COVID AND CRUISING 2021


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Simon Currin
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For the most up to date information go to Noonsite

The Report below was prepared by Fi Jones for a recent General Committee Meeting. Fi has given me permission  to share on the OCC Forum. Fi has already shared this document with Noonsite. It gives a valuable overview for those of us who would like to get sailing in the next 2021. Fi has OCC responsibility for the Indo-Pacific region and has her finger firmly on the pulse.

Simon

Report on Cruising Situation in the region of the Members Global Support Network for the Indo-Pacific Region

Cruising options are limited in most regions of the world and so many have few options to cruise this year.
The Indo-Pacific region is possibly the most restricted but the Americas and Europe are also tight. There are still many options open in some northern latitudes and a route back to one’s own country of residence is of course often possible as long as a yacht or crew are prepared for some very very long passages and do not have the need to resupply.
I had a pre-scheduled phone call with Sue Richards at Noonsite this morning in order to discuss an update to cruising for 2021 in the hopes that I could help to clarify the situation regarding cruising options open to our members and the wider cruising community this year.
Noonsite is trying very hard to let cruisers know that this is not a year to set out on that big cruise of a lifetime. The bottlenecks that we all know of are still choked from last season are not going to change now for many regions of the globe. Noonsite are still trying to publish up-to-date and accurate information and hope that cruisers will really read it rather than just pick the bits they like the sound of to apply to their situations. In that light I have prepared the following round up.
This report gives an idea of what is happening currently in my own MGSN region and is an overview of what I believe to be best advice to OCC Members with regard to 2021 cruising in general.
The OCC represents independent, individual, cruisers and the ethos of OCC means that all members are of course capable of researching and planning cruising activity without help from the club. The cruising information available to our members through the Club’s resources is invaluable and a great resource, however at present the situation regarding the accuracy of cruising information is hard to confirm. This suggests that we should perhaps look at an update as to possible cruising areas and escape routes possible for those still stranded or semi-stranded in territories outside of their country of residence.
Thinking about this situation with regard to both my position as an MGSN Coordinator as well as an co-chair of the YSP I felt I had a responsibility to give well researched comment.
The following information gathered regarding my own MSGN region could be an example of what we may consider for our website and our Facebook platforms in order to try and promote positive thinking and responsible attitudes to cruising in the current climate.
I am not suggesting that all MSGN Coordinators have time to prepare a similar information round up and should the GC feel this is a worthwhile and reasonable exercise then I am happy to work with other MGSN Coordinators to prepare other regional round ups.
Basic information gathered in association with Sue Richards of Noonsite and via POs and PORs in the Indo-Pacific Region
In the continuing Covid 19 pandemic situation it is still not a time for openly available ocean cruising and whilst some borders are ‘Open’ there a lot of different levels of ‘open’.
Looking at the Indo-Pacific region and working from the Panama Canal as a notional start point of this region options for multi-territorial travel are at best limited.
It is true that Panama is ‘open’ but there are restrictions to how long a vessel and crew can stay and there are also difficulties progressing in a westerly direction from there. The Galapagos are ‘open’ but it is not easy to continue west from there and it is not even certain that a trip back east through the Canal will lead to a welcoming cruising territory. French Polynesia is technically ‘open’ but is not at present accepting yachts via the normal DPAM route and if you go into the regulations further then this is not possible unless the yacht AND crew have permission and visas to enter a ‘next port of call’ outside of the territory. Ports of call going west from there are limited, Tonga is closed almost entirely to entry by yachts unless for limited essential repairs. Fiji has a Blue Lane for entry but is suffering badly from cyclone damage and not well stocked to supply additional people. Hawaii is ‘open’ with certain restrictions. New Zealand is closed excepting for yachts with over $50k NZ pre- booked at a yard and then it is by no means guaranteed that crew will be granted permission to stay in the country with that yacht. Australia is closed with some exceptions for yachts currently stranded in cyclone areas. Continuing from there the same situation continues to be limited in the way of options. Indonesia is closed with a very few exceptions with some specific marinas on certain small islands and none long term. Malaysia is ‘open’ but with complications. Thailand is ‘open’ again with complications. Crossing from SE Asia to the Red Sea and Mediterranean is certainly very difficult if not impossible. Crossing to South Africa is technically possible with Mauritius and
La Reunion technically ‘open’ but again with some restrictions. Madagascar is closed. South Africa is ‘open’ (and Jenny Crickmore Thompson is offering a kind of agent service to help yachts wishing to enter with the paperwork). However there are serious dangers to health from the pandemic there too. Once round the Cape to Cape Town the option to cross the South Atlantic is available as Grenada is ‘open’. How much space there will be there for new arrivals will depend upon how and if other islands open up in the Caribbean (the safe bubble that was surrounding Grenada including
St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica plus a few others, which was open has closed again today meaning no exit for yachts already there). St Helena is closed and has been very helpful to yachts requiring repair or re-provision in the past. They are open for resupply of fuel and provisions in an emergency but do not have copious supplies of either to spare. Ascension Island is technically ‘open’ but again has very restricted supplies. Therefore passages from South Africa should be catered for entirely from South Africa to Grenada, and permission to enter Grenada must be obtained prior to departing South Africa.
Bearing this information in mind if you and your yacht are in a safe and welcoming port in the Indo- Pacific region your best option despite itchy feet and the wanderlust within most of us in the ocean cruising community may well be to stay put for as long as you and or your vessel continue to be made welcome. Almost all countries are extending visas where there is not a clear and safe next port of call.
Information to the territories mentioned above changes continually and our POs and PORs are all asked regularly to update and do so to varying degrees. All updated information getting through to us, and that can be substantiated, is passed on to Noonsite and so the OCC rightly does not try to duplicate this service but suggests Noonsite as a good ‘go to’ place for information. In order to illustrate the above I have copied the most up-to-date information available from Noonsite for those areas technically ‘open’. Any links mentioned are not live and that if more information is required then a visit to Noonsite or to the addresses listed in a territory are used.

