8 June 2020

The government previously announced that from 13th May outdoor sport and recreation facilities in England were able to reopen and published new guidance for the public, facility operators, coaches/instructors and elite sport.

The guidance for operators continues to stress that each venue should make up their own decisions about when their facilities are ready. BWSW has provided interpretations of the guidance for our members to ensure that the sport can operate safely in compliance with the guidelines across boat and cable activity.

Key change - the government has since announced that from Monday 1st June, groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces.

From 1st June, you can now exercise alone, with members of your household, or with up to, but no more than 5 other people from outside your household while keeping 2 metres apart at all times.

Gatherings of more than 6 people are not permitted (unless an exemption applies, for example, if you are from one household or if it’s essential for work purposes). Playgrounds, outdoor gyms and swimming pools must remain closed.

Social distancing of 2 metres applies to people outside of your household. If you are playing sport or exercising with people from your own household, the 2 metre rule does not apply.

View Full Guidance for the Public re Outdoor Sport – Updated 1st June


A limited and conditional basis has been given by the government to return to sport. Wishful thinking should not form any part of interpreting the requirements. It is the responsibility of all of us to ask ourselves at all times whether any waterskiing or boarding activity is in compliance with the new requirements. The health of our participants and the wider public are dependent on this as well as the reputation of our sport.

• People can now go outside more than once a day for exercise, alone, with members of their household, or with up to, but no more than 5 people from outside of their household as long as they are following social distancing guidelines.

• No one may participate in an outdoor gathering of more than 6 people (including themselves) unless solely with members of their own households.

• You can travel for physical activity. Ideally use your nearest, local appropriate water ski, cable or wakeboard facility to reduce pressure on transport infrastructure. But you can travel to outdoor open space irrespective of distance. You shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your household unless you can practise social distancing - for example by cycling. It is not possible to practice effective social distancing in small vehicles. You should consider all other forms of transport before using public transport.

• You should not travel if you: are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or as a result of being in contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19, or sharing a household with somebody with symptoms, or are clinically extremely vulnerable.

View Full Guidance for Providers of Outdoor Sport – Updated 1st June


Note that the core principles of hygiene procedures / reducing contact points, social distancing, limits on the numbers involved and staggering of participant bookings to avoid “gatherings” apply across all disciplines of the sport.

• Use of an online / remote booking system with all medical / DBS / fitness to ski and financial transactions online. Free online tools e.g. doodle.com can be utilised as a simple booking tool for smaller clubs who do not have any existing facility.

• Particular consideration should be applied to beginner / novice sessions as to any safeguards that can be put in place to ensure that these sessions can take place according to the guidance. Participant age, competence and previous exposure to the sport are some of the factors for consideration.

• All participants must carefully consider all COVID-19 personal and household risk assessment issues in accordance with the government guidelines.

• Extend session time accordingly to allow wipe down, clean of boat / handles and other equipment as required between participants.

• Participants advised to use toilet before attending and that there are no changing facilities on site (use of communal showers would require disinfecting / clean down after each user which could prove impractical).

Arrival at site:
• Ideally (where practical) no access to interior of buildings – arrive “ready to go” or change in car (public transport is discouraged)

• Participants should not have to open gates or doors; if necessary then antiviral sprays and disposable paper towels need to be available at each potential contact spot and instructions on correct use.

• Good hand hygiene to be observed on arrival (at all subsequent times).

• Sufficient time between sessions should be allowed to prevent any gathering or extended waiting.

• If toilets must be used then user must wipe down handle, seat, taps, door handles with antiviral spray and disposable wipes before vacating (instructions should be posted in toilet).

• Ideally all participants should have their own equipment including handles to avoid contact cross infection. For cable hygiene procedures should be in place between usage.

• Only two persons should be involved in the activity to include the driver/operator. For the avoidance of doubt the rules do not permit an observer in the boat unless the driver, observer and skier are from the same household. It follows in almost all practical circumstances that an observer is not permitted as social distancing cannot be maintained. For commercial providers of the sport it may be possible, assuming full compliance with all workplace health and safety guidelines including appropriate protection for an employee to act as an observer.

• Start / finish at dock rather boat start.

• Participant should stay within their skill level and comfort zone avoiding unnecessary risk of injury.

• If sharing equipment then a careful disinfect / wipe down of all equipment between sets will be required using antiviral wash or wipes / spray and disposable paper towels. Any waste to be disposed of safely and appropriately according to government guidelines.

• No shared use of wetsuits except between members of the same household.

• Ideally one driver/operator for the whole session to avoid disinfection of boat.

• Only driver responsible for changing ropes / length.

• If any driver is changed then at changeover the leaving driver must wipe down steering wheel / keys / gear handle / boats side, windscreen and other areas of contact with antiviral spray and disposable towels (dispose of safely / appropriately).

End of activity:
• Skier / rider leaves water at dock maintaining social distancing with the driver.

• Takes all equipment with them including their handle.

• If using site equipment / handle then skier has to wipe down with antiviral wipe / spray and disposable paper towel.

• If skier has been on back of boat (e.g. to put a ski or board back on) then they must wipe down with antiviral spray and disposable paper towels (dispose of in onsite bin).

• Next skier / rider responsible for fitting handle or uses site handle / rope (changing rope is to be avoided as would require breaking 2m social distancing or subjecting driver to possible contact contamination).

• All skiers / riders to vacate site as quickly as possible after they have finished – the aim is to avoid a build up of users or what could be perceived as gatherings.