The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges for superyacht owners and operators last year. However, as vaccine roll out continues apace in many superyacht destinations across the globe, and as we approach the second half of 2021, global travel may become more settled and less stress free - particularly for travellers who have been vaccinated.
However, the risks posed by more transmissible and potentially vaccine resistant variants of COVID-19, such as the Delta Variant (1st documented in India), could lead to countries shuttering their borders or ramping up biosecurity protocols once again. Accordingly, pre-departure preparation and planning remains vital, and vessels should anticipate biosecurity protocols to be in place for some time yet, including testing and quarantine. Ashore restrictions continue to fluctuate in most superyacht destinations and can change at short notice – travellers should check government public health guidelines ahead of departure and at regular intervals throughout their journey.
Dryad Global distributes our Pegasus Serve Global Security Summary (GSS) to our superyacht clients every month of the year. The GSS provides our clients with detailed overviews of maritime security risks for 7 regions and 35 countries around the world. In addition to current COVID-19 restrictions and country/port entrance procedures, clients receive notification of the most recent maritime events and analysis of longer-term threat trends. Added to which, we provide detailed assessments of risks ashore and country and region specific operational and security recommendations that give our superyacht clients peace of mind, even when operating in higher risk areas.
Download a sample of our monthly global yacht security report, 'Pegasus Serve' below:
In the Caribbean, most cruising destinations are now open with established bio-security protocols in place. Although in some countries, such as Cuba, there have been reports of protocols being applied differently in different ports – consequently owners and operators should be prepared for variations between local conditions and national guidelines. The Bahamas have introduce new guidelines including changes to outbound clearance procedures, which will apply from July 1st.Trinidad and Tobago remain closed to yachts, despite regular lobbying from the local yachting industry. Jamaica is also closed with the exception of yachts making technical calls. Incidents of theft continued be reported in St Martin’s Marigot Bay. The theft of an outboard motor from a yacht’s dinghy was reported in Bocas Del Toro in Panama. Several countries, including Panama, now require South American arrivals to undergo additional quarantine because of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.
All yachts transiting the Mediterranean should continue to be aware of the migrant crisis that is driving illegal immigration to the EU and have procedures in place should they encounter a migrant vessel. Greece is now open to yachts all yachts with crew & passengers coming from EU and Schengen ports – restrictions remain in place for yachts arriving from other countries. The conflict in Libya continues to influence the maritime security narrative in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean, albeit the maritime domain is relatively benign compared to the risks ashore. Morocco and Algeria remain closed as destinations for yachts.
In the Middle East, the UAE is open to yachts with testing required prior to entry and quarantine potentially required in the event of a positive test. Israel continues to be closed to yachts in line with the countywide ban on foreign nationals. The seeming success of the county’s vaccine programme may lead to a change in regulations in the coming months. In the Indian Subcontinent, both Sri Lanka and India remain closed to yachts while the Maldives is open.
In Southeast Asia, the fallout from the military coup in Myanmar continues to create uncertainty within the county. Thailand is permitting yachts to enter, provided they observe a 2-week quarantine – it is expected that Phuket will open for vaccinated tourists as of July 1 with no quarantine required and this will likely apply to yachts. Vietnam remains closed. Singapore has announced changes to yacht arrival protocols. These include mandatory use of an agent for entry, PCR testing for all crew no more than 72 hours prior to departing last port for Singapore, and yachts must observe a 14-day quarantine period before they can apply for a cruising permit or disembark.