COVID -19 INFORMATION- CANI Update, 26th March 2020

Updated 31st March 2020

Please Note: Waterways Ireland closed their waterways for navigational and recreational purposes on 30th March 2020 and for further information please click here

Last week on 16 March British Canoeing took the unprecedented step to cancel all events, competitions and gatherings until 30th April 2020. The British Canoeing policy position on coronavirus continues to align with advice, measures and legislation from government and public health.

In light of the new measures to control the spread of coronavirus issued by the government on Monday 23 March, British Canoeing has taken the decision to recommend the suspension of all organised club activity until further notice.

British Canoeing recommendation to clubs is that no organised and structured face to face activity (including group paddles, training sessions coaching activities, events and competitions) should take place during this period.

This is in line with government advice requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes, avoiding social gatherings and all non-essential travel.

The Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI) have aligned to British Canoeing, government and public health guidance. All CANI events are cancelled and will remain on hold until the current status changes and no dates for these events will be released until then. Like British Canoeing, CANI are also advising all clubs and providers to suspend all organised club activity including events, sessions and courses and are advising that no organised or structured face to face activity should take place until the current situation changes.  

It is important for members, clubs, centres and course providers to be prepared and to stay up to date with current government guidance. 

Personal and Independent Paddling

For personal and independent paddling this should only be considered as an exception – as a form of exercise – if the activity is in line with all government advice and measures and;

  • A paddler lives within a close proximity to a river or waterway; 
  • No vehicle travel is required to a river or waterway, a club, centre, facility or a stored boat shed;
  • The activity is once a day and is for a short period of time;
  • Activity is conducted alone or with household members, not in groups, with paddlers following social distancing measures and being two metres apart;
  • Consideration given to the weather and water conditions and that both are well within your capabilities;
  • That a personal safety framework is put in place whilst on the water;
  • Tell someone where you are going and how long for – as well as letting them know when you’re off the water; and
  • Only experienced and competent paddlers should be on the water independently.

With all government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to act responsibly to fight the spread of Coronavirus, and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, British Canoeing and CANI believe this is the most responsible, and only, course of action we can take at this moment.

British Canoeing and CANI fully appreciate the effect that this recommendation will have on the paddlesport community, particularly for clubs, centres, coaches, providers and retailers whose businesses will be greatly affected by the further measures introduced by the government.


The outline below shows what you can do to stop the spread of COVID-19.


The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government has now on 23 March 2020 introduced three new measures.

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.
  2. Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
  3. Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public

Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.


Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please see the image below showing examples of social distancing.

For the full report click here


There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

-Washing your hands more often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands

-Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms

-Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands

-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home

For full report click here

CANI Staff Remote Working

Please note that all CANI staff are working remotely from home and can still be contacted if you need support or advice.  The main office phone has been changed to 07526691171 during office hours and email For staff contact details click here

General Guidance

For general queries related to Coronavirus, please follow government guidance. The latest information can be found using the links below:

Click here

Click here

Click here

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