Panama
27 January, 2021
• Airports, ports and the border remain open.
• All crew members arriving in Panama on board yachts are required to get an Antigen test
done on board prior to receiving authorization to go ashore or disembark.
• CAUTION: Covid testing on arrival is not available at all ports of entry. Check with the port
prior to arrival.
• PCR test results from outside Panama are no longer accepted, a test must be done on arrival
and crew must quarantine on board until test results are available (24 hours in most places
or faster).
• A 14-day quarantine applies if you fail the test.
• In Linton Bay contact: sanidadmaritima.cristobal@yahoo.com upon arrival.
• In Shelter Bay contact/WhatsApp: Juan Jose Boschetti (marina manager) on +507-6813-
5327.
• In Bocas del Toro contact/Whatsapp: the Port Captain of AMP on +507-6558-0587.
• Recreational boating open, although some restrictions may apply as local government’s
implement the rules.
• Exit zarpes require a Panama Cruising Permit and a letter from your next port confirming
they will be receiving you.
• The San Blas Islands remain closed, however some private yachts that have already cleared
into Panama have been able to visit the islands after requesting a reference letter from one
of the marinas.
• All incoming crew members/guests via Panama Airport (Tocumen International Airport-PTY)
must arrive in Panama with a round trip ticket (could be refundable), and have a Negative
Covid-19 test (PCR or Antigen test) 48 hours or less prior to arriving Panama.
• The Panama Canal is running as normal for small vessels. Four line handlers per boat are
required.
• Universal wearing of masks, temperature taken everywhere, lots of disinfectant everywhere
you go. Most business are open, bars and restaurants limited capacity.
• Universal curfew 10 pm 5 am
• Shopping is limited by gender every other day, Sunday everything is closed.
• A Covid test in Panama costs approx. US$25 for a blood test and US$90-125 for a PCR test.
Galapagos
18 January, 2021
• Big efforts are being made to re-activate the local economy and to this end the Galapagos Authorities are welcoming all yachts and sailboats this season.
• Their Official Invitation (30/10/2020) details entry guidelines and protocols for yacht skippers and crews and are still current.
• In brief these are:
– an agent is mandatory (as per clearance);
– the only port of arrival is San Cristobal;
– all crew must have a negative RT-PCR test taken in the last port of call;
– health declaration;
• Regulations for visitors can be found here – http://www.galapagos.gob.ec/reglas-de-visita/
• There are a number of private clinics in Panama where tests can be carried out after transit.
• Note, that getting a Covid PCR test prior to departure for onward cruising is very difficult in
the Galapagos
 
