We receive many calls from captains and crew, asking about COVID vaccinations. There is no vaccination-on-demand available anywhere in the world that we are aware of, except the UAE and Russia. The UN’s ILO and IMO agencies, as well as various maritime unions and organisations, are pressuring governments to make vaccinations a priority for displaced seafarers. There is, as yet, no framework in place to make this a reality, so we await further news. For information about the vaccine roll-out in the Balearics, please visit https://www.ibsalut.es/es/es-vacuna-covid-19. Gibraltar has one of the world’s most advanced vaccination programmes and we have asked the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) whether any provision had been made for seafarers transiting through its port. The GHA referred us to its online COVID ‘vaccination interest’ form, which you can complete here: https://www.gha.gi/covid-19-vaccination-interest-form/. There is no indication that vaccination will be made available to non-residents, though given the success of Gibraltar’s roll-out, strong demand may help to persuade authorities to prioritise seafarers.
Travelling to or from the UK and need to obtain a PCR test? Courtesy of ESTELA SHIPPING, yacht crew can now get 50% off home test kits from the UK’s largest test provider, RANDOX. The full price of the kit is £120, but apply code ‘estela’ to reduce the price to only £60! For more information and to order your kit, visit https://www.randoxhealth.com/covid-19-home-testing-kit/. At checkout, simply enter the code estela to receive the discounted price. Please feel free to share this post with any friends, family or colleagues in need of a test.
Since April 6th, seafarers arriving in the UK and staying more than two days have been obliged to undergo rapid ‘lateral flow’ tests during their stay. While remaining exempt from the 10-day quarantine/self-isolation rules that apply to other travellers, crew must submit tests on Day 2 and Day 8 after entering the UK. Tests can be carried out and submitted in a variety of ways. A list of Government-approved test providers is here. Seafarers must also complete a passenger locator form prior to flying to the UK. While a pre-travel (PCR) test is not essential according to the current rules, we recommend taking a voluntary test for your personal reassurance and to avoid any confusion with check-in staff unfamiliar with the rules. Seafarers remain exempt from having to complete a travel declaration form to depart from the UK. The UK government website for COVID travel regulations is here, though the wording could be an awful lot clearer: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#seamen-and-masters-and-inspectors-and-surveyors-of-ships If you have any queries, please contact us.
SPAIN No yacht restrictions, subject to health declarations and PCR tests (<72 hrs) Hospitality is open only on terraces, until 5pm Groups may be no more than 6, from no more than two households, including on board Shops are open, with some capacity restrictions and closing at 8pm for non-essential items Arrivals by air from South Africa and Brazil, including crew, must quarantine for 10 days, or release after 7 days with PCR Non-Schengen tourism is not allowed, with some exceptions (incl Australia, NZ, China/HK, S. Korea) Curfew at 10pm ITALY Restrictions depend on colour classification (white, yellow, orange, red), though for the Easter period (Apr 3-6) the entire country is declared a RED zone No cruising permitted and crew may only disembark for essential shopping and medical reasons On shore, hospitality may open until 6pm, with curfew from 10pm Crew arriving from the Schengen area are not obliged to quarantine, but a PCR test (<48hrs) is required. A maritime health declaration is required for all yachts arriving from other countries Widespread speculation of this ‘red zone’ period being brought forward to March 28th FRANCE, CORSICA & MONACO Non-European flagged yachts may not enter or anchor in French waters Arrivals […]
With effect from 8th March 2021, all arrivals from South Africa in Spain will be required to quarantine for 10 days following arrival. Please note that seafarers are NOT exempt from this requirement, though are permitted to self-isolate on board. Quarantine must be spent at a designated accommodation, restricting movements and outside contact only to essential activities (eg. shopping for food, pharmaceuticals and essentials; visiting health services; causes of force majeure or emergency). You are advised to obtain an agent’s letter for your arrival, detailing where your quarantine will be spent. Health authorities may carry out inspections to ensure compliance, so you are advised to retain receipts or documentation to justify any movement from your quarantine accommodation. Arrivals may be released after providing a negative COVID test result, taken after 7 days of quarantine. Accepted tests are RT-PCR or other tests based on equivalent molecular techniques, as well as antigen tests that have a minimum yield of ≥ 90% sensitivity and ≥ 97% specificity. The quarantine requirement will initially be in force for arrivals from 00:00h on 8/3/21 until 23:59h on 21/3/21, though may be extended before the end of this period.
