Cover Photo by Claudia Altamimi on Unsplash
Are you wondering what to expect when entering the Caribbean this year? After a couple of years of staying put, it is great to hear that plenty of yachts are making their way across the Atlantic or are already over in the Caribbean.
Although it feels like things are getting back to normal, COVID-19 still influences travel around the globe. So, with the AYSS and their members, we have compiled a list of what to expect when entering some of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean.
This is not a formal guide you should follow. Rules and restrictions are constantly changing, which is why we highly recommend you get in touch with one of the trusted AYSS agents for up-to-date advice on what you need to know when heading to this beautiful part of the world.
BWA Yachting is a worldwide yacht agency and yachting services provider formed to support captains, yacht managers and crew. They have a team that constantly reviews restrictions throughout the Caribbean and is always on hand to provide up-to-date advice and guidance. They have given us some information on what to expect in six of the most popular destinations:
The BVI Government has advised the seaport is open for vessels.
- Fully vaccinated arrivals can now go to Road Town and West End ports.
- Each vaccinated traveller must provide the results of a negative COVID- 19 PCR test or rapid antigen test no older than five days.
- Travellers are also required to present valid proof of vaccination. And take a rapid antigen test when they arrive, costing $50.
- Pre-approval is required for vessel entry with partially or unvaccinated persons onboard.
To keep it simple, BWA provides a ‘Best Case Scenario’ for going ashore:
“PCR or Antigen test less than 5 days old + Vaccination card + Antigen test on arrival = good to go ashore on arrival”
New this coming season. All yachts wishing to charter in the BVI must obtain Charter Authorization prior to arrival. Agents, there are still working out and adjusting the necessary documentation requirements required to obtain approval get in touch with BWA for the latest updates.
- Law requires residents and visitors alike to wear a mask in public spaces.
- Physical distancing where possible should be maintained.
The Dominican Republic is a free entry port:
- You will require a Travel Pass to enter.
- You do not need a test, nor do you need a vaccination card to enter.
- Airports of entry my prefer random testing focused towards those who have symptoms
- There are no restrictions in place for yacht crew and guest movement
- Everything is open on the island; bars, restaurants and any other stores under regular hours
- All recreational and sports activities will be available until 6:00 pm.
- The use of masks is still mandatory in all DR public places and stores.
- There is no curfew currently set.
- All Vessels (except cruisers) must use an Agent
- Vessels arriving from low-risk countries require no tests. The list of country classifications is here.
- As of November 1st, 2021 all travellers to Sint Maarten who are fully vaccinated will be exempted from a COVID-19 test.
- For Vessels arriving from all other countries considered high risk: non-fully vaccinated passengers must provide a negative rt-PCR test result within 72 hours before departing.
- For vessels originating from countries that are very high risk: non-fully vaccinated passengers must provide valid proof of a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours before departure to St Maarten.
Note: The completed vaccination date cannot be older than one year unless they have had a booster shot before the ending of the one-year term. The accepted Covid-19 vaccines are: Comirnaty (Pfizer), Spikevax (Moderna), Vaxzevria (Astrazeneca), Johnson & Johnson/Janssen, Covishield (Astrazeneca), Sinopharm and Sinovac/CoronaVac.
‘Best Case Scenario’:
“AIR Arrival = only Vaccination card Required. SEA Arrival = Vaccination card + PCR test less than 72 hours old = good to go ashore on arrival.”
- Wearing a mask is mandatory in all public places.
- They require you to follow social/physical distancing protocols.
- Do not take over four persons in your rental vehicle if not part of your family.
- All yachts (Guest/Crew) are required to email the agents proof of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at an accredited or recognised laboratory within three days
- For fully vaccinated guests/crew, they require you to quarantine onboard and test on arrival. Your results should be back in 24Hrs. If the results are negative, you are free to move about the island.
- For unvaccinated guests/crew, once you arrive, you will quarantine onboard and be tested five days after arrival. Your results should be back in 24Hrs. If the results are negative, you will be free to move about the island.
‘Best Case Scenario’:
“PCR Test less than 72 hours old + Vaccination Card + PCR test on arrival 25hrsQ = good t go ashore.”
- Masks are mandatory in all public spaces
- You must follow social distancing protocols
- There is currently a curfew in place from 9 pm-5 pm
Countries are classified into three categories and have different requirements:
- Green countries: must be fully vaccinated OR have a negative PCR test done less than 72h or Antigen test done less than 48h before departing from the country of origin. Green countries are Canada, UE countries, St Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Bahrain, UAE, Chile, South Korea, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, Uruguay, New Zealand, Australia.