French Polynesia
January 2021
• The maritime borders of French Polynesia have been closed since March 21, 2020, by order of the High Commissioner.
• See the latest Entry Formalities for Visiting Yachts by DPAM. In brief:
• Maritime Borders are still officially closed, however, yachts can apply for a stopover
authorization and justify their requests.
• Any travellers arriving by sea from a region outside of French Polynesia must:
– Register with the authorities (DPAM) of French Polynesia;
– Make a maritime declaration of health in accordance with international health
regulations;
– Meet testing or quarantine requirements for crew/passengers.
– Regardless where you will make your landfall you are required to contact the JRCC
 •
• •
[contact@jrcc.pf] between 24 and 48 hours in advance. You will need to provide them with the following information:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Name of the boat
Last port
Departure date
Nationality of the vessel
Destination port
Estimated arrival date
List of all persons aboard the vessel including: Name
Nationality Passport number Health condition
On arrival, present proof of a negative result from a RT-PCR test carried out within three days prior to departure from the last port of call, or spend more than 14 days at sea for a crew composed of one person, or spend more than 28 days at sea for a crew composed of more than one person (justified by the exit document from the country of origin).
As an exception to the above, any person wishing to land in French Polynesia must carry out, at his/her own expense, a RT PCR test. Only persons producing proof of a negative result are authorized to disembark.
If the conditions are not met, all passengers and crew members of the same ship must submit to a quarantine measure carried out on board the ship stationed, if necessary, in a dedicated area. The duration of the quarantine is 14 days from the day the vessel is parked or anchored in French Polynesia. The vessel shall fly the quarantine flag.
• Vessel arriving in French Polynesia without prior permission are subject to fines and may not be allowed to stay in the country.
• If arriving by air see details at https://tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19/
• A curfew is in place.
Hawaii
27 January, 2021
• To avoid mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, all crew should come with negative results from an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) taken at the most 72 hours before departure from your last port. See https://hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus/ for details.

• A recreational vessel coming in from out of State does not need to be quarantined as long as the operator and passengers can prove they have been at sea for longer than 14 days and no one on board is sick.
• For international, domestic and inter-island vessel travel, depending on your island destination, vessels should contact the appropriate DOBOR District Manager. They can provide information on the specific facility within their districts where visiting vessels MUST be received and moored.
• Upon arrival, skippers must call CBP immediately at 808-522-8012. This contact also ties-in the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
• All visiting vessels must fill out and submit to the respective District Manager, a
1) Declaration Form when they arrive,
2) the 14-day quarantine order, and
3) an application for a temporary mooring permit.
• DOBOR is not requiring a visiting vessel to be inspected (for the safety of the staff). A buoy run that is normally required as a condition of a temporary mooring permit can be done when DOBOR staffers see the visiting vessel come into the harbor. If not, buoy runs can be done on a case-by-case basis.
• Proof of insurance is not required immediately if the operator of the vessel must contact an insurance provider to establish a new policy. However, proof of $500,000 liability insurance should be submitted as soon as possible to keep the temporary mooring permit in force.
• Visiting vessels should be aware that DLNR/DOBOR rules prohibit a vessel from anchoring offshore for more than 72-hours in what is called an Ocean Recreation Management Area or a Non-Designated Ocean Recreation Management Area.
• For international, domestic and inter-island vessel travel, depending on your island destination, vessels should contact the appropriate DOBOR District Manager. They can provide information on the specific facility within their districts where visiting vessels MUST be received and moored.
Mauritius
18 November, 2020:
• International yachts may now visit Mauritius, however advance planning is necessary as permission must first be sought from 4 different authorities:
1. Shipping Division [Ministry of Blue Economy Marine Resources Fisheries & Shipping]
2. Mauritius Port Authority
3. Passport and Immigration
4. PMO (Prime Minister’s office)
• Contact Mr Gaungoo from the Ministry of Health and Wellness [port-ho@govmu.org] who
will assist with making contact with the authorities.
• Procedures for any incoming crew member by sea is as follows:
– Vessel must have spent 14 days at sea without any human contact.
– PCR test for all crew members must be done at anchorage on arrival.
– After negative results for COVID-19, vessel will be allowed to berth.
– PCR Test for foreigners costs Rs 4500 each – approx. US$61 [free for Mauritian citizens.
 
Reunion
January 2021
While the protocols below are as accurate as per the last date recorded, the situation is constantly changing with regards to Covid-19 protocols for yacht arrivals and skippers should always check with their intended port of arrival before getting underway to be 100% certain of what is required.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS:
24 October, 2020:
• The protocol to enter Reunion remains the same.
• Angelique is the marina manager at Titan Marina where visiting yachts are directed.
• Yachts are greeted on arrival by personnel and the authorities arrive approx. 30 minutes
later. They will want an original copy of the Notice of Arrival form.
South Africa
12 January, 2021
• The three designated Ports of Entry remain open for small craft, that is: (a) Port of Durban;
(b) Port of Cape Town; and
(c) Port of Richards Bay
• All small craft are allowed to call at the above ports for the purpose of repairs, stores, provisions, refuelling and leisure. Note “leisure” means crew will be allowed to proceed to Immigration for visas etc. and be allowed ashore once their passports have been stamped in.
• An application for entry into South Africa must be submitted by all small craft within 96 hours prior to arrival, and e-mailed to: sailingjenny1@gmail.com
• The e-mail must include the following: (i) boat name;
(ii) registration number;
(iii) last Port of Call and date of departure;
(iv) South African first Port of Call;
(v) South African second Port of Call;
(vi) estimated date of arrival; and
(vii) the total number of sailors on board, including the nationalities of such sailors.
• A pratique and Health Declaration needs to be submitted to Port Health, preferably prior to arrival. Contact Port Health for the necessary forms: Rbayport@health.gov.za, dbnport@health.gov.za or portctn@gmail.com.
• All sailors must comply with the South African Immigration requirements and Port Health protocols.
• PCR tests on arrival are mandatory, and only those with negative PCR test will be allowed to disembark.

