The Coronavirus crisis gripping the world has upended daily life for nearly all aspects of society. Changes come daily as federal, state and local governments shift their responses according to the latest information and resources. No aspect of business, including the marine trades, has been unaffected.
The State of Rhode Island, through the Department of Environmental Management, has recently issued guidelines for the operation of marinas, yacht clubs, and harbors. The state has deemed boat preparation services, and the ancillary yard activities associated therewith, as non-essential services. However, in recognition of the important role that the marine trades play in Rhode Island’s economy, the state is, for now, permitting such operations to continue so long as certain guidelines are followed.
These guidelines include: securing facilities so that attendance can be monitored; ensuring those working on vessels practice social distancing; limiting sales to curbside pickup; limit use of facilities solely to season slip holders; referring out of state boaters to the RI Department of Health; and wearing of gloves for certain tasks. As of the date of this article, the latest guidance can be found online at: https://files.constantcontact.com/8ca83b3a001/86d0cf37-00ca-407b-9228-9ca018f6032e.pdf
Additionally, the state has required that vessels arriving from out of state (and all their passengers and crew) remain in self-quarantine for a period of fourteen days. Passengers and crew are required to register with the Department of Health. Those working with transient vessels should keep abreast of any changes in guidance and/or regulations not only to ensure compliance, but also to protect themselves and the surrounding community.
Regulations and guidance change rapidly as governments respond to the evolving pandemic. Businesses should utilize these state resources to be sure they are following the latest best practices.