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Old 12-01-2021, 13:44   #1
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Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Hi all,
We have a reservation for a bare-boat charter in St. Lucia with plans to end up in Grenada (through SV&G). Upon looking at the COVID travel restrictions, it appears we can get to St. Lucia with the proper tests. However, what are the protocols between islands, within the bubble? I see there's a 21 mandatory stay in a given island in the bubble. What are the restrictions with cruising to SVG and Grenada? Anyone have to go through a quarantine period on a given mooring/anchorage? Any experience, good or bad is appreciated. I have been looking at all travel pages, and it's not crystal clear on what cruisers will have to do.
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Old 12-01-2021, 14:29   #2
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Talk to your charter company and use noonsite bio security for each country

Without digging too deep, I think it’s a potential seven day quarantine on entry to Grenada and a potential 10 day into SVG. You will have to go from check out straight to check in harbour and not stop at islands having fun in between.

Expect to potentially pay a lot per PCR test per person. Varies country to country.

Expect to have restrictions change on a moments notice. Countries open one day and closed the next

We are in Saint Lucia now. It is fantastic with a good system for tourist entry and containment. SVG is next for us, depending what happens
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Old 12-01-2021, 15:50   #3
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

My boat is in Greneda and I have good friends in Svg , we are not at the boat yet if at all.
Unless you are Chartering for a long time , I dont think your itinerary is practical . The quarantine periods will be at least 17 days , and they really mean quarantine, staying on the boat at a designated mooring on your dime .
A better choice would be to go to Greneda and stay in their territories.
Do not think about trying to skip around these rules , the local authorities are paying attention.
It is disappointing I know .
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Old 13-01-2021, 08:36   #4
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Thank you Knot and Admiralslater. We're cautiously optimistic about all this; and most of the nationality sites catered to air travelers. I appreciate the cruisers perspective. Please let me know if you do go between these places and what your experience is. We need to make a go/no go decision in March. Mooring bases aren't open in St. Lucia or Grenada yet. Now that we're seeing standard policies with COVID, do you feel much will change between now and march? Are the islands getting the vaccine at all?
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Old 13-01-2021, 10:46   #5
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

I just got back from the Bahamas sailing down the Exuma chain using a Moorings charter for three weeks. I choose the Bahamas because of less restrictions. They just required a Covid test within 5 days of arrival and the 5 days after arrival (which was covered by their manditory health viasa). We didn't have to quarantine anywhere and felt safe everywhere we sailed due to the testing everyone was required to take.
I chose it over Grenada and also BVI because of their lessrestrictive quarantine protocol.
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:01   #6
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Looks like the entire Caribbean has pretty much killed its boat charter business and is hell bent to wipe out most shore-side tourism as well. Its surprising that these people are so tone deaf that they want to kill these industries. If they keep it up much longer they will have to rely solely on their off-shore financial businesses dealing with tax evaders, money launderers and international crooks.

Hawaii's destination resorts are converting to separated save zones with realistic and easy to comply with clearances and procedures. Too bad Hawaii is not really suited for the previously successful Caribbean type inter-island charter businesses with great destinations only and hour or two apart.
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:08   #7
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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Originally Posted by IndecentExposur View Post
within the bubble?
What is the 'Bubble'?
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:09   #8
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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Looks like the entire Caribbean has pretty much killed its boat charter business and is hell bent to wipe out most shore-side tourism as well. Its surprising that these people are so tone deaf that they want to kill these industries.
I imagine they are more concerned about the public health of their citizens than your vacation.
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:32   #9
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Looks like the entire Caribbean has pretty much killed its boat charter business and is hell bent to wipe out most shore-side tourism as well. Its surprising that these people are so tone deaf that they want to kill these industries. If they keep it up much longer they will have to rely solely on their off-shore financial businesses dealing with tax evaders, money launderers and international crooks.

Hawaii's destination resorts are converting to separated save zones with realistic and easy to comply with clearances and procedures. Too bad Hawaii is not really suited for the previously successful Caribbean type inter-island charter businesses with great destinations only and hour or two apart.
I guess the people who live there and run the islands do not want to get sick and possibly die so you can have a vacation.

Fact is they have few medical resources. I don't blame them one little bit. Their lives are more important than your boat payments and/or vacation.