• It’s likely health clearance will not be possible over the weekend, so you may well have to wait on board until Monday.
• On arrival, all crew should download the Covid Alert app onto their phone. Go to
https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/download-covid-alert-sa-app-today
• Foreign nationals in the Republic with visas that have expired and were automatically extended to 31 January 2021, due to their inability to travel during the lockdown due to COVID -19, will have their visas automatically extended to 31 March 2021.
• The country is currently in lockdown Level 3+, with an added emphasis on regulatory mask- wearing, sanitising and social distancing. All alcohol sales banned, restaurants and hotels not allowed to sell alcohol, no large gatherings even family get-togethers, etc. All land borders have been closed, until 15th Feb.
Ascension Island
• All travellers to Ascension Island require an entry permit visa unless exempted by their occupation, such as active members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
• Applications for entry visas should be made well in advance, at least 14 days before the intended date of travel, except in cases of genuine emergency. Late applications, without a valid reason, may be refused (see Clearance for details).
• Applications may be affected by a change in the Ascension COVID-19 Response Level, particularly if this reflects an escalation of the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat on the island. During such circumstances permissions for certain types of entry permits may not be granted, and extant permissions may be revoked.
• Any vessel which has travelled from an affected area within the last 14 days, or which has on board any person who is displaying (or has recently displayed) symptoms possibly consistent with COVID-19, will be allowed to enter the harbor, but nobody aboard will be permitted to land until they are able to satisfy the Senior Medical Officer they do not pose a risk to public health.
• Yacht crew may be required to isolate for the duration of their stay on island.
• Visit the Government website for a list of affected areas.
Resources: https://www.ascension.gov.ac/
St Helena
Restricted Access to St Helena Sea Port
• With COVID-19 cases on the rise again globally and travel restrictions being put in place in many countries, a decision has been made by the IEG that travel to St Helena will only be permitted for essential purposes at this time. In keeping with the earlier decision that January’s repatriation flight should be for essential purposes only, passenger access by sea will now also only be permitted for essential travel.
• This means that the only persons who will be allowed to enter the Island via sea will be returning residents, those with long-term entry permits, and those in service of the Crown.
• This restricted access will come into effect from Tuesday, 5 January 2021.
• While this will mean that tourists arriving on visiting yachts will not be allowed to come
ashore, St Helena will still honour its international obligations to provide vital supplies (fuel,
water, provisions) to the crews of these visiting yachts.
• Maximum stopover 24 hours.
• Yachts needing to stopover in St. Helena should make advance contact with St Helena
Deputy Harbormaster; Mr Carl Thomas [carl.thomas@sainthelena.gov.sh] and Logistics Co-
ordinator Mr Gene Henry [gene.henry@sainthelena.gov.sh].
• If this is not possible the usual code of practice for calling here will apply (contact St Helena
radio VHF channel 16 approximately 10/15NM out from the island -see Clearance).
• Any yachts heading to St. Helena run the risk of not being able to call here.


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Simon Currin - 16 Feb 2021
For the most up to date information go to Noonsite

The Report below was prepared by Fi Jones for a recent General Committee Meeting. Fi has given me permission  to share on the OCC Forum. Fi has already shared this document with Noonsite. It gives a valuable overview for those of us who would like to get sailing in the next 2021. Fi has OCC responsibility for the Indo-Pacific region and has her finger firmly on the pulse.

