Coronavirus: Live Yachting Updates
26 Jun 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. Health protocols are in place for all visitors, including at hotels and restaurants.
Yachts are allowed to enter Australia with two-week quarantine in place, however borders are still closed to international travel and strict domestic restrictions remain.
As part of a plan for the phased re-opening of the country, the Bahamian government allowed those travelling for boating, private yachting and private aviation purposes to return from 15 June. Commercial flights bringing Bahamian citizens and residents will also be allowed. From 1 July, both domestic and international commercial flights will fully resume service, as will all yachting, taxis and hotels. 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.
One of the first European countries to implement a broad loosening of restrictions of yachting, Croatia announced on 15 May that all yachts will now be allowed to dock with health protocols in place, and Schengen/EU nationals may enter the country for the purpose of yacht charter. In addition, Schengen/EU yacht owners and their immediate family members can now travel into the country by land to visit their yachts when they present proper documentation. International air travel has also re-opened to private jets and select commercial flights, and citizens of Slovenia, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Germany can enter Croatia under the same conditions as before the coronavirus pandemic. 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.
With no active cases of COVID-19 since 29 May, the government of French Polynesia has announced that the country will lift quarantine measures and re-open to international travel from 15 July. All visitors will be required to present a negative PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival and follow official health protocols.
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 will be lifted and Thessaloniki airport will also re-open to international travel, though restrictions will still apply for travellers coming from an EASA affected area. From 1 July, all international airports will allow flights.
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 citizens 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, including, but 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
The Maldives has announced a gradual easing of lockdown measures from 29 June, with one of the first phases being the permitted arrival of yachts and private jets from 1 July, followed by further opening of international airports. Health guidelines will be in place and the lifting of restrictions is subject to change if any increase in spread of the virus is reported.
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.
Following similar rules for entry 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 and crew health monitoring is necessary for yacht arriving from outside the Schengen area.
The Seychelles are currently implementing a 14-day quarantine period for all international travellers. In the case of yachting, this period must be carried out on board the yacht and will start from the time a yacht and all passengers left the last port of call. No one from the yacht may come ashore or have any physical exchanges with other vessels until the 14 days has elapsed, but the delivery of provisions and refuelling is possible. Yachts may sail or remain at anchor during this time. Private jets will be allowed to land in the Seychelles from 1 June, with conditions in place for passengers and flight crew. Transportation must then be arranged for guests to their yacht, where they will carry out their quarantine as above.
From the 22 June, Spanish borders are open to other EU/Schengen countries, except for Portugal. 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.
As of 22 June, St Barths will re-open to international travel and allow restaurants, shops, beaches and yachting to resume activity as normal. All travellers entering the country must present a negative PCR test result upon arrival and will also be re-tested after seven days.
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.
While regulations and guidelines differ from state to state, yacht charter around the Florida mainland and Keys is currently permitted. In contrast, New England remains closed to most yachting activity. 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.