UKSA and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Latest update

4th November 2020

Following Saturday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5th November, UKSA has spent time to confirm that we remain open during the lock down period inline with Government Guidance,  delivering our long term education and professional employment training programmes.

We have progressed these conversations as a matter of urgency with the various Government Departments, local Isle of Wight environmental health, and Governing Bodies. The guidance is that we should remain delivering our long-term professional education programmes as per our current schedule. However, this is an ever-evolving situation, and we will continue to monitor all guidance closely to provide our current and future students with timely updates.

As ever our focus remains on keeping all students and staff at UKSA as safe as possible. We have diligently planned our course programme and operations to reduce the usual capacity on site to ensure we can adhere to social distancing rules.

We will continue to strictly comply to all Covid-19 rules, and where necessary will update our procedures, according to any new guidance that we receive.

Furthermore, we have developed our Live Online Learning offering, for those courses that can be delivered on this platform. This will help support our students to continue their training even if they are facing travel restrictions. This suite of online courses will also help us protect all on UKSA’s site by keeping numbers to a minimum.

As a priority we strongly urge both current and new students to stay safe by respecting our stringent Covid-19 guidelines. We ask you to wear face masks where requested and to honour the social distancing rules, whilst remaining in your student bubbles always. If you behave irresponsibly and have close contact with others you are not only risking catching COVID you are putting other students’ courses and training at risk by potentially forcing them to have to self-isolate.

We acknowledge that these requirements can be onerous, but by collectively adhering to them we are protecting all our colleagues, alongside ensuring that UKSA can continue to run your courses safely during these difficult times.

Please be aware that as of tomorrow morning (Thursday 5th) the new national restrictions will be enforced. That means you should only leave the site for exercise or shopping (on your own) for essentials. If you do go off the site for exercise you are only allowed to be with one other person, and this must be someone within your student bubble.

Thank you for all you support.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

2nd November 2020

Following Saturday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5th November, UKSA is continuing to seek further clarification on the implications on our ability to deliver all of our current and future courses that are occurring during this period.

We are progressing these conversations as a matter of urgency with the various Government Departments, our MP and Governing Bodies. We understand that Parliament will be receiving more detailed briefings on Wednesday, and we are therefore anticipating further guidance then. As soon as we have more clarity as to how we can proceed, we will provide a more detailed update.

In the meantime we will continue to deliver our courses as planned, with as ever, our focus remaining on keeping all students and staff at UKSA as safe as possible. We are doing everything we can to protect everyone on our site and we will continue to strictly comply to all guidelines.

As a priority we urge you to stay safe and continue to respect our Covid guidelines, honour the social distancing rules whilst remaining in your student bubbles.  Also, please be mindful that as of the morning of Friday 6th November, if you chose to leave site you can only be accompanied outside by ONE other person.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

1st November 2020

Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, regarding a national lockdown from Thursday 5th November, UKSA is currently seeking further clarification on the implications on our ability to deliver all of our courses.

We are progressing these conversations as a matter of urgency with the various Government Departments and Governing Bodies. We expect to be in the position to provide a further update by midday tomorrow to both our students and staff.

In the meantime we urge you to stay safe and continue to respect our Covid guidelines.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

25th September 2020

First of all, we would like to thank every single one of you for abiding by our guidelines in regard to social distancing and cleanliness. As you know our highest priority at UKSA is to protect all our students and staff, and by honouring these measures you are continuing to support us in this endeavour. Following the revised Government guidelines this week, we are having to introduce further measures to ensure that we continue to keep everyone on site as safe as possible. Face masks are now to be worn in all indoor public areas including:

  • Reception
  • Corridors
  • When using the toilets
  • When inside accommodation areas but not in your own room
  • Dining hall queuing and when moving around the canteen but not when eating
  • In classrooms if under 1m distance with another student or staff member

We are also urging you to down load the NHS App – https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/ – to ensure that we comply with the Government’s Track and Trace logistics. You will be able to check in at UKSA via the QR code at Reception and through various locations around the UKSA site. You will also be required to use the NHS App to check into all locations that you attend on the IOW, outside of UKSA.

We are now sanitising the canteen tables after each person has eaten at them. Please do not sit at the table until it is marked as sanitised.

We have had to put these extra measures in place in line with Government guidance, to keep you all as safe as possible. We would be grateful if you could do everything you can to adhere to these extra requirements to ensure that our site remains a safe place to train.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

8th September 2020

At UKSA, the safety and welfare of both our students and staff is always our number one priority. Through the on-going Covid-19 situation we have put every precaution we can in place to protect all of those who are training with us. As cases in the UK are unfortunately beginning to increase again, we urge you to support us in our endeavours by remaining extra vigilant. Please could you make sure that you maintain social distancing, both on and off site, and wear face coverings at all times when required. Please could you also adhere to our processes by making sure your temperature is checked daily; that you wear your lanyards as designated and that you use the hand sanitiser and wash your hands regularly.