Simon

Report on Cruising Situation in the region of the Members Global Support Network for the Indo-Pacific Region

Cruising options are limited in most regions of the world and so many have few options to cruise this year.
The Indo-Pacific region is possibly the most restricted but the Americas and Europe are also tight. There are still many options open in some northern latitudes and a route back to one’s own country of residence is of course often possible as long as a yacht or crew are prepared for some very very long passages and do not have the need to resupply.
I had a pre-scheduled phone call with Sue Richards at Noonsite this morning in order to discuss an update to cruising for 2021 in the hopes that I could help to clarify the situation regarding cruising options open to our members and the wider cruising community this year.
Noonsite is trying very hard to let cruisers know that this is not a year to set out on that big cruise of a lifetime. The bottlenecks that we all know of are still choked from last season are not going to change now for many regions of the globe. Noonsite are still trying to publish up-to-date and accurate information and hope that cruisers will really read it rather than just pick the bits they like the sound of to apply to their situations. In that light I have prepared the following round up.
This report gives an idea of what is happening currently in my own MGSN region and is an overview of what I believe to be best advice to OCC Members with regard to 2021 cruising in general.
The OCC represents independent, individual, cruisers and the ethos of OCC means that all members are of course capable of researching and planning cruising activity without help from the club. The cruising information available to our members through the Club’s resources is invaluable and a great resource, however at present the situation regarding the accuracy of cruising information is hard to confirm. This suggests that we should perhaps look at an update as to possible cruising areas and escape routes possible for those still stranded or semi-stranded in territories outside of their country of residence.
Thinking about this situation with regard to both my position as an MGSN Coordinator as well as an co-chair of the YSP I felt I had a responsibility to give well researched comment.
The following information gathered regarding my own MSGN region could be an example of what we may consider for our website and our Facebook platforms in order to try and promote positive thinking and responsible attitudes to cruising in the current climate.
I am not suggesting that all MSGN Coordinators have time to prepare a similar information round up and should the GC feel this is a worthwhile and reasonable exercise then I am happy to work with other MGSN Coordinators to prepare other regional round ups.
Basic information gathered in association with Sue Richards of Noonsite and via POs and PORs in the Indo-Pacific Region
In the continuing Covid 19 pandemic situation it is still not a time for openly available ocean cruising and whilst some borders are ‘Open’ there a lot of different levels of ‘open’.
Looking at the Indo-Pacific region and working from the Panama Canal as a notional start point of this region options for multi-territorial travel are at best limited.
It is true that Panama is ‘open’ but there are restrictions to how long a vessel and crew can stay and there are also difficulties progressing in a westerly direction from there. The Galapagos are ‘open’ but it is not easy to continue west from there and it is not even certain that a trip back east through the Canal will lead to a welcoming cruising territory. French Polynesia is technically ‘open’ but is not at present accepting yachts via the normal DPAM route and if you go into the regulations further then this is not possible unless the yacht AND crew have permission and visas to enter a ‘next port of call’ outside of the territory. Ports of call going west from there are limited, Tonga is closed almost entirely to entry by yachts unless for limited essential repairs. Fiji has a Blue Lane for entry but is suffering badly from cyclone damage and not well stocked to supply additional people. Hawaii is ‘open’ with certain restrictions. New Zealand is closed excepting for yachts with over $50k NZ pre- booked at a yard and then it is by no means guaranteed that crew will be granted permission to stay in the country with that yacht. Australia is closed with some exceptions for yachts currently stranded in cyclone areas. Continuing from there the same situation continues to be limited in the way of options. Indonesia is closed with a very few exceptions with some specific marinas on certain small islands and none long term. Malaysia is ‘open’ but with complications. Thailand is ‘open’ again with complications. Crossing from SE Asia to the Red Sea and Mediterranean is certainly very difficult if not impossible. Crossing to South Africa is technically possible with Mauritius and
La Reunion technically ‘open’ but again with some restrictions. Madagascar is closed. South Africa is ‘open’ (and Jenny Crickmore Thompson is offering a kind of agent service to help yachts wishing to enter with the paperwork). However there are serious dangers to health from the pandemic there too. Once round the Cape to Cape Town the option to cross the South Atlantic is available as Grenada is ‘open’. How much space there will be there for new arrivals will depend upon how and if other islands open up in the Caribbean (the safe bubble that was surrounding Grenada including
St Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica plus a few others, which was open has closed again today meaning no exit for yachts already there). St Helena is closed and has been very helpful to yachts requiring repair or re-provision in the past. They are open for resupply of fuel and provisions in an emergency but do not have copious supplies of either to spare. Ascension Island is technically ‘open’ but again has very restricted supplies. Therefore passages from South Africa should be catered for entirely from South Africa to Grenada, and permission to enter Grenada must be obtained prior to departing South Africa.
Bearing this information in mind if you and your yacht are in a safe and welcoming port in the Indo- Pacific region your best option despite itchy feet and the wanderlust within most of us in the ocean cruising community may well be to stay put for as long as you and or your vessel continue to be made welcome. Almost all countries are extending visas where there is not a clear and safe next port of call.
Information to the territories mentioned above changes continually and our POs and PORs are all asked regularly to update and do so to varying degrees. All updated information getting through to us, and that can be substantiated, is passed on to Noonsite and so the OCC rightly does not try to duplicate this service but suggests Noonsite as a good ‘go to’ place for information. In order to illustrate the above I have copied the most up-to-date information available from Noonsite for those areas technically ‘open’. Any links mentioned are not live and that if more information is required then a visit to Noonsite or to the addresses listed in a territory are used.

