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Old 03-01-2021, 09:40   #1
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Covid Travel 2021

Does anyone know conclusively if there is any rule (or something like a rule) that enables a boat flagged in a particular country, to return to that country - during these wacky times? For example: Could a boat that was stuck in Tahiti due to travel restrictions, and cyclone season, sail to the Marshall Islands because it is flagged there?....in order to reset their French Polynesia visa?
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:26   #2
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

First, the best place to ask this question is the country in which you intend to sail. (I seriously doubt there are any Marshallese C&I folks on this forum.)

Here is the latest on RMI travel restrictions.

BTW...Noonsite is a good starting point.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:41   #3
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Thanks for the RMI pdf. I checked noonsite a few times, with no luck. For some reason, all of the questions that I have, which seem like questions everyone probably has - are not really spelled out anywhere that I can find. Does anyone know the answer to this one: If I am an American citizen, on a boat floating around the ocean, can I take my boat to the US? The basic premise that I am after here, and I know that different countries have different rules.....can a boat that is flagged in whatever country, sail to that country right now? I know that people are obviously stuck all over the world....and it seems that there should be some people somewhere who have found the answer to this question (I can't be the only one asking).
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:15   #4
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Rather than hypotheticals, it's better to be very specific with your questions.

Yes, if you are a US citizen you can enter the US states at a designated port of entry. (US territories may have different rules in place.)

You are conflating the documentation/registration of a vessel, and the nationality of the owner & crew. Focus on your nationality, not the nation state under which the vessel is flagged (which is usually the same for private vessels).

Noonsite is a starting point only...it provides lots of links to the actual authorities that you would need to contact to ask specific questions to.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:23   #5
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsfforsberg View Post
... I know that people are obviously stuck all over the world....and it seems that there should be some people somewhere who have found the answer to this question (I can't be the only one asking).
Note: My response is based on the South Pacific given that the original poster asked about French Polynesia.

Many people are asking the same questions. But the source of the answers can only be provided by the official government sources.

The rules change frequently too, so even if the answer were yes one day, it might be no the next. And that's a risk when sailing between countries. In addition the quarantine and health rules change too. The vaccine will introduce a new set of issues I expect.

Hypothetically you might leave say French Polynesia bound for the Cook Islands (being open), but during the voyage the Cooks close their border. But you can't rreturn to French Polynesia because you no longer meet their current rules. This issue has really happened to quite a number of unfortunate cruisers.

So the wisest choice (in my view), and the reality of the South Pacific since April, is to remain in the country you are in. Do NOT get caught between borders. To aid foreigners caught because of covid most countries now have 'covid' visas allowing people to effectively remain until the end of the pandemic.

Worth noting too is that most countries have also significantly increased their port surveillance measures. Local people are also now very quick to report sightings of yachts. Based on horrific disease outbreaks in the past (for which islanders had no immunity but very good memories) they're very concerned about, and well aware of covid.

And as another poster pointed out, eligibility of entry to a country has nothing whatsoever to do with the vessel's registration. It is entirely dependent on the citizenship of the crew meeting the rules of entry for the intended country. There may also be the need and likely cost of quarantine and health checks.

Here is a summary of the rules I have been keeping:

American Samoa: In an extended state of emergency and officials are maintaining Code Blue threat level, the lowest on a three-tiered scale. Inbound travelers must test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to entering American Samoa. Arrivals must quarantine for two weeks, with the exception of medical workers. Authorities continue to suspend Hawaiian Airlines (HA) and Samoa Air (OL) fflights.

Cook Islands: Most travelers remain banned from entry, except citizens, permanent residents, work permit holders, and resident permit holders. Arriving travelers must still have spent 14 days in New Zealand before arrival, but authorities have lifted a 14-day quarantine requirement.

Federated States of Micronesia: The government has also banned all inbound flights, with exemptions for cargo deliveries and repatriation flights, through at least Jan. 31. Those entering the country via repatriation flights must quarantine for 21 days after arrival.

Fiji: Most foreign nationals remain effectively banned from entering. Fiji Airways (FJ) continues to suspend all international flights. Officials require allowed passengers to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Authorities have called on Fijian nationals to suspend outbound travel. Cruise ships remain banned from docking. A 'blue lane' for cruising yachts offers entry under very specific conditions.

Guam: A public health emergency remains in place, and the government is maintaining Pandemic Condition of Readiness Level 1 (PCOR-1). The government requires arrivals to quarantine for 14 days. Inbound passengers will quarantine at government facilities until receiving a COVID-19 test on the sixth day. Travelers can complete the remainder of the quarantine period at home if they receive a negative test result.

Kiribati: The border is closed. Authorities allow cargo and humanitarian flights. Officials will authorize some repatriation flights, beginning with flights from countries and territories without COVID-19, in the coming weeks. Officials require all passengers to spend 14 days in a COVID-19-free country before entry and to produce a health clearance for COVID-19.

