It has been a little over one month since the reopening of St Lucia’s waters to pleasure yachts; a move welcomed by the IGY team and yachters, as well as the various establishments in the marina. One just has to take a stroll on the grounds of the marina to notice that the vibe is back, albeit under the “new normal” with masks donned and social distancing in practice.
St Lucia officially reopened to yachters on July 1st and mirroring the rules for tourists coming in by air, the yachters are classed into two categories based on the last port of departure; countries within the “Caribbean Travel Bubble” and all remaining countries. It comes as no surprise that the rules of entry and protocols would differ based on the country of departure. In the case of yachters arriving from within the Caribbean Travel Bubble, the requirement is the presentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test (taken within seven days of arrival) and for all remaining countries, in addition to the presentation of the negative test, a 14-day quarantine is mandatory.
The Rodney Bay Marina has introduced a wristband system for all yachters in the marina who have arrived from within the Caribbean Travel Bubble as well as all yachters who have completed their 14-day quarantine. They are all given “Sailing with the Caribbean Bubble” blue wristbands. It is now becoming apparent that in addition to the blue wristbands serving as a pass to the marina’s docks, it is also helping in allaying the fears of residents who would had otherwise spotted the yachters roaming the island and jumped to the conclusion that they were “runaway tourists” from resorts nearby.
Following on from the reopening of the yachting sector, the Rodney Bay Marina (alongside the World Cruising Club, Events Company St Lucia and the St Lucia Tourism Authority) is now in the planning stages for this year’s ARC (Atlantic Rally For Cruisers) which will take place from the first week of December.