Panama
27 January, 2021
• Airports, ports and the border remain open.
• All crew members arriving in Panama on board yachts are required to get an Antigen test
done on board prior to receiving authorization to go ashore or disembark.
• CAUTION: Covid testing on arrival is not available at all ports of entry. Check with the port
prior to arrival.
• PCR test results from outside Panama are no longer accepted, a test must be done on arrival
and crew must quarantine on board until test results are available (24 hours in most places
or faster).
• A 14-day quarantine applies if you fail the test.
• In Linton Bay contact: sanidadmaritima.cristobal@yahoo.com upon arrival.
• In Shelter Bay contact/WhatsApp: Juan Jose Boschetti (marina manager) on +507-6813-
5327.
• In Bocas del Toro contact/Whatsapp: the Port Captain of AMP on +507-6558-0587.
• Recreational boating open, although some restrictions may apply as local government’s
implement the rules.
• Exit zarpes require a Panama Cruising Permit and a letter from your next port confirming
they will be receiving you.
• The San Blas Islands remain closed, however some private yachts that have already cleared
into Panama have been able to visit the islands after requesting a reference letter from one
of the marinas.
• All incoming crew members/guests via Panama Airport (Tocumen International Airport-PTY)
must arrive in Panama with a round trip ticket (could be refundable), and have a Negative
Covid-19 test (PCR or Antigen test) 48 hours or less prior to arriving Panama.
• The Panama Canal is running as normal for small vessels. Four line handlers per boat are
required.
• Universal wearing of masks, temperature taken everywhere, lots of disinfectant everywhere
you go. Most business are open, bars and restaurants limited capacity.
• Universal curfew 10 pm 5 am
• Shopping is limited by gender every other day, Sunday everything is closed.
• A Covid test in Panama costs approx. US$25 for a blood test and US$90-125 for a PCR test.
Galapagos
18 January, 2021
• Big efforts are being made to re-activate the local economy and to this end the Galapagos Authorities are welcoming all yachts and sailboats this season.
• Their Official Invitation (30/10/2020) details entry guidelines and protocols for yacht skippers and crews and are still current.
• In brief these are:
– an agent is mandatory (as per clearance);
– the only port of arrival is San Cristobal;
– all crew must have a negative RT-PCR test taken in the last port of call;
– health declaration;
• Regulations for visitors can be found here – http://www.galapagos.gob.ec/reglas-de-visita/
• There are a number of private clinics in Panama where tests can be carried out after transit.
• Note, that getting a Covid PCR test prior to departure for onward cruising is very difficult in
the Galapagos
 
French Polynesia
January 2021
• The maritime borders of French Polynesia have been closed since March 21, 2020, by order of the High Commissioner.
• See the latest Entry Formalities for Visiting Yachts by DPAM. In brief:
• Maritime Borders are still officially closed, however, yachts can apply for a stopover
authorization and justify their requests.
• Any travellers arriving by sea from a region outside of French Polynesia must:
– Register with the authorities (DPAM) of French Polynesia;
– Make a maritime declaration of health in accordance with international health
regulations;
– Meet testing or quarantine requirements for crew/passengers.
– Regardless where you will make your landfall you are required to contact the JRCC
 •
• •
[contact@jrcc.pf] between 24 and 48 hours in advance. You will need to provide them with the following information:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Name of the boat
Last port
Departure date
Nationality of the vessel
Destination port
Estimated arrival date
List of all persons aboard the vessel including: Name
Nationality Passport number Health condition
On arrival, present proof of a negative result from a RT-PCR test carried out within three days prior to departure from the last port of call, or spend more than 14 days at sea for a crew composed of one person, or spend more than 28 days at sea for a crew composed of more than one person (justified by the exit document from the country of origin).
As an exception to the above, any person wishing to land in French Polynesia must carry out, at his/her own expense, a RT PCR test. Only persons producing proof of a negative result are authorized to disembark.
If the conditions are not met, all passengers and crew members of the same ship must submit to a quarantine measure carried out on board the ship stationed, if necessary, in a dedicated area. The duration of the quarantine is 14 days from the day the vessel is parked or anchored in French Polynesia. The vessel shall fly the quarantine flag.
• Vessel arriving in French Polynesia without prior permission are subject to fines and may not be allowed to stay in the country.
• If arriving by air see details at https://tahititourisme.com/en-us/covid-19/
• A curfew is in place.
Hawaii
27 January, 2021
• To avoid mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, all crew should come with negative results from an FDA-approved nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) taken at the most 72 hours before departure from your last port. See https://hidot.hawaii.gov/coronavirus/ for details.

