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NPHC COVID 19 Update

NPHC COVID 19 Update

Dear Newlyn Harbour User, Due to the recent statement made by Downing Street, in regard to the easing of lockdown measures, the Government has not yet issued any specific guidance relating to leisure activities within Ports and Harbours. This position raises a number of important issues surrounding the potential reopening of marinas, slipways, pontoons, and subsequent leisure use in larger Ports. Access to leisure still requires urgent clarification by the Government, and although we expect specific advice soon, Ports and Harbours will need to be assessed and prepared in order to accommodate social distancing and hygiene measures. Newlyn Pier and Harbour Commissioners, (NPHC), are taking advice from numerous areas such as Public Health England, (PHE), The British Ports Association, (BPA), and the UK Harbour Master’s Association, (UKHMA), who on behalf their members have been in daily contact with relevant Government departments and have assured us all that further guidance is expected to be released shortly.

More general Transport Sector guidance released yesterday makes it clear that NPHC are expected to consider the guidance in full and translate its principles and examples into specific actions. To comply with our legal Health and Safety obligations, we also need to ensure that relevant risk assessments, (which take account of the issued guidance), have been carried out and suitable policies and procedures put in place. To do this properly and safely takes time and as such a short period of time is therefore needed, after the specific guidance is released, in order to prepare and ensure the safety of all staff, visitors and harbour users. This also means that there are likely to be certain measures we all need to follow that could alter what all harbour users can do, but primarily NPHC must follow statute relating to the support of the Fishing Industry and the need for this industry and the food it supplies. Any NPHC policies must ensure that leisure users and general visitors do not put this industry or its people at risk.

NPHC, having received guidance from the BPA and UKHMA, intend on waiting for more specific advice to be issued before fully easing our current restrictions on leisure vessels and visitors as per the initial Government lockdown policy. Whilst waiting for more specific guidance, NPHC will use the intervening period to consider transport sector guidance and to prepare the relevant policies and procedures that apply to Newlyn Harbour, these policies can then be adapted following the release of the more specific guidance once formally published. I appreciate it is frustrating for all but the priority must be the safety of all and the continual aim of reducing the spread of this virus so, in the meantime, for the safety of everyone, unless you have business here at Newlyn please stay away and allow the industry to work within a controlled environment as is practical to achieve. I ask that harbour and marine leisure users remain patient and understanding as we continue to cooperate and work closely with Govt Agencies. We will be in touch again shortly once we have a further update.

13 May 2020

R M J Parsons
Harbour Master
Newlyn Harbour