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we all stay safe and well, so it is vital that every single student adheres to these measures. If there were positive Covid-19 cases reported or found at UKSA it could have a significant and detrimental impact on everyone’s training and programmes. Clearly when it comes to managing potential risks of infection there are matters outside of all our control but we have to collectively do everything we can to mitigate these risks wherever possible. This ultimately comes down to everyone taking responsibility to maintain social distancing and behaving consistently in a way to minimise the risk of infection. We thank you for your input and support.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

8th July 2020

Further to our recent update we thank you for your patience whilst we worked our way through the updated guidance provided by the RYA late last week. This has afforded us some time to decipher the information to understand what this looks like for UKSA in terms of delivery.

As we mentioned, previous advice from the UK Government suggested that courses could commence from the middle of July, and we are really pleased to be able to confirm we can begin to offer some outdoor programmes from July. However due to the current social distancing restrictions still in place we are sorry to say this this will be a much-reduced programme.

The current guidelines provided by our governing bodies prohibit us from delivering classroom sessions and delivery aboard yachts in July, outside of the social distancing restrictions put in place by the UK Government. This means we will be able to offer only a limited recreational leisure programme in July. Although we are extremely disappointed by the limitations enforced upon us, I hope you can appreciate that this is still very much out of our control. I would like to reiterate that we are just not prepared to put anyone at risk by re-opening and resuming training that falls outside of this guidance.

We understand how difficult and disappointing this will be for students who have courses affected by this, but we promise to continue to update you every step of the way.

If you are hoping to start training with us in July, please be assured that our Customer Relations Manager will contact you individually to discuss what this means for you and your training.

We will continue to be in regular communication with all our students and customers and we will do everything we can to reschedule your courses and visits as we move through this complex re-opening phase

We look forward to welcoming you back to us very soon.

Thank you for your patience and understanding and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

20th May 2020

I hope you are all continuing to stay safe and well. Like us, I am sure that you will have all been closely monitoring the recent developments from the Government on the new rules and guidance for easing the lock down and adjusting to a new way of life.

For now, as with many organisations UKSA will sadly continue to suspend operations. However, we are seeing some small seeds of recovery as individuals and families are now permitted to go sailing and partake in watersports under social distancing rules, which has been a welcomed development.

In line with the new road-map for recovery, we believe as a training provider, we currently fall under ‘step three’ of this process meaning UKSA can potentially open after 4 July. To reassure you, we will be in touch in the next few days with our customers with bookings scheduled in June, who will be affected by this guidance. We continue to work hard to develop our plans and processes to explore all options for reopening safely and with the capacity to support bookings. The Government is continuing to liaise with our Governing Bodies, and we are eagerly waiting to see what further information and guidance will be given over the coming weeks.

Clearly when we do open again, life will not automatically return to how things were before Coronavirus but as we gain more clarity we will communicate further as to how things are going to look and want to assure you we will be following the guidelines on social distancing and with all the necessary safety measures in place in order to keep everyone safe.

The support and health of all of staff, partners and customers as ever remains our priority and key staff remain contactable by telephone, email or via our website during normal business hours. If you need to speak to us regarding a forthcoming visit, please do contact the team and they will help to advise and support you. For all students who are booked on courses and schools who have visits planned during this period we encourage you to continue to speak with our Customer Relations Manager at [email protected] to discuss your options.

We have been heartened to speak with customers who are eagerly planning new career paths and schools who are planning for their next visit and have been humbled by the support and kindness we have received during this truly difficult time. So my heartfelt thanks to you all and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to UKSA very soon.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

14th May 2020

UKSA is continuing to closely monitor the developments surrounding the current Coronavirus pandemic which is affecting all our families, our businesses, our communities and our way of life. Following the Government’s latest announcements, UKSA will sadly continue to suspend operations in line with these guidelines. We expect that further information as to when exactly we will be able to resume operations will become available in the coming weeks. We will update you all at the next key government decision point and announcement on the 1st June.

The support and health of all of staff, partners and customers as ever remains our priority and key staff remain contactable by telephone, email or via our website during normal business hours. If you need to speak to us regarding a forthcoming visit, please do contact the team and they will help to advise you. For all students who are booked on courses during this period we encourage you to speak to our Customer Relations Manager at [email protected] to discuss your options which include rescheduling your course. We would like to reassure you that we will do everything we possibly can to ensure you receive the training that you require.

We will continue to explore ways to ensure training programmes and the thousands of children and young people can return to UKSA and experience our transformational #SeaChange activities once this unprecedented situation passes. We hope that you and your loved ones stay safe and well.

Ben Willows
UKSA Chief Executive Officer

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