News & Features
CORONAVIRUS: LIVE YACHTING UPDATES
28 JAN 2021
Regular updates at: www.oceanindependence.com/news/coronavirus-live-yachting-updates
While parts of Europe are seeing more restrictions, many of the traditional winter charter destinations are looking to ease COVID-19 lockdown regulations and prepare for their tourist season. Below is a guide of the most recent information regarding the lifting of restrictions on yachting and travel for popular winter resorts. While this page will be updated regularly as news develops, please note that this information is constantly changing, and all travellers should check with their local governments for further instructions.
All Caribbean islands have their own health protocols in place, however each island requires at least one of the following:
- A negative PCR test taken within a certain number of days
- Testing upon arrival and quarantine for at least 24hrs before receiving results
- Testing upon arrival and longer quarantine
- Some Islands require second tests
The previous "travel bubble" formed between the French islands of St Barths, St Martin, Martinique and Guadeloupe to allow unrestricted travel between them no longer applies.
All passengers arriving by air or sea must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, taken within seven days of their departure. Travellers arriving by sea must do so at an authorised port of entry and are subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by Port Health. All travellers are also subject to a health assessment by Port Health Authorities, must complete a health declaration form on arrival and may be subject to further testing. Face masks are now mandatory in all public spaces throughout Antigua and Barbuda and social/physical distancing protocols must be adhered to.
As of 1 October, all passengers from designated medium and high-risk countries will be required to present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and will be retested two to three days after arrival. These travellers will be required to remain in pre-approved accommodation with restricted access for two days until the result of the second test comes back. Travellers from low-risk countries are also advised to complete a negative PCR test before arrival.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands have announced that they will reopen to international travel on 1 December, however no protocols have been announced yet.
St Vincent and the Grenadines
All travellers must complete a pre-arrival questionnaire and travellers from many countries must present a negative PCR test on arrival, taken no more than five days previously. On arrival, travellers with be re-tested and must quarantine in an approved hotel for 48-72 hours while awaiting results. Travellers will continue to be monitored for 9-16 days in an approved hotel, villa or yacht at the discretion of the Port Health Authority.
St Barth’s and St Maarten
AS of 27 January, St Maarten has implemented a travel ban on certain countries that have the new strain of COVID-19, including South Africa, the UK and parts of South America. Travellers arriving by air and sea from all other countries must present a negative PCR test taken no more than 120 hours old prior to departure. If joining a yacht and departing immediately for a French island, travellers must have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure to St Maarten. All passengers arriving by air must also complete a health form. The border between Dutch St Maarten and French St Martin is open as usual.
St Barth’s requires negative PCR tests to be less than 72 hours old and this should be kept in mind if travelling from St Barth’s to St Maarten. Antigen tests are no longer accepted on St Barth's and some isolation measures have been imposed.
US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are once again open to international travel, however a list of excluded countries remains in place. Any travellers who have been in one of these countries in the last 14 days will not be granted entry. All other visitors must fill out a health declaration form and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or positive antibody test before travelling. Restaurants can return to limited in-house dining and service, however all bars, nightclubs, and cabarets remain closed.
As of 1 November, the Bahamas has removed the mandatory “Vacation in Place” requirement for all visitors, allowing yacht charter guests and crew to move freely. All incoming travellers must present a negative PCR test less than seven days old on arrival and once this is complete, apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa by submitting the negative test. New protocols will require a rapid antigen test upon arrival, and then again four days (96 hours) after arrival. Prior to 1 November, all visitors must present a negative PCR test less than five days old on arrival and quarantine for 14 days. Cruising is permitted, however quarantine is required to come ashore for all inter-island travel apart from uninhabited islands. All visitors to the Bahamas are required to wear masks and respect social distancing procedures in all public areas.
The Maldives have reopened their borders to travellers of all nationalities. No quarantine is required for tourists, however a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the incoming flight must be presented on arrival.
Seychelles airport has re-opened to commercial passenger flights. Only travellers who have been in an approved country for a minimum of 14 days will be allowed to enter, and all travellers must present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. Accommodation must be pre-approved and face masks are compulsory where social distancing measures cannot be maintained. Yachts allowed to enter Seychelles with prior approval.
Only foreign nationals holding a valid work permit or permission from a Thai agency to work in Thailand are currently permitted to enter the country.
For advice and further information on how these updates may affect your yachting plans, please contact us on: +44 207 381 7600 or speak to your broker.