Covid 19 – WI Barrow Erne Grand Royal Shannon SEW – Apr 12

MARINE NOTICE No. 17 of 2021, 08/04/2021

Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Barrow Line and Navigation

Covid-19 measures

Access to Navigations and availability of services – wef 12 April 2021

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise all Masters of vessels and water users that in line with government restrictions the following access to navigations and availability of services will apply from 12 April 2021 until further notice on the Shannon Navigation, Shannon-Erne Waterway, Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Barrow Line and Navigation:

1. Navigations are open within your home county (ROI only), provided you continue to observe social distancing at all times.

2. All locks and bridges on above named navigations are closed.

3. All Waterways Ireland service blocks are closed.

4. The Winter Mooring period has been extended on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway until 30 April 2021.

5. Stay safe and stay at home in order to protect our health services and save lives.

Future reopening of the navigations and facilities
When the government announces Level 4 restrictions Waterways Ireland will open locks and bridges on the Shannon from 0900 to 1500hrs daily and on the Shannon – Erne Waterway the lock operating systems will be activated between 0900 and 1700hrs daily. At Level 4 the Services Blocks and other on-shore services will be available for use. At level 3 Waterways Ireland will open locks and bridges at normal hours on all navigations.

Canal Towpaths
Our towpaths remain open and accessible for local exercise.  We request users of our canal towpaths to limit their use and only use towpaths which are in your home county. Our request to everyone using our towpaths is:

• Observe social distancing protocols – keep a distance of at least 2m (6 feet) away from other people;
• Use the towpaths for brief physical exercise only;
• Limit use – do not take part in physical activity on towpaths which have the potential for large numbers, where social distancing cannot be observed comfortably;
• Don’t meet up with other groups;
• Stay in your family household group;
• Stay within your home county;
• As towpaths in some places can be narrow, when you pass someone, please make sure you use the full width of the towpath, keep moving, and stand aside to allow others to pass, in single file, when necessary;
• If you can’t avoid passing a moored boat please keep as far away from it as possible and pass quickly by;
• Be mindful of others and act always with consideration and with respect and observe the leave no trace principles and protect our environment;
• Observe all health etiquettes when on the towpaths.

Updates on Covid-19 measures
We will continually review such measures in light of direction and advice from Government and health professionals and any decisions on service provision will be communicated via the issuance of Marine Notices.

While our staff are working from home, they are available by phone during normal working hours. Should you need our assistance please do contact us by email at or by phone

Health authority advice
Continual updates are provided by both the HSE in Ireland and the Public Health Agency in Northern Ireland regarding the COVID-19 virus.  If you would like to access the latest information about the virus, you are advised to refer to the HSE coronavirus page (Ireland) or the PHA website (Northern Ireland).

We ask all our stakeholders, families and colleagues to continue to be safe during the crisis and Stay at home.

Waterways Ireland thanks all vessel owners and operators for their co-operation in relation to this matter. 

P Harkin
Inspector of Navigation
Waterways Ireland
08 April 2021

“Waterways Ireland, managing and promoting the inland waterways for the benefit of all…”