Guidance for Island Boats ‘Hire & Reward’

Updated: 6th January 2020

Travel Guidance for Staff and Patrons

The Ministry of Health advises against any non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If an employee or a patron must travel, they must not return to work or board an Island Boat for Hire or Reward until receipt of a negative day 8 test result.

The owner of the facility should develop travel policies for both employees and clients to ensure the information is adequately communicated.

See Travellers First 14 days

Groups and Hours of Operations

1. A boat may carry a maximum of 10 persons including captain and crew.

2. No personal shall use a boat for recreational purposes after 6:00 pm.

Staff and Patron Health Protocols

    1. All crew and hire and reward customers must adhere to the mandatory physical distancing of 6 feet at all times - below and above deck.
    2. All crew must wear a face mask - below deck or inside the cabin and when on deck providing customer service.
    3. All customers must wear a face mask - below deck or inside the cabin and anywhere the physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.
    4. Screening of all customers is a requirement. Ask all customers if:
  1. they have symptoms, including: fever (equal or greater than 38 C), cough, muscle aches and tiredness, difficulty breathing, sore throat, headache, diarrhea, loss of smell and taste; and
  2. they have travelled in the last 14 days.
    1. Take and record the temperature of each customer and crew before boarding. Anyone with a temperature of 38 C or 100.4 F cannot board.

Contact tracing

The contact details of your staff patrons must be recorded and kept for 21 days.

If requested, this information must be provided to Public Health Officers to assist with contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contact details to be collected include:

  • The full name of each guest will be recorded
  • Date and time of visit
  • Phone number
  • Email address


Commercial Boats can be closed by the Ministry of Health and violators face a fine of $6,000 for the first offence, $10,000 for the second offence and in the case of a continuing offence, a fine of $1,000 per day.

Guiding Legislation for Operators of Island Commercial Boats

  1. Marine Board Act (Island Boat) Regulations 1965 and Code of Practice
  2. Emergency Powers (COVID-19 Continuing Precautions) Amendment (No.2) Regulations 2020
  3. Public Health Act 1949 (boats are considered premises)

Commercial Boat Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols

Employees/crew must regularly clean and disinfect regularly the boat. Such cleaning and disinfection must be in compliance with the Department of Health’s Cleaning and Disinfection of Community Facilities without a known or suspected case.  Disinfection should focus on frequently touched and flat surfaces throughout the facility or vessel and must be done multiple times daily with EPA-approved disinfectants or a bleach solution only. 

Examples of frequently touched surfaces, including but not limited to:

  • Gangways, Ropes, Sails, Lanyards, Sailing Cleats, Bollards, Boltropes, Gaffs, Steering Wheels, Helms, Throttles, Gages, Bolts, Door Handles, Rope Handles, Levers, Hatch Handles or Door Siders, Bilge, Outboard Engines, Dinghies, Fishing Equipment, Floating Devices, Masks, Snorkels and Fins for guests, etc.
  • Coffee makers and water fountains (for bottle filling only) a means of cleaning and disinfecting between users is recommended.
  • Telephones and other shared work equipment
    • Toilet flush handles, taps, soap and towel dispensers, handrails
    • Refrigerator and microwave door handles (a means of cleaning and disinfecting between users is recommended)
    • Island Boat surfaces and touch points (a means of cleaning and disinfecting between users is recommended) – buttons, and machines (an alcohol-based hand sanitizer bottle or wipes can be placed near machines so employees/crew have the option of sanitizing before and/or after use)  - PIN pads, public use pens and cash drawers in customer facing operations)
    • Employee/crew keyboards, desks, mobile phones, laptops and small personal tools that are frequently used only by one or two people can be disinfected less often. Individuals should be made responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own workstations. The less equipment is shared, the better.
    • Where external cleaning services are provided, such companies must confirm that their cleaning and disinfection procedures are in compliance with Department of Health Guidelines, as a minimum. Additionally, such companies must confirm in writing that their employees/crew have been adequately trained on the following topics (as a minimum): - infection prevention and control; - appropriate cleaning and disinfection procedures; and - proper use, handling, storage of and PPE requirements for cleaning and disinfection chemicals  
    • Please note that much of this information for chemicals is contained in a chemical’s safety data sheet (SDS). A copy of the SDS for all cleaning and disinfection chemicals must also be easily accessible for all.

Commercial Boat Facility Checklist

  • Check for expired/out of date foods, condiments, beverages, etc.
  • Deep clean and sanitize chillers/refrigerators and check safe operating temperatures
  • Check dry storage for out of date or damaged foods, any pest activity
  • Deep clean and disinfect sinks, hand sinks, all workstations and counters, cooking and preparation surfaces, equipment and utensils
  • Check all areas for pest activity
  • Clean and disinfect all garbage cans and garbage areas
  • Deep clean entire premises (island boats)
  • Clean and disinfect all touch points frequently throughout work periods
  • Watersports equipment and accessories should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each client
  • Ensure the delivery of food and beverages to the island boat during charters are compliant with Department of Health’s ‘Guidance for Food Premises’. Every piece of related equipment and utensil should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each client
  • Ensure adequate or enhanced ventilation of any below deck or enclosed areas, preferably fresh air, fans or if a/c increase fresh air component and replace filters frequently.

Water and Ice:

  • Empty ice machine, clean and disinfect all internal and external surfaces and scoops
  • Check water supply to ensure it is potable; the tank may need to be re-chlorinated.
  • Check filtration/UV system is fully operational, replace filters as needed.

Employee/Crew/Customer Areas:

  • Deep clean and disinfect employee/crew/customer bathrooms, lockers and changing areas and crew break areas and customer areas.
  • Sanitize frequently touched surfaces frequently throughout use periods.

Employee/Crew/Customer Physical Distancing:

  • Ensure employee/crew/customers are familiar with personal hygiene and physical distancing requirements
  • Ensure all employee/crew/customers adhere to physical distancing within the premises/boats i.e. they remain 3 feet apart and wear face masks if not in the water
  • Ensure delivery staff/crew maintain social distancing with customers.

Water Sport Rental Operations – Skippered by Customer for Hire and Reward

  • Must ensure that every rental vessel complies, where applicable, with above Guidance.