- Orange and Red countries/ all remaining counties: Must be fully vaccinated AND have a negative PCR test done less than 72h or Antigen test done less than 48h, before departure from the country of origin.
‘Best Case Scenario’:
“PCR test less than 72 hours old + Vaccination card = good to go ashore on arrival.”
There are currently active COVID Cases in St Barths. The situation is monitored very closely, and strict protocols remain to control the possibility of new cases entering the island or spreading locally.
- Restaurants are currently open. They are promoting social distancing and may limit the number of persons allowed at each table. Masks are required when not seated at your table.
- Masks are required when social distancing is not possible and when entering indoor establishments.
- Beaches are open with no restrictions in place.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
With information ever-changing, Erika’s – the premier yacht agents in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)- provides a complete, up-to-date Captains brief outlining all COVID protocols for arriving in SVG. Follow the steps below, and you will be free to move about without further restrictions!
- Arrive with a RECENT (Negative!) COVID PCR Test.
- APPLY for permission to arrive. Do this at least five (5) days before arrival in SVG.
- Submit vaccine certificates for all aboard at the same time as completing the above form.
- Submit COVID-19 PCR test results 24 hours before arrival, taken from the Port of Departure (must have been taken within 72 hours of arrival in SVG – an exception does exist for those direct trans-Atlantic arrivals).
- In general, if all onboard are vaccinated, you will arrive with a (negative) COVID-PCR test for all;
- Upon arrival, you may be required to take a COVID PCR test at one of the entry ports at the discretion of the Port Health Authority. If you have proof of full vaccination and a recent (within 72 hours) negative PCR test result and do not display any symptoms, you will probably not have to take the arrival PCR test or quarantine.
- Wait until the results of the arrival test (48 hours), and, if negative, they will clear you into the country, and you will be free to move about without further restrictions.
- If anyone aboard is not vaccinated, the entire Vessel will be treated as unvaccinated. The quarantine period will be approximately two weeks; release from quarantine will depend on three successive negative tests (including the arrival test) for all aboard.
Note: If the arrival COVID PCR test for any guests or crew shows positive, you must be prepared to quarantine-in-place till a successive test shows negative for all aboard.
Always check with Erika’s when you plan your travel. Their key message is to allow time for testing and retesting.
There are currently active cases of COVID-19 in SVG. The situation is closely monitored, and they advise:
- Correct and consistent use of masks.
- Try to avoid sizeable crowds or gatherings where possible.
Antigua and Barbuda
Anchor Concierge and Superyacht Services, who operate and provide services in Antigua and Barbuda, have stated that:
“Antigua is still as gorgeous as ever. All the land-based activities are now all geared up and ready to be of service. The agents in the Caribbean have all gotten together and set up a network, so we can facilitate easy and smooth movement between the various islands”.
- All arriving passengers must complete a Health Declaration Form and will be subject to screening and temperature checks by Port Health Authorities upon arrival.
- all arriving passengers including returning nationals and residents are required to have received at least one dose of a World Health Organization (WHO) or Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment (MOHWE) approved 2-dose COVID 19 vaccine or a single dose vaccine to be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda.
- You will need to provide a Negative PCR COVID-19 test result within four days of arrival.
- They handle arriving Vessels on a case-by-case basis: checking COVID protocols onboard vessels (whether daily temperature checks or distancing on the previous shore stops).
- Arriving vessels should contact Antigua Port Authority at least 6 hours before arrival. Instructions will guide vessels to either Nevis Street Pier, English/Falmouth Harbours, or another holding area.
Anchor Concierge and Superyacht Services understand and expect the requirements of today’s busy yachting world. Thus, they are always available to suit the yacht’s timetables. Anchor Concierge is on call 24/7, 12 months of the year.
- The wearing of face masks in public spaces is mandatory throughout Antigua and Barbuda.
- It is also advisable for yacht crew to be vaccinated as entry into the Marinas, Restaurants or Bars all require proof of vaccination.
- They ask that all social/physical distancing protocols to be followed correctly.
- Curfew hours are 2300 to 0500
How The AYSS and Their Members Can Help:
The AYSS recognises the restrictions and uncertainty the pandemic has caused for the industry. In conjunction with YachtAid Global, they are currently running an up-to-the-minute COVID Superyacht website. It details all up-to-date restrictions and port of entry requirements for all Superyacht destinations in the Caribbean and around the globe.
To visit this helpful website, click here.
For more of the latest industry news, click here.