Memorial Day Boating Comes With COVID-19 Rules This Year

May 22, 2020

Memorial Day weekend usually brings lots of boaters back to North Carolina's lakes and waterways. The rules are different this year because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Credit N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission enforces the state's boating safety regulations. Officials also are watching for violations of the governor's Phase 2 COVID-19 order that requires social distancing and bans gatherings of more than 25 people.

Boating and other outdoor activities are permitted. But the commission's executive director warned two weeks ago that officers in the field saw many people ignoring the COVID-19 rules.  

The commission recommends that people only boat with members of their immediate household. They should avoid using boat ramps or docks while other people are on them. And boats should keep their distance on the water and avoid tying up with others - known as rafting up. 

On Lake Norman north of Charlotte, the Cornelius Police Department's Lake Patrol has given only verbal warnings in recent weeks for rafting parties and other violations of the large gatherings rule. 

Find out more in the N.C. Wildlife COVID-19 Boating-Related FAQ at 

Click here for the latest coronavirus news on WFAE’s live blog.

Sign up here for The Frequency, WFAE’s daily email newsletter.

What questions do you have about the coronavirus? What has this experience been like for you? Share your questions below.