Current Yachting Protocol Guideline
The complete shutdown of the tourism industry has resulted in double digit unemployment and a serious impact on GDP. To resuscitate employment and the overall economy, a gradual reopening of the tourism industry will require a new level of responsibility that balances health objectives with the need for reestablishing economic activity.
To provide a process that minimizes errors and mitigates risk on unavoidable contact, and in so doing, promotes a safe and friendly environment for all involved.
It is the responsibility of the identified authorities to ensure that all relevant entities within their purview are aware of and understand this policy and have direct responsibility for its implementation.
2. Legal Requirements
As stated in accordance with the relevant laws of Antigua and Barbuda including the Quarantine Act and the Public Health Act.
English Harbour and Nevis Street Pier are the only two ports open at this time.
3.1 The Government of Antigua and Barbuda advise that all crafts entering the waters of Antigua and Barbuda should contact the St John’s Harbour, using VHF Channel 16, at least six (6) hours prior to arrival. Instructions will be given to guide the crafts to the designated Port Health Station or to a holding area. The Marine Manager may be reached via telephone at 1-268-728-5398 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the Port Authority Marine Department at 1-268-736-3337.
3.2 All crew and passengers are to have a Negative PCR Covid-19 test result within seven days prior to travel, though preferred within the previous 72 hours. There is an established travel bubble comprising the six (6) OECS countries, along with Montserrat and Barbados. Please see the latest national Travel Advisory for details about the bubble.
Given the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, countries may be removed from or added to the bubble from time to time.
Once vessels already cleared in Antigua and Barbuda leave for another port that is at that time outside of the bubble, fresh testing and clearance will be required.
3.3 There must be daily monitoring and logging of temperatures and any probable COVID- 19 signs or symptoms during the journey from the port of origin.
3.4 Once possible, yachts will be expected to submit their Eseaclear declarations in advance of arrival and to upload the health declarations for all people on board, so that the Health Authorities may assess risk on board prior to arrival of the vessel.
4. On Arrival – Yacht Clearance & Health Screening
4.1 Suggested requirements for Port Health Station:
4.1.1 Minimum of two Port health Officers at each port of entry.
4.1.2 Holding Areas for vessels deemed high risk and for those vessels who have not submitted Eseaclear.
4.1.3 Quarantine areas for vessels and for individuals completing their quarantine time.
4.1.4 PCR testing/swabbing may be available at the ports of entry.
4.2 Vessel Clearance requirements
4.2.1 The captain/skipper, observing the nationally established safety protocols, reports to Port Health, and in the absence of an Eseaclear declaration, collects the health questionnaire to be filled by each person on board, for submission to Port Health.
4.2.2 Time at sea, as well as any stops along the way, must be reported as requested on the Port Health Maritime health declaration.
4.2.3 If all on board have valid PCR tests, there were no stops at other ports since the port of origin, and the logged data indicates no covid-19 signs or symptoms of any member during the journey, then the time at sea shall be deemed valid as quarantine time. If less than fourteen days, then the remaining days of quarantine must be done on arrival.
4.2.4 All arrival vessels must be flying their Q flags (Quarantine flags).
4.2.5 Vessels directed to the Holding Area must remain there until cleared by Port Health.
4.2.6 Once requirements have been met, health checks done and a boat deemed of no risk, vessels will be instructed to proceed to customs/Immigration for usual clearance, then continue to their berths or anchorages as normal.
4.2.7 If there is a suspected case of COVID-19 on board, the vessel will be requested to stay in the holding area pending further Port Health instruction.
4.2.8 Vessels (skippers of) which fail to comply or are found to have lied or misled the authorities will be prosecuted.
5. Health & Safety Requirements
5.1 Crew and passengers in the Holding Area are strictly required to remain on their vessels.
5.2 Persons who are completing quarantine will be required to remain on their vessels.
5.3 All crew and passengers who disembark are to comply with the established national health and safety protocols at all times; the wearing of a mask, the physical distancing and the hand-washing or sanitizing.
The Novel Coronavirus Pandemic and the resultant COVID-19 global crisis have resulted in a dramatic change to the ways in which the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and its related state-owned enterprises are required to work.