Coronavirus FAQ: what you can and cannot do with the boat (on land and at sea)


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Coronavirus and boats: everything you need to know. Following numerous questions, we take stock of the situation today, taking into account the latest news.

Liguria leads the way and gives the go-ahead to finish work on boats by boatyards and allows marina maintenance. Does it start again in the coronavirus era? No, only professionals can carry out, with proper precautions, these activities, which instead remain inhibited for non-professionals. I decree speaks clearly, work on board recreational boats, whether ashore or moored, must be rendered by third parties (craftsmen or companies).

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Coronavirus FAQ: what you can and cannot do with the boat (on land and at sea)

Boat work: nothing to do

For individuals, no maintenance work aboard boats moored in the harbor or at the buoy. Yet if you have a vegetable garden to grow, you can do so (obviously not on a boat), according to the governors of Liguria, Trentino and Abruzzo, as long as they are close to your residence. Why is it that if you live in the vicinity of your boat you can’t do any activities necessary to maintain the boat’s efficiency, but if you have a vegetable garden you can?


Life on board: yes, but if it is your residence

If you live on board, can you stay or do you have to leave? You must prove that you elected the boat as your residence during the quarantine period. Only then can you stay on board. But beware, according to the regulations, no maintenance work could be carried out other than routine cleaning, just as it is for those in the home. And ground travel is equally identical to that in effect for any citizen in “lockdown.”

Can I elect the boat as my residence now?

Here is what the Prime Minister’s Office website says: NO. It is forbidden to move or relocate, by any means, to a municipality other than the one in which one was on March 22, except for proven business needs or in cases of absolute urgency or for health reasons.

Can I go fishing with the boat?

What about fishing? Again, only professionals, those who make a living from this work, are allowed to carry out their activities. And you fall under the rule issued by the Ministry of Transportation, which does not allow you to reach the port unless you prove that you are a resident aboard your boat. From here you cannot go out to sea unless you work on board.

I have the boat abroad and they tell me that my presence is required

Very difficult to get approval to move abroad, almost impossible. First of all, one has to prove to get the okay, in Italy, that there is an imperative need to move for essential reasons, with approval from the Ministry of the Interior and later also from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All this after proving that he was not infected with the coronavirus. It is not over, since virtually all borders are closed, similar procedures must be completed at the institutions of the nation to be reached. Finally, it should be checked whether there is an active connection to the country you want to reach and undergo all the verifications required by the chosen carrier.

Boat moored in port or storage yard suffers damage, does insurance pay?

It depends on the policy taken out. In principle, an “all risk” Bodies policy guarantees against any damage suffered by the boat, even at this time when many parties might invoke “exceptional circumstances.” It is obvious, as is also the case in normal times, if the damage is caused by external circumstances, not attributable to poor maintenance, the damage is compensated.

If, on the other hand, as may be the case with water boarding/sinking due to poor maintenance of sea intakes, compensation is impossible. As for damage caused by problems at the port facility or vandalism on the boat, the insurance company normally retaliates against the port facility in charge of monitoring and controlling the area.

But the latter can invoke “waiver of recourse” because it is prevented by the prohibitions imposed by the “coronavirus” legislation from regular control and monitoring. This prevents the insurance company from retaliating against ports or storage yards if damage attributable to the structure occurs. Then it’s trouble…

If I transgress, what are the penalties?

Here’s what the current legislation says: “As of March 26, with the entry into force of Decree-Law No. 25 of March 2020, no. 19, sanctions were made more severe and immediate. In general, there is a cash administrative penalty (400 to 3,000 euros) for those who violate the epidemic containment measures. If the violation occurs through the use of a vehicle, penalties can be up to 4,000 euros.

In addition to this, in case of violation of the containment measures provided for public establishments, sports, recreational or entertainment activities, business or professional and commercial activities, immediate suspension of the activity up to 30 days may be imposed. In case of repetition, the monetary penalties are doubled (thus from 800 to 6,000 euros or 8,000 euros if committed through the use of a vehicle), while the accessory penalty is applied in the maximum amount.

Failure to comply with quarantine by those who tested positive for Covid-19, on the other hand, results in criminal penalties: imprisonment from 3 to 18 months and payment of a fine of 500 to 5,000 euros, with no possibility of oblation. In any case, if the elements of even a crime are found in the conduct of the person committing the violation of the above-mentioned containment measures, criminal liability for that more serious crime remains. Thus, for example, making false statements in affidavits given to the police during inspections remains a crime, resulting in immediate prosecution. Or violating the quarantine and, having contracted the virus, leaving home and spreading the disease can result in charges for serious crimes (epidemic, murder, injury), punishable by severe penalties of up to life in prison.”


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