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GJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - Leaderboard

A cautious return to cruising

by Peta Stuart-Hunt 1 Jul 16:11 UTC
The Cruising Association COVID-19 map updated on 30 June 2020 © CA

Over the past few months, the Cruising Association's RATS (Regulations and Technical Services) group has been hard at work researching, collating and compiling weekly updates covering the UK, Europe and the Mediterranean, since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Following three months of Covid-19 restrictions, overnight stays away from home are permitted in England from July 4 onwards, including staying on boats. This means a cautious return to cruising for those who keep their boats in England.

Similar changes are already in force in Northern Ireland and are expected in Wales and Scotland by mid-July. Schengen countries of the European Union aim to get back in sync after July 1, with most borders open and random testing only.

For those in England whose boats are in other countries, travel to the boat without quarantine may now depend on "air bridges". Travel to Sweden or Portugal is still not advised, but countries covered are expected to include Spain, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Turkey, Germany and Norway. Greece is not now permitting direct flights from the UK until after July 15.

It is not yet clear what the rules are if you travel to countries in your own boat, or via an indirect route. The RATS team continues to update the country-by-country Covid-19 information on the CA website, which changes frequently. Anyone interested can visit the site to read the latest rule changes.

Spain was one of the first countries to open to foreign visitors. Its "new normality", likely to apply in many other countries, includes:

  • Social distancing of 1.5m from anyone who is not a member of your family
  • Use of face masks if you can't keep 1.5m away from others, on public and private transport, and in busier streets
  • Use of hygiene measures
  • Fines of €100 for those who break the rules

In the Caribbean the hurricane season has already begun. Many cruisers managed to ship or sail their boats back to Europe while others reached French Guiana. Grenada partially opened for boats which had hurricane season bookings from mid-May, but Trinidad & Tobago remained closed. Covid-19 cases are still rising in Russia, Latin/South America, the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Middle East. Any country may experience a local spike in infections, and many already have, resulting in restrictions usually in one area or region.

Cruising Association president Julian Dussek commented: "Of course, I'm delighted that many of our members will be able to do some sailing this summer. But there are still many challenges in getting to and equipping your boat, sailing safely, and identifying destinations where facilities are open and you can enjoy your stay.

That's where the CA comes in. If our members keep posting their experiences on our forums, it could make all the difference for another member following in your tracks."

For the latest European and Mediterranean country-by-country status and local information relating to the UK, please visit: www.theca.org.uk/public/covid_19_cruising_restrictions

You can help by emailing any updates you become aware of to:

The Cruising Association (CA) is Britain's leading organisation for cruising sailors with more than 6,300 members in over 40 countries worldwide. The advice given is provided as an example of the wealth of information available to CA members via member-only web pages and forums.

In addition to valuable content from the CA's Regulations and Technical Services group (RATS), members can also tap into a vast array of information and advice wherever they are in the world, through the website and through the cruising app, CAptain's Mate.

If you're not yet a member you can join here and reap the full benefits of CA membership.

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