• A recreational vessel coming in from out of State does not need to be quarantined as long as the operator and passengers can prove they have been at sea for longer than 14 days and no one on board is sick.
• For international, domestic and inter-island vessel travel, depending on your island destination, vessels should contact the appropriate DOBOR District Manager. They can provide information on the specific facility within their districts where visiting vessels MUST be received and moored.
• Upon arrival, skippers must call CBP immediately at 808-522-8012. This contact also ties-in the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
• All visiting vessels must fill out and submit to the respective District Manager, a
1) Declaration Form when they arrive,
2) the 14-day quarantine order, and
3) an application for a temporary mooring permit.
• DOBOR is not requiring a visiting vessel to be inspected (for the safety of the staff). A buoy run that is normally required as a condition of a temporary mooring permit can be done when DOBOR staffers see the visiting vessel come into the harbor. If not, buoy runs can be done on a case-by-case basis.
• Proof of insurance is not required immediately if the operator of the vessel must contact an insurance provider to establish a new policy. However, proof of $500,000 liability insurance should be submitted as soon as possible to keep the temporary mooring permit in force.
• Visiting vessels should be aware that DLNR/DOBOR rules prohibit a vessel from anchoring offshore for more than 72-hours in what is called an Ocean Recreation Management Area or a Non-Designated Ocean Recreation Management Area.
• For international, domestic and inter-island vessel travel, depending on your island destination, vessels should contact the appropriate DOBOR District Manager. They can provide information on the specific facility within their districts where visiting vessels MUST be received and moored.
Mauritius
18 November, 2020:
• International yachts may now visit Mauritius, however advance planning is necessary as permission must first be sought from 4 different authorities:
1. Shipping Division [Ministry of Blue Economy Marine Resources Fisheries & Shipping]
2. Mauritius Port Authority
3. Passport and Immigration
4. PMO (Prime Minister’s office)
• Contact Mr Gaungoo from the Ministry of Health and Wellness [port-ho@govmu.org] who
will assist with making contact with the authorities.
• Procedures for any incoming crew member by sea is as follows:
– Vessel must have spent 14 days at sea without any human contact.
– PCR test for all crew members must be done at anchorage on arrival.
– After negative results for COVID-19, vessel will be allowed to berth.
– PCR Test for foreigners costs Rs 4500 each – approx. US$61 [free for Mauritian citizens.
 
Reunion
January 2021
While the protocols below are as accurate as per the last date recorded, the situation is constantly changing with regards to Covid-19 protocols for yacht arrivals and skippers should always check with their intended port of arrival before getting underway to be 100% certain of what is required.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS RESTRICTIONS:
24 October, 2020:
• The protocol to enter Reunion remains the same.
• Angelique is the marina manager at Titan Marina where visiting yachts are directed.
• Yachts are greeted on arrival by personnel and the authorities arrive approx. 30 minutes
later. They will want an original copy of the Notice of Arrival form.
South Africa
12 January, 2021
• The three designated Ports of Entry remain open for small craft, that is: (a) Port of Durban;
(b) Port of Cape Town; and
(c) Port of Richards Bay
• All small craft are allowed to call at the above ports for the purpose of repairs, stores, provisions, refuelling and leisure. Note “leisure” means crew will be allowed to proceed to Immigration for visas etc. and be allowed ashore once their passports have been stamped in.
• An application for entry into South Africa must be submitted by all small craft within 96 hours prior to arrival, and e-mailed to: sailingjenny1@gmail.com
• The e-mail must include the following: (i) boat name;
(ii) registration number;
(iii) last Port of Call and date of departure;
(iv) South African first Port of Call;
(v) South African second Port of Call;
(vi) estimated date of arrival; and
(vii) the total number of sailors on board, including the nationalities of such sailors.
• A pratique and Health Declaration needs to be submitted to Port Health, preferably prior to arrival. Contact Port Health for the necessary forms: Rbayport@health.gov.za, dbnport@health.gov.za or portctn@gmail.com.
• All sailors must comply with the South African Immigration requirements and Port Health protocols.
• PCR tests on arrival are mandatory, and only those with negative PCR test will be allowed to disembark.

