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Old 01-02-2021, 20:53   #1
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Mediterranean 2021 outlook

I know it's early and things are changing almost daily, but I'm curious what others are thinking about the sailing/cruising situation in the Med for the coming year.

I hope to get back to my boat in Spain sometime in April and resume plans to spend 2021 sailing the eastern Mediterranean. (That was the 2020 plan, obviously out of the question when the pandemic hit.) Do you all think this will be possible? My crew and I will be subject the Schengen rules and I'm wondering how countries will treat people arriving on yachts from other, possibly more COVID-infected, countries. I also need to move the boat out of the EU for VAT purposes and wonder how difficult it may be to re-enter the EU in 2021.

Best case scenario is that the uncertainties, and perhaps the economic situation, result in a relatively uncrowded sailing scene and the chance to visit a lot of places without a lot of other boats present. Mid-case scenario is that everyone can't wait to get back on the water and everyplace is packed. Worst case scenario is that it's difficult or impossible to move between countries and maybe I should just lay the boat up for another year in Spain.

What do you think?

Charlie
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:16   #2
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

We are currently sailing Europe, and have done so since April 2020.
The rules are changing more or less every 14 days. We are now in Antibes in France and sailing is now allowed between 0600 to 1600. At present anchoring over night is not allowed.

If you are willing to take a PCR/antigen test before sailing, crossing most borders are possible. All harbors we have seen are open and will take on visitors. However you may have problems getting in to the country if you are not a EU citizen. If you get fully vaccinated and have documentation to show it you will probably be better off since EU discussing vaccination passport for the coming tourist season.

We hope that the situation improves closer to summer and we plan to move slowly eastward. Be prepared for ever changing local rules and a lot of bureaucracy.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:44   #3
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

Could go either way at the moment... my boat’s also stuck in Spain and with a combo of Brexit and C19, the chance of getting to it soon is slim.

Maybe someone else will know this, but would sailing to Gib get you out of the EU VAT area?

N
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:26   #4
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

I cannot speak to all of the Med countries, but Greece is currently in lockdown and there are no rumors of it opening back up soon. Lockdown means that no recreational boating is allowed without specific permission of the Port Police and from 1 couple I talked to it was difficult to argue for permission to move from Lefkas to Preveza to put their boat up on the hard and return to Sweden to care for a sick relative. Commercial boating is allowed abet people have to quarantine upon entry from outside Greece. I have seen a couple of new boats on delivery on a quarantine dock here. You can sail through Greece without stopping and I know of 1 crew who delivered a boat from France to Turkey without stopping. That was before Christmas and Turkey has new rules for entering now.
The Greek rules are revised or repeated almost weekly now. Its frustrating. They are also still collecting taxes and fees even though we cannot move. You can surrender your documents to the Port Police as out of service to avoid the monthly TEPAI.

It seems that all countries are interpreting and making new rules so I do not think that the situation will be the same in 2 months. Hopefully it will be better.
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:41   #5
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pirate Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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Originally Posted by ausnp84 View Post
Could go either way at the moment... my boat’s also stuck in Spain and with a combo of Brexit and C19, the chance of getting to it soon is slim.

Maybe someone else will know this, but would sailing to Gib get you out of the EU VAT area?

N
No.. it seems Gib has chosen to stay in the EU with a N Ireland type border for the moment though I heard there were some ructions last week so how long that lasts is to be determined.. difficulties arose when Spain insisted it should police the airport and port areas.
Just checked and for the moment Gib retains it's VAT free status.
Your boat should be okay where it is as it was in the EU on 'Freedom Day'...

https://news.sky.com/story/britain-a...tatus-12176376
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Old 04-02-2021, 07:57   #6
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

I expect it will hinge on how the vaccine roll out goes. Odds are the EU sorts itself out in the next month or two.

If deaths and hospitalizations drop off to next to nothing, I expect public pressure will force them to open things up pretty quick.

April might be borderline. Even if they get the vaccine supply up within the next month, it will still take time for those to translate into individuals with immunity (it's still 3-4 weeks after the 1st shot before you actually gain significant immunity.

