The canals are safe and we are looking forward to welcoming you to the Kennet & Avon Canal in 2021. The ideal environment for maintaining a social distance whilst enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the canal.
The 2021 season finally got underway on April 12th, as UK canals were reopened to full navigation. New measures were put in place to help keep our staff and customers safe during the pandemic. These measures are based on the guidelines produced by Government, British Marine and the Canal & River Trust.
A boating holiday adventure is out in the open-air. The Kennet & Avon Canal is uncrowded. You share the boat only with family or friends (if permitted). You can bring food with you, or shop in small shops in small towns, or in supermarkets close to your boat. You do not have to mix with strangers on the towpath any more than if you went out for a walk at home.
Extra Hygiene Measures
We have introduced extra cleaning measures for all our boats between each hire. This includes the use of approved antiviral cleaning products and paying extra attention to surfaces that are touched regularly, such as door handles, taps, guard rails and keys. We are also ensuring our reception areas are regularly cleaned, and hand gel or hand washing facilities are available.
You will need to be mindful of any Government restrictions that may be in place for larger multi household groups. Current wording (14th June 2021) on the gov.uk website is as follows: ‘You may stay overnight in holiday accommodation in groups of up to 6, or larger groups if everyone present is from 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) unless a legal exemption applies.’
However, we leave it to your judgement and discretion in terms of your choice of holiday companions, given that Government direction may become less restrictive as the days and weeks pass.
We are providing extra information to customers in advance of their holidays, about our boats and how to operate them. A physical handover of the boats will still take place with a member of staff wearing PPE (gloves & masks etc). The handover will include instruction on how to steer and operate the boat.
Pubs and Restaurants
The pubs and restaurants along the canal have all reopened having worked very hard to make sure that they are Covid Safe, with most having a takeaway option as well as eating in. If there are any further government restrictions during 2021, we will let you have up to date information on arrival.
We have put in new social distancing measures. These include signage to help keep staff and customers apart, as well as staggering boat collection and return times to reduce the number of people on site at one time.
Staying Alert, Staying Aware
Our staff have received comprehensive training in the new procedures.
We will also be asking all customers who have been aboard our boats whether anyone has shown Coronavirus symptoms during the trip
Book with Confidence – our Assurance
We all need something to look forward to in these uncertain times. That is why we are now offering a free Coronavirus Assurance to all new bookings in 2021 and 2022. If you are not able to go on your Foxhangers’ boating holiday due to Government lockdown, either locally or nationally, you will be able to:
- move your holiday to a later date with no amendment charge; or receive a full no quibble refund if Government lockdown prohibits you from taking your 2021 or 2022 holiday.
Many insurance companies are now offering cover in case of infection or isolation.
We STRONGLY ADVISE you to take out holiday insurance for this eventuality and for any other circumstance that will stop you holidaying with us.
There’s more advice and guidance for using the canals safely here: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/safety-on-our-waterways/coronavirus
Up to date travel advice from the government can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-essential-travel-guidance