The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are among the latest to ramp up COVID-19 containment efforts. Over the weekend, the government issued a no entry to yachts order, set to last two weeks. It impacts both megayachts already in the waters as well as ones planning to clear customs and immigration.
The Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association sent an alert last evening. The restriction applies to all pleasurecraft as well as other passenger vessels and ferries wishing to arrive. Inter-island ferries, however, plus commercial ships have exclusions. First, any yachts holding cruising permits that are off Barbuda need to return to Antigua. The government-issued state of emergency is closing off the coastal waters of Barbuda. In addition, all megayachts and tenders must remain confined to an established mooring position during a curfew. The curfew is from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day through April 11. It, too, became effective over the weekend.
On a related subject, the industry association has received confirmation that marinas and marine and yacht services are essential services. Specifically, “seaport workers,” mentioned in the government advisories, covers marinas as well as marine and yachting services.
Prior to the no entry to yachts order taking effect March 28, yachts could clear Antigua and Barbuda via St. John’s Harbour. Captains did, though, needed to complete a medical declaration form before entering the customs and immigration office at the Nevis Street Pier. Furthermore, captains needed to present additional Ministry of Health declarations for every passenger onboard.
Just like the curfew, the no entry to yachts order is in effect through April 11. It comes just days after Antigua and Barbuda put a hold on all inbound commercial air traffic from North America and Europe. Effective March 26, no flights are permitted for 14 days. On a related subject, any foreign national who has visited the United States, Canada, or Europe over the past 28 days automatically is barred from entering Antigua and Barbuda.
The dual-island nation is not alone in restricting yacht-related movement. COVID-19 concerns shut several South of France ports, for instance. Megayacht crew whose vessels currently are in Italy can enter that country, as well as travel within its borders, though with limitations.
For full details on these travel advisories, as well as the curfew and an overview of essential and non-essential businesses, visit the travel and entry protocols page on the Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association website.
Antigua and Barbuda Marine Association abma.ag