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DEM issues Phase 2 reopening guidelines for marine industry

Sets standards for marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs


BRISTOL — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has provided guidance to marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs to clarify the protocols that must be as part of the governor’s Phase 2 reopening plan in order to allow patrons access to their vessels during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

The up-to-date guidelines are as follows:

· All marinas and boatyards must prepare and implement a COVID-19 Control Plan in accordance with the RIDOH emergency regulations, which can be found here. The State prepared a guidance document to assist businesses in meeting the requirements outlined in these RIDOH regulations.
· Marinas and boatyards must comply with RIDOH regulations and active executive orders.
· Security: Marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs should remain secure so that admittance can be monitored by owners/operators.
· Screening: All employees and patrons should be screened prior to entry to the facility for any symptoms of COVID-19. A screening tool is available, in English and Spanish, to aid with proper screening at
· Physical distancing: Patrons and staff, whenever possible, should maintain six (6) feet of physical distance between themselves and others who are not part of their household, in accordance with current RIDOH and guidance.
· Group Size: Group size should be limited in accordance with the most current executive orders. Patrons should not congregate on the docks, parking lots, common areas, or near other customer boats on land. Customers should go from vehicle directly to boat and back.
· Face Covering: All persons (employees, patrons, or visitors) are required to wear face coverings when in areas where congregating is common in accordance with RIDOH regulations and Executive Order 20-30 or when unable to easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from others. Face coverings are not required in outdoor settings for people who can easily and continuously maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other people. Signs are available at
· Cleaning Procedures: A cleaning schedule must be implemented addressing the frequent cleaning of high touch areas or equipment and regular cleaning in accordance with RIDOH regulations and CDC guidelines. Signage must be provided to alert users of last official cleaning and encourage users to clean surfaces before and after use.
· Hand cleaning: All persons must have access to soap and water and/or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol at all times.
· Food & Beverage Sales: All food and beverage sales should follow the most recent Executive Orders, regulations, and/or guidance related to restaurants.
· Retail Sales: All retail sales should follow the most recent Executive orders, regulations, and/or guidance related to retail stores.
· Communication: Signage regarding physical distancing, the use of face coverings, and other COVID-19 guidance should be posted advising employees and patrons of the same including postings on boat ramps.

This guidance may be adjusted and updated in the weeks or months to come, entering into new phases of the reopening plan. If you have any questions about this guidance, please contact Dean Hoxsie at

A printable copy of the guidelines can be found here:

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.