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GJW Direct 2020

April Covid protocols update

by Noonsite 30 Apr 14:45 UTC
April Covid protocols update © Noonsite

Cruisers in South East Asia have been in a quandary this month as Malaysia issued a deadline (with very little warning) for foreigners to get out of the country by April 21st if they had not secured a visa extension.

As extensions had to be secured in person with appointments online for the whole country, many cruisers have been forced to get out. Fortunately, just in time, Indonesia has opened up to visiting yachts and Thailand have eased their entry protocols to allow in some yachts from Malaysia that have had to leave in a hurry. Entering into both countries does come at a cost, however, with Indonesia the more reasonable option.

South America remains resolutely shut with Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil still refusing entry to foreign yachts. While in the past six months some yachts have managed to gain entry to Brazil for emergency supplies etc., it seems that now boats are being forced to move on to French Guiana.

Because of the surge in Covid-19 cases in South America, many countries now want South American arrivals to undergo additional quarantine. Bonaire just changed their rules to remove quarantine for all arrivals except those from South America.

For small island nations it remains a precarious time. Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific (with just 50 inhabitants) has shut down completely until April 2022. St. Helena in the South Atlantic demands 14 days of quarantine (although fortunately passage time can be included) and a negative test result before being allowed ashore.

The President of French Polynesia has officially announced that the Islands will open to tourism from 1 May, but there is no indication that this applies to nautical tourism and maritime borders remain shut.

Getting vaccinated while cruising is becoming easier and many of the Caribbean Islands are keen to get everyone on island vaccinated, including visiting yacht crew. Caribbean Compass this month have a useful update on where cruisers can get vaccinated in the Caribbean (see information on page 18).

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

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