Updated 26th May 2021

Different restrictions are currently in place in the four countries of the UK, with lockdown restrictions gradually being eased through March - July 2021.  Please see the current rules for what you can and can't do in each country:

England:  Read more

Wales:  Read more

Scotland:  Read more

Northern Ireland:  Read more

Museums and museum ships around the country have mostly reopened, with some exceptions.  Click here for a list of museums and their reopening dates. 

National Historic Ships UK

Our team is working remotely from home, which allows us to deliver approximately 95% of our standard services, including processing new registrations, providing online training and offering guidance to vessel owners and custodians.  Please note there may be a delay in posting certificates and books. 

We continue to collate data on the impact of Covid-19 on our sector, so please send us your updated impact statements reflecting the new measures and keep us informed of any specific issues you face so we can do our best to advise or help.  You can read our submission to the first DCMS Select Committee Report on the impact of COVID-19 for our sector here.  

A link to the inquiry page with the report and other submissions can be found here.

We are committed to offering continued support to all our stakeholders during this time and are happy to schedule meetings by phone or video conferencing to any vessel custodians or Shipshape projects that require additional advice.

Please email info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk for further details.

Useful online resources

We have collated a range of resources to support our sector following the outbreak of COVID-19.  This list will be updated regularly.  Please email info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk if you would like a resource to be included. 


AiM (Association of Independent Museums) - COVID-19 advice and resources (updated 10 May)

Government guidance - working safely in heritage locations (updated 18 May)

Government guidance - for DCMS sectors (updated 2 November)

Heritage Alliance - COVID-19 Guidance Hub (updated 21 May)

Visit England‘We’re Good to Go’ mark - businesses are able to register their property as being managed in a COVID safe manner. This mark is available to businesses in all parts of the UK. 


Canal & River Trust - Bringing your boat out of hibernation

Canal & River Trust - Coronavirus and boating FAQs (updated 17 May)

Canal & River Trust - Updates for boaters with the latest information (updated weekly)

National Historic Ships UK - Join our Facebook Groups for historic vessel owners and Shipshape Network projects to share advice and discuss issues affecting the sector

Royal Yachting Association - COVID-19 Guidance Hub 

Royal Yachting Association - Advice and information for recreational boaters (updated 17 May)


AMA (Arts Marketing Association) - Free digital skills training programme for small or medium heritage organisations, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

AMA (Arts Marketing Association) - Sign up for free Digital Heritage Lab online webinars 

Arts Culture FinanceThe Arts & Cultural Impact Fund (whole of UK): £23m of loans of £150k-£1m to help organisations in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors to build financial resilience and sustainability and support local communities.  Open to applications until 2023.

Arts Culture Finance - Cultural Impact Development Fund (England only): £3.5m of loans of £25-£250k, offering small-scale repayable finance to socially driven arts, heritage and cultural organisations working with the people and communities in greatest need.

Cause 4 - Power Hour: a free hour of consultancy support to registered charities and CICs that need help or a sounding board for new ideas.  It can be focused on a range of areas including income generation, fundraising strategy, or governance challenges.

Government guidance for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations on funding and fundraising

National Lottery Heritage Fund - NHLF has now resumed accepting small and medium funding applications to provide financial assistance for organisations working with heritage to build their resilience, or focused on inclusion of diverse groups typically under-represented in heritage.  Rolling programme so no application deadlines.

NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) - Contingency planning and financial implications for charities and voluntary organisations

Rebuilding Heritage - Offering free 121 and group support for individuals and organisations in the heritage sector in business planning, communications, fundraising, legal issues, leadership and wellbeing.  This support is open to organisations (including voluntary organisations) and to individuals, for example: sole traders / freelancers and those running a limited business.  Next closing date for applications: 27 July


Museums and museum ships around the country are preparing to reopen to the public. Click here for a list of museums and their reopening dates. 

AiM (Association of Independent Museums) - COVID-19 - Conservation and care of collections 

Government advice on enabling safe & effective volunteering during COVID-19

Heritage Volunteering Group - Returning to Volunteering masterclass

ICON - Waking up collections - a post-lockdown guide

National Historic Ships UK - Historic Vessel Conservation distance learning course

NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) - Information for your charity or voluntary organisation

NMDC (National Museums Directors' Council) - Good practice guidelines on reopening Museums


AMA (Arts Marketing Association) - Home working tips from freelancers

Museums + Heritage Advisor - 40+ free talks, webinars & podcasts on a wide range of heritage topics

National Lottery Heritage Fund - The Digital Skills for Heritage initiative, designed to raise digital skills and confidence across the whole UK heritage sector, has launched four free, short new guides to help heritage organisations get started in key digital areas.  Read the guides and watch the accompanying webinars on Children and young peoplePrivacy and securityDigital and accessibility, and Online learning.  

National Historic Ships UK - Join our Facebook Groups for historic vessel owners and Shipshape Network projects to share advice and discuss issues affecting the sector

National Historic Ships UK - Historic Vessel Conservation distance learning course

The Skills Toolkit - free digital and numeracy courses to help build your skills

Zoom and Skype conferencing - a 'how to' guide


Canal & River Trust
- Learning bundles

Chatham Historic Dockyard - Museum from home

The Golden Hinde - Video series with arts & craft activities, different learning topics, and a podcast

Mary Rose - Things to make & do

RNLI - Kids' activity sheets

Royal Museums Greenwich - Curriculum-linked learning resources plus Explore their digital collections and check out their latest stories, videos, blogs & more

Scott Polar Research Institute - Learning resources & home schooling activities

Scottish Fisheries Museum - Learning resources & fun stuff

ss Explorer - New online educational resources for primary age children

ss Great Britain - Design & Make

Titanic BelfastNew online resources for kids including science experiments, activity sheets & fun makes

Trinity House - Buoys, Beacons and Bananas Key stage 1-3 education resources