Marshall Islands: Inbound international travelers are banned. The government has suspended nonessential outbound air travel until further notice. Some US military personnel have entered with a three-week quarantine period. Authorities are requiring allowed citizens to quarantine at government facilities for 14 days on arrival, though some people may have to quarantine for up to 21 days if entering without authorization. Entry for fishing vessels from countries or territories with COVID-19 activity, cruise ships, and private ships remains suspended.

Nauru: Officials are allowing some essential international travel. Inbound passengers must spend 14 days in a designated safe country before entry; the designated countries include mostly Pacific countries, including Australia (except Victoria State), French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, among others. Arrivals must undergo checks for COVID-19 upon arrival, and quarantine for at least five days at a designated residence under health observation before release. All commercial maritime crew to remain at sea for 14 days and provide documentation 12 hours before arrival; authorities will conduct COVID-19 tests onboard vessels; ships can only enter the port after test results become available.

New Caledonia: Officials have extended travel restrictions through at least July 2021. Inbound international commercial flights remain suspended, though authorities will authorize some repatriation, freight, and medical transport flights. Some flights to Wallis and Futuna and France are operating. Foreign nationals remain banned from entry, except for those essential to the economy. Most returning residents have to quarantine for 14 days in government-run facilities; returning residents from Wallis and Futuna do not have to isolate. Officials will quarantine visitors displaying COVID-19 symptoms at a medical facility.

Niue: Most foreign nationals remained banned from entry; however, exceptions are in place for the children, spouses, and other dependents of Niue residents, as well as for diplomats and essential workers. Foreign nationals must quarantine in New Zealand for two weeks before travel. Officials are allowing weekly flights from Auckland, New Zealand, for repatriation and essential personnel; arrivals must quarantine for 14 days. Authorities continue to extend tourist visas for stranded foreign nationals at no cost.

Northern Mariana Islands: A state of public health emergency order is in effect. Most flights to the territory remain suspended. Officials are exempting inbound travelers from quarantine if they complete an online CNMI Mandatory Declaration Form at least three days before arrival, register to the Sara Alert Symptom Monitoring System, self-quarantine for 14 days, and consent to a COVID-19 test five days after arrival. Nonresidents have to provide documentation that they have taken a PCR test within six days prior to arrival; passengers who cannot provide proof must spend five to seven days in government-designated quarantine sites at their own cost and undergo testing before release.

Palau: International travel has officially resumed, though flights remain restricted. The government plans to allow at least two flights with the US per month, but entry will remain limited to available quarantine capabilities. Inbound travelers must self-quarantine at their place of origin for 10 days and take COVID-19 tests at the beginning of the self-quarantine period and within 72 hours before departure. International passengers must also apply for a quarantine certificate and book a quarantine facility in advance. Travelers must pay for quarantine in most cases. Authorized travelers must quarantine 14 days and agree to monitor and report their health for seven days beyond the quarantine period.

Samoa: In a state of emergency. The government has arranged repatriation flights via Los Angeles, Calif., US, and New Zealand. Returning travelers will need a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding the Samoa-bound flight and must isolate for 14 days after arrival. Travel to Samoa from American Samoa is possible with protocols, such as requiring passengers to provide evidence of their presence in American Samoa for 28 days before departure and a medical exam within 72 hours before boarding the Samoa-bound flight.

Solomon Islands: A state of public emergency remains in place through till 24 March 2021. International flights and cruise ships are banned, though some repatriation flights are occurring. People who can still enter the country have to quarantine for 14 days at designated sites upon arrival.

Tonga: Currently in a state of emergency. Cruise ships remain banned from docking. Foreign nationals remain banned from entering; Tongan citizens and emergency personnel can enter but must quarantine for two weeks.

Tuvalu: Inbound travelers are required to undergo 14-day quarantines before entering the country.

Vanuatu: A state of emergency remains in effect. Repatriation flights have resumed, but Vanuatuan citizens from designated high-risk countries are not allowed to enter until further notice. Travelers from low- and medium-risk locations can enter the country with a COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of departure. Officials have also reduced the quarantine period for arriving passengers to 14 days.

Wallis and Futuna: The border remains effectively closed, as passenger flights and ships remain banned.

Countries and territories will likely continue to adjust their response in the coming days and weeks, depending on COVID-19 activity within their borders and neighboring countries.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:30   #6
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

I forgot to state too that very few countries have specific rules for visiting pleasure cruisers. The rules are almost entirely based on people arriving by plane or for commercial boats and crew.

News too that the new variant raises the R factor by upwards of 0.7 will just underscore the need by officials to keep borders closed to non-citizens for most countries in my part of the world.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:41   #7
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Quote:
Originally Posted by Discovery 15797 View Post
Rather than hypotheticals, it's better to be very specific with your questions.

