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Positive signs for 2021 and word of caution

Word of caution – Protocols are changing overnight and can catch passage makers unawares. Do detailed research of Covid protocols for your destination country, plus any neighbouring countries (should you need to divert at the last minute) and countries en-route in case of emergency.

Be prepared to face different rules on arrival to those expected and possibly the requirement to take additional tests at your own expense, undertake quarantine regardless of your time spent at sea or even be made to remain on board and at the worst, turned away.

One Pacific cruising boat that had to make an emergency stop in the Solomon Islands on passage from Fiji to Indonesia, could not request the necessary authorisation due to communications restrictions while at sea and found themselves with their yacht impounded and themselves jailed over the Christmas period.

See COVID-19 page for lots of useful articles and guidelines.

In SE Asia December saw Indonesia close its doors once again having opened up to international yachts in late October, while neighbouring Malaysia are cautiously opening up, albeit at a price and with strict conditions.

Thailand is still permitting yachts to enter with 14 days quarantine, although now the special tourist visa is no longer available application to enter is more lengthy and complicated.

The Caribbean Islands - photo © Noonsite
The Caribbean Islands – photo © Noonsite

The Caribbean Islands, now well into yachting season, are shuffling rules and changing protocols continually. All French Islands continue to favour EU flagged yachts, permitting them to land whereas non-EU boats can only anchor with no going ashore. Dominica closed again in December only to re-open this month with new protocols and a 5-day quarantine on arrival.

The Cayman Islands – although still closed to international air travel – are permitting yachts to enter with quarantine and prior approval. Reports from Cuba are that protocols are simple, marinas uncrowded and Covid cases low and in the Dominican Republic yachts can still enter with no Covid testing required at all.

Islas Mujeres, Mexico - photo © Noonsite
Islas Mujeres, Mexico – photo © Noonsite

Mexico continues to be one of the easiest places to go with your yacht having stayed open throughout the pandemic, with no testing requirements and miles of untamed cruising grounds. A collaboration between cruisers and the local authority means Islas Mujeres now has a new check-in guide – a great help for yachts heading that way.

Solomon Islands - photo © Noonsite
Solomon Islands – photo © Noonsite

This article has been provided by the courtesy of noonsite.com.

by Noonsite

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