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Covid update for cruising yachts

by Noonsite 24 Dec 2021 12:47 UTC
Covid update - Pacific, South East Asia, Indian Ocean © Noonsite

Not long after many countries worldwide opened their borders and started to keep more relaxed Covid restrictions, stricter entry measures have had to be reimposed due to detection of the new variant Omicron.

Banning arrivals from southern Africa and other high-risk countries and demanding negative Covid tests for entry regardless of vaccination status are becoming the norm.

In Europe, Greece and Portugal join other EU countries in asking for a negative Covid test regardless of vaccination status to enter.

In the Caribbean Dominica's rules have tightened up this month, with vaccinated sailors needing a pre-arrival and arrival test. Unvaccinated arrivals will be quarantined on board for up to a week.

In South America, even Colombia - which had been wide open without restrictions since June - now requires all foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated or arrive with a negative PCR test. Borders are in a constant state of flux and although Argentina finally announced it was opening to pleasure vessels at the start of the month, this has now changed due to the impossible task of establishing health screening at all marinas, and once again maritime borders are closed to pleasure vessels. Uruguay is now permitting yachts to enter, but only those with fully vaccinated crew on board. Ecuador too has made full vaccination mandatory with a negative pre-arrival test (including Galapagos).

Little has changed in the South Pacific with many smaller countries still closed. Cook Islands' maritime borders closed on 16 March, 2020, and remain closed. Without applying for authorization to enter in an emergency, entrance will be denied, as this yacht found out when trying to get access to Avatiu Harbour recently. Kiribati in the North Pacific has announced the opening of its borders at some point in January.

In South-East Asia Indonesia remains open to vaccinated crew who can obtain a visa in advance, with quarantine on arrival.

We continue to keep on top of where is open and closed to yachts and the current associated entry protocols. Research the countries you may need to use while on passage in the case of an emergency and know the rules. All information is available on Noonsite via Covid-19 borders document and biosecurity sections for each country. Send details of your clearance experience to and help us continue to keep ahead of border changes.

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

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