Global travel eligibility checker: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/#(note that all airlines’ policy is guided by IATA)Travel to Spain, general:For general travel to Spain: https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/ESP/7001Spain health declaration: https://www.spth.gob.es/Balearic health declaration: https://viajarabaleares.ibsalut.es/formulario/Travel to Spain from the UK (any nationality):Spain/UK travel ban (in force until 31-Mar): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2021/01/01/pdfs/BOE-A-2021-1.pdf(note that crew joining vessels are exempt, subject to requisite docs)UK government COVID travel guidance for Spain: https://www.gov.uk/foreign…/spain/entry-requirementsBREXIT: NOTICE FOR BRITISH CREW IN SPAINPlease note the following stamping requirements, issued by Spanish immigration police today:Active British crew members already appearing on a crew list DO NOT need to visit immigration to stamp on board and out of Spain. Only when they leave the vessel either temporarily or permanently, must the crew list be updated with the authorities and passports stamped.Non-active crew members currently in Spain, not appearing on any crew list, ARE NOT required to have their passports stamped, until they join a vessel.In summary, any change in crew list involving British crew, requires a stamp*. A representative can visit immigration on crew’s behalf; they are not required to attend in person.*Except official residents of SpainSpain’s UK Travel Ban Excludes SeafarersA new BOE was issued on 1st Jan by the Spanish government, stating that crew are now exempt from the […]
Many non-EU flagged yachts in the Mediterranean complete an 18-monthly ‘VAT dash’ to Algeria, to clear out of the EU zone ahead of their TA deadline. This year, the clearance dash has been complicated by restricted movements of both yachts and crew, while UK-flagged vessels are having to plan around this for the first time. We have been advising clients to ‘clear out’ in Melilla instead. This can mean a longer sailing, but the extra time and fuel consumed is offset by the lack of any PCR testing and/or quarantine requirement if coming from and returning to other Spanish ports. Melilla is Spanish territory, obviating the need to complete immigration clearance. Upon arrival, authorities in Melilla will provide a recognised Customs Authorities Certificate, while captains can be sure that there are no unexpected ‘shake-downs’ or on-board inspections. Fees are transparent, while security and port facilities are of the highest standard. Local fuel tax is rated below the cost of VAT, while pump prices are among the lowest in the Med. Merlilla’s port has a commercial dock of 240 meters, suitable for yachts of any length, as well as space to moor 15 yachts of up to 50 meters, with a […]
Prepared: 10th December In advance of the Caribbean season, we present an overview of the COVID situation in most of the region’s most popular yacht destinations. Regulations are subject to change, so in order to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information, we would always recommend using an accredited AYSS member yacht agent wherever possible. In the Caribbean, AYSS agents can be found in the following locations: Antigua, Bermuda, BVIs, Costa Rica, Dominica, Panama, St Maarten, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. These agents will help you navigate your way around their and their neighbouring islands. Island-hopping is complicated this season by divergent regulations, such as in the French island bubble and CARICOM, whose mutual arrangements have been suspended temporarily. It should be taken as read that each destination has COVID sanitation regulations in place, such as health screening, restricted capacity, curfews, mask-wearing and other hygiene measures. Please consult each destination’s official website for details regarding health provisions, testing facilities and insurance requirements. ANGUILLA Open to pre-approved visitors, who must provide a negative PCR test result (<5 days) All visitors must complete an individual application (including children) For more information, visit: https://ivisitanguilla.com/escape/apply.html or telephone +1 264 476 7627 ANTIGUA […]
The move affects travellers coming from more than 60 countries from 23rd November, including most EU member states. The negative PCR test must be taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Spain and must be issued in English or Spanish, in paper or electronic format. Who is affected? This measure applies to travellers coming by sea or air, not to arrivals through land borders. Exemptions may apply for yacht crew demonstrably in transit to a boat that is departing imminently, or from a boat to outside Spain, departing without delay. Exemptions will also apply for arrivals who may have been unable to undergo a PCR test within the 72 hour window, having been continuously at sea or arrived from a departure point where tests are unavailable. In each instance, arrivals seeking an exemption are advised to check with us and we will consult with the local health authority for a confirmed exemption for your circumstance. High Risk Countries For European countries of origin, Spanish authorities will rely on the risk map by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC). For countries outside this area, the reference point will be the 14-day cumulative coronavirus incidence for every 100,000 inhabitants, […]
Spanish police issue new guidance for issuance of transit visas Spanish immigration police have issued new guidelines for the issuance of Schengen transit visas to seafarers departing the zone or travelling to join another vessel within the territory. Stipulations requiring a negative PCR test result prior to being admitted at destination country has been leaving crew in visa limbo in recent weeks. Having presented at Spanish airports for departure with transit visa in hand but without the requisite PCR test, crew can be denied boarding of their flight. The result is that crew are being left stranded in Spain illegally, unable to return to their boat and unable to travel onwards. To prevent this from happening, immigration officials have instructed authorised port agents to verify each crew member’s itinerary and the need, or not, for a PCR test at hand, PRIOR to applying for a transit visa. If you intend to fly home, or to any destination that requires a PCR test, you will be unable to obtain a transit visa from Spanish authorities without producing a test result that meets the requirements of your destination country. Compliance must be verified by an authorised consignatory port agent.
