As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Caribbean finds itself once again in the midst of an uncertain winter season, with most islands enforcing stringent entry requirements for yachts cruising around the region.
According to Bert Fowles, vice president marketing and sales of IGY Marinas, the situation has led to an increased number of superyachts choosing the United States Virgin Islands (USVIs) for winter cruising this season in order to benefit from the relative freedom once in USVI waters.
“After initial clearance into the USVIs, additional clearances or COVID-19 testing are not required while cruising directly between the USVI territories,” explains Fowles. “Yacht Haven Grande, St. Thomas continues to lead the region in COVID-19 safety and health protocols with onsite testing, vessel quarantine areas and direct-to-vessel dining deliveries from Navy Beach, St. Thomas.”
The USVIs currently require arriving yachts to complete the USVI Travel Portal webform for each person aboard the vessel within five days prior to arrival. COVID-19 test results are also required prior to arrival – either a negative antigen (PCR/molecular/antigen) swab test within the previous five days or a positive serology antibody (blood) test from the previous four months.
If valid test results are not possible, or the voyage duration to the USVIs is more than five days, a 14-day quarantine period aboard the vessel will be required upon arrival. To reduce the quarantine time, a test can be booked through the Yacht Haven Grande marina office with its onsite clinic. More information about COVID-19 testing and entry information at other IGY Marinas destinations can be found here.
IGY Marinas has also created a new destination website with specific superyacht information about cruising in St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.