Coronavirus: Live Yachting Updates
14 Aug 2020
As many countries start the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the yachting industry is also beginning to see an increase in activity across sales, charter and shipyards. Below is a guide of the most recent information in regard to the lifting of restrictions on yachting and travel in various countries. 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.
The Government of Antigua & Barbuda announced a phased approach for re-opening from 4 June. Yachts are now allowed to enter the country with restrictions. All incoming travellers must submit a health declaration form and undergo health screenings at their port of entry, as well as submit a negative PCR test taken less than seven days before entry. Health protocols and monitoring are in place for all visitors, including at hotels and restaurants.
After fully resuming commercial flights from 1 July, the Bahamian government has announced that commercial flights and vessels will no longer be permitted as of 22 July, except for those from Canada, the UK and the EU. Due to an increase in cases, the Bahamian announced a two week lockdown starting 4 August. Private international flights for Bahamian citizens, residents and visitors will still be allowed, as will pleasure crafts and yachts. All visitors must follow the Bahamas guidance for social distancing, PPE and health screenings, and anyone wishing to travel into or within the country must complete a negative COVID-19 test as well as an online Health Declaration and quarantine for 14 days. Charterers must observe curfews and cannot come ashore to inhabited islands.
Croatia announced on 15 May that all yachts will now be allowed to dock with health protocols in place. International air travel has also re-opened to private jets and commercial flights, and as of 1 July, all EU/EEA nationals and persons with permanent residence in an EU/EEA country can enter Croatia freely, without restrictions. Residents of non EU/EEA countries may only enter for tourism or business purposes with proof of their activity and must submit a negative PCR test taken within the last 48 hours. All travellers entering Croatia are encouraged to check in ahead of time at entercroatia.mup.hr. While hotels, bars and other tourist attractions are now open for business, anyone travelling into Croatia is asked to adhere to public health and distancing guidelines.
From 15 June, travellers from EU/Schengen states can enter France without quarantine or testing. Borders will gradually open to non-EU travellers and yacht charter guests from 1 July. Currently, any yacht crew from outside the EU must present a health declaration before entering French waters. As of 4 August, new health protocols have been put in place for all yachts, including sanitation certificates and health declarations. Extra controls have been put in place for anyone who has visited a 'red list' country in the last 15 days prior to arrival in France.
In Greece, luxury crewed charter yachts already in the country are once again free to travel across the entirety of Greek waters with a maximum of 12 passengers. Marinas across the country are fully operational and the islands have been receiving private yachts since the 25th of May. Yachts from outside the country are only able to travel to the Greek mainland until 1 July, after which they can travel to the islands. From 1 June, Athens airport is open to commercial international air travel, although testing is required for all incoming travellers, with a minimum quarantine of seven days. From 15 June, the seven day quarantine requirement was be lifted and Thessaloniki airport also re-opened to international travel. From 1 July, all international airports will allow flights, though restrictions will still apply for travellers coming from an EASA affected area.
As of 3 June, it has been advised that yachts will be able to leave regional waters to sail freely around the Italian coast and international borders will be reopened to EU residents with no required quarantine – allowing yacht charter activity to resume with some restrictions. Regular COVID-19 testing will be required for all permanent yacht crew, and detailed social distancing rules will be in place for all yachting activity. This varies widely by port and includes but is not limited to:
- Only persons living in the same family or household are permitted stay together in the same cabin
- Social distancing must be respected
- Masks must be worn by crew and guests, as well as gloves for all crew
In addition, all visitors to Sardinia must pre-register online at least 48 hours prior to arrival.
Following the same rules as France, Monaco is allowing yachts to arrive with guests and crew from EU/Schengen countries with no quarantine, however a health declaration must be submitted 48hrs prior to arrival. Guests from outside the EU are still not allowed to enter the country. Crew health monitoring is necessary for yacht arriving from outside the Schengen area including negative COVID tests with quarantine until the results are known.
With no new cases in the last 28 days, Montenegro has opened its borders to some countries, with a complex set of criteria diving countries into three categories with different testing and quarantine rules for each. The government has also relaxed restrictions for maritime traffic, allowing yachts from these countries to arrive without needing to quarantine. Businesses and services around Porto Montenegro are now fully operational.
From the 22 June, Spanish borders are open to other EU/Schengen countries. Ports and Marinas around Spain are open and yachts can cruise freely in Spanish waters with a maximum of 10 guests. International travellers from nations with a reciprocal agreement can enter the country from 1 July.
The Turkish government has announced that Turkish-flagged commercial yachts and gulets could resume activities from 1 June, in compliance with health and safety measures. Limited international flights resumed from 11 June. In addition, many tourist attractions are scheduled to reopen, complying with all health and safety requirements, although curfews are in place and masks required in some cities.
From 10 July, the UK government has announced that visitors and UK residents returning from countries within a ‘common travel area’ will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days. This list of countries is changing regularly and anyone coming from or having passed through a country outside of this list will still need to quarantine. All travellers to the UK must submit a passenger locator form within 48 hours prior to arrival.
While regulations and guidelines differ from state to state, yacht charter around the Florida mainland and Keys is currently permitted. The New England region is also permitting yachting and charter activity, although some travel restrictions are in place for residents of certain states. International travel into the United States also remains restricted.
For advice and further information on how these updates may affect your yachting plans, please contact us or speak to your broker.
All details above are given in good faith and may change may change with no or little notice, so cannot be guaranteed. This information should not be relied upon for contractual purposes and is intended as a guide only. We always advise to independently check the latest COVID-19 news updates directly from official governmental or WHO sources.