Is this impacting their lives? Yes.. Income will be low but they will still be alive and I am sure that is what matters to them the most.
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:35   #10
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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Originally Posted by IndecentExposur View Post
Hi all,
We have a reservation for a bare-boat charter in St. Lucia with plans to end up in Grenada (through SV&G). Upon looking at the COVID travel restrictions, it appears we can get to St. Lucia with the proper tests. However, what are the protocols between islands, within the bubble? I see there's a 21 mandatory stay in a given island in the bubble. What are the restrictions with cruising to SVG and Grenada? Anyone have to go through a quarantine period on a given mooring/anchorage? Any experience, good or bad is appreciated. I have been looking at all travel pages, and it's not crystal clear on what cruisers will have to do.
Pretty hard to imagine this working out well for you. They must have given you a real deal on that boat.

Personally you could not drag me screaming and kicking on to an airplane.
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Old 13-01-2021, 11:46   #11
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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Is this impacting their lives? Yes.. Income will be low but they will still be alive and I am sure that is what matters to them the most.
While tourism dollars might be a large portion of the overall GDP, that revenue goes into the hands of a very, very small portion of the population. The economic disparity of wealth in the islands is staggering.
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Old 13-01-2021, 12:15   #12
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Looks like the entire Caribbean has pretty much killed its boat charter business and is hell bent to wipe out most shore-side tourism as well. Its surprising that these people are so tone deaf that they want to kill these industries. If they keep it up much longer they will have to rely solely on their off-shore financial businesses dealing with tax evaders, money launderers and international crooks.
That’s a bit harsh! The health resources in the islands are quite limited and would not able to cope with a large increase in Covid cases, so they are understandably being very cautious about allowing tourists in without testing/quarantine. A reason for their caution is that some islands who have opened to American tourists (eg. Aruba) have seen a massive surge in the infection rate.

They consider their lives to be more important that the tourist dollars, and hopefully most of the (less entitled) tourists will understand that they may have to postpone this year’s holiday to next year - when hopefully the pandemic has been controlled.

I suspect that the tourists who are bearing a grudge with the islanders because their restrictions mean they haven’t been able to get away on holiday this year are the sort of tourists that the islanders would rather do without....
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Old 13-01-2021, 12:32   #13
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

Geez, pursuing any and all non-essential travel during a pandemic.

Copied below is the latest guidance per the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention:



Status Level 3: High Level of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia

Key Information for Travelers to Saint Lucia:

Travelers should avoid all nonessential travel to Saint Lucia.
Travelers at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid all travel to Saint Lucia.

Travel and COVID-19
Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus. These are also places where it can be hard to social distance.


And as to your prospective return to Colorado:

To reduce introduction and spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, CDC issued an Order effective January 26, 2021. It requires all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country to get tested for COVID-19 infection no more than 3 days before their flight departs and to provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before being able to board the flight to the USA.

After You Travel
You might have been exposed to COVID-19 during your travels. You might feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and can spread the virus to others.

After you travel, take the following steps to protect others from getting sick:

Get tested 3–5 days after your trip AND stay home for 7 days after travel.
Even if you test negative, stay home for the full 7 days.
If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 10 days after travel.
Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
Always follow state and local recommendations or requirements related to travel.

As to a Caribbean Bubble - There is no such bubble, unless you have been in one of the countries for 21 days, and is not applicable for those that travel without staying in one country for the entirety of 21 days, that is to say it is not available to tourists!
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Old 13-01-2021, 13:00   #14
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

The bubble popped in November. Great idea, never implemented. Antigua is pretty easy right now (we spent 6 weeks there) USVI is really nice without cruise ships (we are here now) Turks and Bahamas are still doable. That is pretty much it except for some single stop islands (unless you are French)
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Old 13-01-2021, 15:14   #15
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Re: Cruising in the Caribbean bubble (St. Lucia, SVG, Grenada)

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What is the 'Bubble'?
They were trying to do a Caricom "bubble" where if you were from in the bubble, you could travel freely without needing to quarantine. You would have been considered to be in the bubble if you had been on any of the islands at least 14 days. So you would have had to get tested, and quarantine at your first destination, but then you would have been able to travel freely. Unfortunately, the "bubble" burst. Each island or small island chain is a separate country and getting them to all agree on best practices or accept what other islands are doing is difficult. Much like our own states can't agree on travel restrictions, mask wearing etc. At this time, the "bubble" is no more. Each country has their own quarantine and testing procedures, so it doesn't matter if you're coming from inside the bubble or out. It definitely hurts the charter industry.
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