• It’s likely health clearance will not be possible over the weekend, so you may well have to wait on board until Monday.
• On arrival, all crew should download the Covid Alert app onto their phone. Go to
https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/download-covid-alert-sa-app-today
• Foreign nationals in the Republic with visas that have expired and were automatically extended to 31 January 2021, due to their inability to travel during the lockdown due to COVID -19, will have their visas automatically extended to 31 March 2021.
• The country is currently in lockdown Level 3+, with an added emphasis on regulatory mask- wearing, sanitising and social distancing. All alcohol sales banned, restaurants and hotels not allowed to sell alcohol, no large gatherings even family get-togethers, etc. All land borders have been closed, until 15th Feb.
Ascension Island
• All travellers to Ascension Island require an entry permit visa unless exempted by their occupation, such as active members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
• Applications for entry visas should be made well in advance, at least 14 days before the intended date of travel, except in cases of genuine emergency. Late applications, without a valid reason, may be refused (see Clearance for details).
• Applications may be affected by a change in the Ascension COVID-19 Response Level, particularly if this reflects an escalation of the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat on the island. During such circumstances permissions for certain types of entry permits may not be granted, and extant permissions may be revoked.
• Any vessel which has travelled from an affected area within the last 14 days, or which has on board any person who is displaying (or has recently displayed) symptoms possibly consistent with COVID-19, will be allowed to enter the harbor, but nobody aboard will be permitted to land until they are able to satisfy the Senior Medical Officer they do not pose a risk to public health.
• Yacht crew may be required to isolate for the duration of their stay on island.
• Visit the Government website for a list of affected areas.
Resources: https://www.ascension.gov.ac/
St Helena
Restricted Access to St Helena Sea Port
• With COVID-19 cases on the rise again globally and travel restrictions being put in place in many countries, a decision has been made by the IEG that travel to St Helena will only be permitted for essential purposes at this time. In keeping with the earlier decision that January’s repatriation flight should be for essential purposes only, passenger access by sea will now also only be permitted for essential travel.
• This means that the only persons who will be allowed to enter the Island via sea will be returning residents, those with long-term entry permits, and those in service of the Crown.
• This restricted access will come into effect from Tuesday, 5 January 2021.
• While this will mean that tourists arriving on visiting yachts will not be allowed to come
ashore, St Helena will still honour its international obligations to provide vital supplies (fuel,
water, provisions) to the crews of these visiting yachts.
• Maximum stopover 24 hours.
• Yachts needing to stopover in St. Helena should make advance contact with St Helena
Deputy Harbormaster; Mr Carl Thomas [carl.thomas@sainthelena.gov.sh] and Logistics Co-
ordinator Mr Gene Henry [gene.henry@sainthelena.gov.sh].
• If this is not possible the usual code of practice for calling here will apply (contact St Helena
radio VHF channel 16 approximately 10/15NM out from the island -see Clearance).
• Any yachts heading to St. Helena run the risk of not being able to call here.


As always cruising information gets dated quickly and I ask that after reading the above report you do check for updates on Noonsite fro each place you are researching.
The latest update required is for French Polynesia.
Please note:
Here is the expected update regarding French Polynesia, it seems some WARC boats have got permission from DPAM, but the compelling reason required for requesting a DPAM is difficult for others. If in transit to NZ or OZ (i.e. going home) this is a more compelling reason than just wanting to go and visit and wait until borders open. Noonsite has now marked FP closed - as clearly they want to deter yachts. We have this information confirmed as well.
In accordance with French authorities in Polynesia regulation (regulatory decree HC / 4059 / CAB of 23 October 2020 as amended) moorings, stopovers, berthing and disembarking at sea are prohibited in the internal waters and the territorial sea of French Polynesia for pleasure craft until further notice.
From now on, any request for exemption, as provided for in article 17 of the same decree, must be accompanied by proof of compelling reason provided for in article 57-2 of decree n ° 2020-1262, amended prescribing general measures needed to deal with the covid-19 epidemic. Otherwise, the request will be systematically refused.
In accordance with French Polynésia Order - No. 126 CM of February 5, 2021 amending by Order No. 525 CM of May 13, 2020 - pleasure craft whose request for exemption is granted and whose number of people on board is equal to or greater than five will have to undergo a quarantine measure lasting fourteen days on board their ship. This quarantine will begin from the day of parking or anchoring in Polynesian waters.
We kindly ask you to inform of this rule all the sailboats which plan to make the crossing towards Tahiti, to avoid problems on arrival. The best solution at this moment is to encourage yachts not to continue sailing after the Galapagos Island
Simon Currin
Simon Currin
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Thanks for the update
Beth Bushnell
Beth Bushnell
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Useful overview, thank you.
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