Last week Spain re-opened its borders to tourists from the EU/Schengen zone, as well as a select number of non-European countries, including the United Kingdom. Without quarantine or COVID-testing requirements, Spain is one of the most easily-accessible places for yachts and for private flights, with up to 50 arrivals at Palma’s private LEPA terminal daily! What’s more, Mother Nature has enjoyed the rest that lockdown has provided, with our beaches and calas in pristine condition, and Balearic waters looking even more crystalline than usual. What’s more, summer is here and no rain is expected for the whole of July! Restaurants and bars and beach clubs are open, with masks required to be worn only in confined spaces where distancing is impossible. Smaller clubs are open, offering table service. Just leave your dancing shoes on board, as dance floors are closed. Reports of long delays for arrivals into Greece, for example, are no issue here in Mallorca, with all ports and marinas operating normally. Guests and crew are free to disembark and enjoy the island as normal. How safe are the Balearics? The first tourists to arrive in Mallorca this summer, from Germany, in a pilot programme last month, scored hygiene measures here at […]
Spanish borders are once again OPEN to tourists and visitors arriving from within the EU and Schengen zone, without the need to quarantine! Private flights into Palma de Mallorca kicked back into life on Sunday, while yachts stationed here have started greeting their owners after a long, three-month separation. If your owners or guests are due to arrive from further afield, we should have more news later next week. In the meantime, we may be able to find you a workaround, so don’t hesitate to contact us. Spanish waters, and those beyond, have also been reopened for cruising. Yachts that had kicked off their season in Croatia and Italy are heading back to the Balearics, to enjoy the natural beauty that has benefited from the breather that the lockdown presented. Our beaches are looking beautiful and the lockdown has done the precious seagrass the power of good and Balearic waters are clearer than ever. Only last week 132 sea turtle eggs were laid on Punta Prima beach in Menorca, for the very first time! This season has been a long time coming and we can’t wait. If you are coming our way, get in touch, we’ve missed you!
Understandably, there are many owners keen to rejoin their yachts as soon as permitted, though there is, as yet, no news of when this will become possible in Spain. Many countries in Europe are targeting 15th June as the date that their borders will re-open to tourism, and while Spain is rumoured to be considering joining these, nothing has been announced. While crew are able to move around without too much difficulty, guests must be patient or be open to moving their boats elsewhere. Here’s a round-up of the state of play elsewhere around the Mediterranean: Italy Borders now open, with boats able to arrive and EU citizens allowed to fly in, no quarantine required. Cruising is restricted to Italian waters. Greece Borders now open, with boats able to arrive and EU citizens allowed to fly into Athens only. Until 14 June, all arrivals, including Greek citizens, are swab tested at the airport and must stay at a designated hotel until COVID test results are back. If negative, a 7-day quarantine is required. If positive, a 14-day mandatory quarantine applies. From 15 June, this process applies only to arrivals from higher-risk countries, as assessed and reviewed daily by the European […]
There have been many discussions in the past week about quarantine requirements for yachts arriving in Spain from the Caribbean. By the letter of the law, as issued by the central government, all seafarers are exempt, without exception. This ruling does not discriminate between private and commercial vessels, as professional qualifications are IMO-compliant for both categories. However, having approached Maritime Health Authority in Mallorca, there is no consensus about the applicability of exemption and consider that ALL arrivals must be quarantined for 14 days regardless. Importantly, this includes those that arrive here having sailed for at least 14 days non-stop, prior to arrival. However, through our working relationship with the Port Authority of Melilla, we have managed to obtain definitive quarantine exemption for our clients, issued directly by Ministerial order, leaving no room for misinterpretation. So, if your yacht is due to arrive in the coming weeks from across the Pond, the smart move is to stop first in Melilla. There, we can furnish you with a Ministerial quarantine exemption and provide you with some of the lowest-cost yacht fuel in the Med and get your summer season off to a good start. Contact us for assistance or information.