June/July...I think there will be pretty good odds as they will likely have gotten thru the high risk populations and most of them will have had time to develop immunity.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:00   #7
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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No.. it seems Gib has chosen to stay in the EU with a N Ireland type border for the moment though I heard there were some ructions last week so how long that lasts is to be determined.. difficulties arose when Spain insisted it should police the airport and port areas.
Just checked and for the moment Gib retains it's VAT free status.
Your boat should be okay where it is as it was in the EU on 'Freedom Day'...

https://news.sky.com/story/britain-a...tatus-12176376
Haha thanks for the clarification! We’re leaving Plague Island permanently this year anyway and starting to look at Med or Carib options instead....

N
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Old 04-02-2021, 19:55   #8
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Haha thanks for the clarification! We’re leaving Plague Island permanently this year anyway and starting to look at Med or Carib options instead....

N
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Old 05-02-2021, 11:36   #9
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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You can sail through Greece without stopping and I know of 1 crew who delivered a boat from France to Turkey without stopping. That was before Christmas and Turkey has new rules for entering now.
.
That's correct, Turkey is now requesting a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to yr arrival. If not, you are in quarantine for a week in yr boat or in a hotel. The restaurants are not open but some jetty restaurants are serving the food to yr boat because pack services are allowed. You can also take electricity and water from these jetties. Well, it's better not nothing. On top, you don't have to deal with diswashing
The marinas, fuel stations are functioning as usual.
The charters are full for late April and May mostly with locals, Russian and Ukranians, the rumours are that pretty soon the ban for restaurants will be lifted, who knows..

Cheers


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Old 05-02-2021, 12:06   #10
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
That's correct, Turkey is now requesting a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to yr arrival. If not, you are in quarantine for a week in yr boat or in a hotel. The restaurants are not open but some jetty restaurants are serving the food to yr boat because pack services are allowed. You can also take electricity and water from these jetties. Well, it's better not nothing. On top, you don't have to deal with diswashing
The marinas, fuel stations are functioning as usual.
The charters are full for late April and May mostly with locals, Russian and Ukranians, the rumours are that pretty soon the ban for restaurants will be lifted, who knows..

Cheers


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If you need a negative PCR within 72 hours of entering Turkey, and you are transiting through Greece, then that is going to be an interesting accomplishment. Cant enter here, but you need a test taken here to get there.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:25   #11
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

For the last 11 years I have been participating in the ECC - Engineering Challenge Cup- in the first week of Mai, with around 40-50 boats somewhere in the Med. All boats chartered in the marina of the city, country where the venture takes place.

As expected it was cancelled for 2020. Last week I got the information that 2021 was cancelled as well. Next venue is now planned for 2022.

Just for your information, don’t plan to far ahead!
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Old 07-02-2021, 01:28   #12
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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Originally Posted by Dogscout View Post
If you need a negative PCR within 72 hours of entering Turkey, and you are transiting through Greece, then that is going to be an interesting accomplishment. Cant enter here, but you need a test taken here to get there.
I know it' stupid, but these are the rules thought for anyone who would come to Turkey by airplane, like there is no other ways to do it.. We had a boat delivered from La Rochelle, the crew didn't stop anywhere for more than 20 days and yet PCR test is required. First, it's not possible to get the test done, second if the crew is not sick already after 20 days of isolation in the sea, the quarantine must have been achieved anyway..

However, we have one service boat to come from Greece. The dutch owner is planning to fly to Greece to pick up his boat (what I understand EC citizens can fly within the Schengen countries) and if he can make the test done there (a big question mark..) and sail 250 nm in less than 72 hours to Marmaris , he can get away with the quarantine.

Tough days for cruisers..

Cheers

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Old 09-02-2021, 12:18   #13
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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I hope to get back to my boat in Spain sometime in April and resume plans to spend 2021 sailing the eastern Mediterranean.
I can't imagine that Spain would let any non EU citizen/resident in by April.
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Old 09-02-2021, 12:22   #14
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

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I can't imagine that Spain would let any non EU citizen/resident in by April.
Yep starting to look like June / July will be earliest non-EU (inc UK) can get back there.

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Old 09-02-2021, 17:15   #15
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Re: Mediterranean 2021 outlook

Anders and N,

I am currently in Thailand, a relatively COVID-free country, and will be here until my planned travel to Spain. I will visit the Spanish embassy here next week to see whether travelers from Thailand can be admitted. As with everything, things can change, but I am hopeful that travel from Bangkok to Barcelona will be allowed.
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