vessel
A sail charter vessel

Latest news

30 JUL 2020

30 JUL 2020Commercial vessels need a COVID-19 Safety Plan

Under the NSW Public Health Order, commercial vessel operators are required to develop and comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Recently, some of the requirements for that plan have been updated. To simplify the process, templates exist for each business type.

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10 JUL 2020

10 JUL 2020Update: Border restrictions on the Murray River

NSW waters are considered to commence from the high water mark situated on the Victorian side of the Murray River.

People currently in Victoria who intend to enter NSW waters using a vessel on the Murray River must have a permit.

This requirement applies:

  • To each person on board a vessel entering NSW waters from Victoria; and
  • To all recreational and commercial vessels, including houseboats.

NSW Police are patrolling the area and enforcing border entry requirements, similar to road travel into NSW. A person found breaching the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 faces an $11,000 fine and six months in prison. Visit the NSW Government website for further information about border restrictions.

You can apply for a border entry permit via Service NSW.

People currently in NSW may continue to boat on the Murray River while staying within NSW waters. Transport for NSW encourages boaters to keep safety top-of-mind, including wearing a lifejacket, carrying the required safety equipment, regularly checking weather forecasts and being aware of the risks associated with cold water.

We urge you to be aware of the increased health risk in Victoria, so please take extra care and be vigilant about physical distancing, minimising contact with others and maintaining good hygiene to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

NSW Maritime - COVID-19 Boating Update for NSW

View the latest information about Public Health Orders.

Recreational Vessels

All recreational boating is permitted.

  • If those onboard are members of the same household, there does not need to be four square metres of space for each person.
  • If those onboard are not members of the same household, they should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others, as is reasonably practicable.

People should continue to boat locally and always remember to practice good personal hygiene.

Commercial Vessels

Commercial and charter vessels may operate, but must ensure they are operating within the restrictions associated with their category of business and the required distancing requirements.

Onshore activities

When onshore, do not gather as more than 10 people. This applies in any public place, such as a wharf or publicly accessible vessel. Skippers must also remember their other safety responsibilities regarding safety equipment, alcohol consumption, keeping a proper lookout and proceeding at a safe speed.

Further information about what you can and can’t do is available on What you can and can't do under the rules.

Information about boat ramps

All boat ramps in NSW are managed by local councils, the National Parks and Wildlife Service or WaterNSW – with the exception of four ramps managed by Transport for NSW at Carrington, North Stockton, South Stockton and Port Kembla.

Contact your local council for more information about specific boat ramps. There are no current plans to close the ramps managed by Transport for NSW.

Reporting a breach of restrictions

NSW Police is the relevant enforcement authority for the Public Health Orders.

To report a breach of COVID-19 restrictions contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report via the Crime Stoppers website.

NSW Maritime is committed to working with, and supporting the people of the NSW boating community to manage the issues presented by COVID-19.

How can we help?

NSW Maritime is committed to working with, and supporting the people of the NSW boating community to manage the issues presented by COVID-19.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact us on 13 12 36 (option 2) to discuss our support options.

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