May 11, 2020 Today, Monday, May 11, the de-escalation for recreational navigation begins for Spain’s autonomous communities moving to Phase I, including the Balearic and Canary islands. The Order TMA/400/2020, published in the Official State Gazette (BOE, here https://boe.es/boe/dias/2020/05/10/pdfs/BOE-A-2020-4912.pdf), establishes limitations regarding the permitted number of passengers on board recreational vessels and geographical limitations. In accordance with this new Ministerial Order, it is worth highlighting, among others, the following requirements to practice recreational navigation in each phase: PHASE I – You can already practice “recreational navigation”, by people living in the same province, island or autonomous city in which their boat is moored.– Jet skis and pleasure boats or vessels may not depart more than 12 miles from the port or mooring facility from which navigation begins.– Occupancy on board may not exceed 50% of the certified capacity of the boat, unless all occupants reside at the same address, in which case 100% of capacity may be used, to a maximum of 10 persons.– In the Balearic Islands, navigation by boats used for recreational or sports purposes by their owners or authorised persons is allowed.– Permission for owners or authorised individuals to visit boats for security and maintenance checks is extended […]
By decree, issued on April 29th, crew from third countries must provide the following documentation to Spanish immigration authorities before being permitted to enter Spain for work purposes. a) Card or professional certificate (certificate of competency or proficiency) or seaman’s identity document or Seafarers’ identity document or Discharge book. b) Document or employment contract of the shipping company, the recruitment and placement agency, or the captain of the vessel, proving their designation as crew member (employment agreement or letter of appointment). This documentation must include, at least, the name and flag of the vessel, the port where it is located and the estimated date for boarding or disembarking. Crew must provide proof of accommodation, where applicable, during their travel to or from the Spanish port where the ship is located. Contact us for more details email@example.com +34 971 722 532
We are receiving many queries from non-EU crew with expired visas, or with limited time remaining. The initial guidance in March from local immigration police was that days remaining would “no longer be counted”, suggesting that visitor visas would be frozen in time. Immigration officials now clarify that this is not the case, but that those leaving Spain on an expired visa will not be penalised. Visa expiry dates remain valid, in other words. In order to leave a boat and travel out of Spain on an expired visa, you will require a transit visa, as normal. If you have any specific queries about your or your crew’s visa status, please get in touch and we will consult the authorities on a case-by-case basis.
Spanish authorities have published new exercise guidelines in a de-escalation of the COVID-19 state of emergency. The schedule for de-escalation varies from region to region, so for the sake of simplicity, these are the new regulations for Palma de Mallorca only, valid from Saturday 2nd May. If you are outside of Palma, please consult your local authority for permitted exercise times and restrictions, as this is regulated per municipality, depending on population size. Adults and minors aged 14 years and up may go out for walks or exercise between 06:00-10:00h, and from 20:00-23:00h, once per day. For walks the maximum radius from home is 1km. Exercise may extend further but is limited to the municipality where you reside. ✅ You may use bicycles, scooters, roller-skates, surf boards; as long as the exercise is done SOLO, once per day, staying within municipality. ✅ You may walk with one other person from your household, within 1km from home, once per day. ✅ Masks for walks or exercise are highly recommended, though not obligatory. ✅ You must at ALL TIMES keep at least a two-metre distance from other persons. ✅Always clean/disinfect any equipment used while outside and remember to observe hand-washing guidelines. 🚫Use […]
From today (Monday 4th May) Spain’s Ministry of Transport has relaxed restrictions covering general transportation The use of masks that cover the nose and mouth is mandatory for all users of bus, rail, air and sea transportation. In the case of passengers on ships and boats, the use of masks is necessary only in shared or public spaces. It is also mandatory for users of passenger transport in vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver. Transport service workers in direct contact with travellers must be provided with masks and have access to hydro-alcoholic solutions to practice frequent hand hygiene. In private and supplementary vehicles of up to nine seats, including the driver, two people can ride per row of seats, provided they use masks and respect the maximum possible distance between occupants. In vehicles such as vans, with only one row of seats available, a maximum of two people may travel, provided that occupants use masks and keep as much distance as possible. https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2020/05/03/pdfs/BOE-A-2020-4789.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0D8OOB6G_DQIDPWEtfsq_EELayRZPBN1iSwQcrPpkHrkwt-iPN3pnE3Wo