COVID-19 boating update

NSW Maritime appreciates that many boaters and community members have questions about the public health orders and how they relate to water-based activities.

A sail charter vessel
A sail charter vessel

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16 NOV 2021

16 NOV 2021NSW Maritime - COVID-19 Boating Update

COVID restrictions have lifted significantly across NSW to coincide with the increased vaccination levels. Consequently, boating restrictions for recreational vessels have also been relaxed for fully vaccinated people only, but with some important principles to be kept in mind:

  • Boats are considered as “premises” so social distancing and mask-wearing rules apply inside a boat as they would at home.
  • There are no longer rules governing how many people can be on a boat (up to the vessel’s rated capacity) as long as you maintain physical distancing inside.

We suggest if you require further advice, that you visit the NSW Government website.

Maintaining and servicing your vessel

You are not restricted for maintaining and servicing your vessel, providing that you adhere to physical distancing and mask-wearing rules as required at various premises you visit.

Commercial vessels and charters

Commercial vessels that are involved in a commercial activity with a working crew are exempt from restrictions as long as they observe physical distancing and mask-wearing rules that apply to all workplaces.

Restrictions around commercial vessels conducting cruises and hosted events are considered to be the same as other function centres and restaurants.

You still need to maintain a distance of 2 square metres per person indoors.

You will also need a COVID Safety Plan and sign-in procedures and you may only accept fully vaccinated guests.

Obtaining your boat licence

Restrictions for fully vaccinated people have lifted with regard to training and obtaining boat licences, as long as:

  • The business has a COVID Safety Plan
  • For fully vaccinated students only

Reporting a breach of restrictions

  • NSW Police is the relevant enforcement authority for the Public Health Order and will use discretion to assess whether community members have a ‘reasonable excuse’ to be out on the water, and whether there have been any breaches
  • To report a breach contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a report via the Crime Stoppers website.
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