Yes, if you are a US citizen you can enter the US states at a designated port of entry. (US territories may have different rules in place.)

You are conflating the documentation/registration of a vessel, and the nationality of the owner & crew. Focus on your nationality, not the nation state under which the vessel is flagged (which is usually the same for private vessels).

Noonsite is a starting point only...it provides lots of links to the actual authorities that you would need to contact to ask specific questions to.

OK, thanks. Here is my question specifically: Can an American citizen, with a boat flagged in the Marshall Islands throw out an anchor in the Marshall Islands? It appears from the grantmc response that it is the CITIZENSHIP of the people on board, not the registration of the boat. I guess that means NO, I can not currently sail from Tahiti to the Marshall Islands....even though the Marshall Islands has a "special relationship" with the US, whereby Marshallese people can go to and work in the US.


I just thought that because of the "special relationship", combined with a US citizen and a Marshallese flag, may get some slack....but it seems this probably is not the case.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:43   #8
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
I forgot to state too that very few countries have specific rules for visiting pleasure cruisers. The rules are almost entirely based on people arriving by plane or for commercial boats and crew.

News too that the new variant raises the R factor by upwards of 0.7 will just underscore the need by officials to keep borders closed to non-citizens for most countries in my part of the world.

Thanks grantmc. Good information. Depressing, but good.
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Old 03-01-2021, 13:08   #9
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

grantmc -



Do you have an educated guess on anything other than Tahiti being open to US citizens currently? Or, any thoughts on time-frames of any countries opening? I have limited information on what's going on down there - I'm very far away right now, but should be in Tahiti in two weeks.
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Old 03-01-2021, 13:59   #10
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsfforsberg View Post
OK, thanks. Here is my question specifically: Can an American citizen, with a boat flagged in the Marshall Islands throw out an anchor in the Marshall Islands? It appears from the grantmc response that it is the CITIZENSHIP of the people on board, not the registration of the boat. I guess that means NO, I can not currently sail from Tahiti to the Marshall Islands....even though the Marshall Islands has a "special relationship" with the US, whereby Marshallese people can go to and work in the US.

I just thought that because of the "special relationship", combined with a US citizen and a Marshallese flag, may get some slack....but it seems this probably is not the case.
Honestly I don't know. But what I do know is that anyone can apply to the Marshall Islands and it's possible/probable you'll have a positive response. I know yachts with other than US citizens have received permission to travel by yacht to various US colonies, ie Northern Marianas, US Samoa etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsfforsberg View Post
grantmc -
Do you have an educated guess on anything other than Tahiti being open to US citizens currently? Or, any thoughts on time-frames of any countries opening? I have limited information on what's going on down there - I'm very far away right now, but should be in Tahiti in two weeks.
My feeling is not during 2021. The NZ Govt, for example, recently announced that the State funding for the current border restrictions, and quarantine costs is approved through till July 2022. Plus as above.

Fiji will likely be open after March via Blue Lanes again, but once you get there you're effectively stuck here. Also it will be limited to departure from certain countries (not sure which though).
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Old 03-01-2021, 15:33   #11
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

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So the wisest choice (in my view), and the reality of the South Pacific since April, is to remain in the country you are in. Do NOT get caught between borders. To aid foreigners caught because of covid most countries now have 'covid' visas allowing people to effectively remain until the end of the pandemic.
I think this is a message for anyone considering cruising in 2021
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Old 07-01-2021, 23:34   #12
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

We are in the Pacific Northwest and wanted to sail to Alaska last year. We couldn't because the Canadian borders were closed due to Covid. I wonder if they will open this year?
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Old 08-01-2021, 05:39   #13
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

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We are in the Pacific Northwest and wanted to sail to Alaska last year. We couldn't because the Canadian borders were closed due to Covid. I wonder if they will open this year?
I don't think this is an "if" but it definitely is a "when". The Canadian government plans to have the population vaccinated (well, the folks who want it) by the end of September. If this turns out to be the case, I would also be willing to wager the border restrictions will be lifted by then... likely only for those coming in who have also received the vaccine.
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Old 08-01-2021, 08:59   #14
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

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I don't think this is an "if" but it definitely is a "when". The Canadian government plans to have the population vaccinated (well, the folks who want it) by the end of September. If this turns out to be the case, I would also be willing to wager the border restrictions will be lifted by then... likely only for those coming in who have also received the vaccine.
But... those heading to Alaska often leave early, say May.

I am not convinced the border will reopen by then.

When it does open, it will be interesting to see under which requirements. Hopefully being vaccinated (both shots) will play a part, but testing&quarantine are possible.
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Old 08-01-2021, 09:16   #15
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Re: Covid Travel 2021

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But... those heading to Alaska often leave early, say May.

I am not convinced the border will reopen by then.

When it does open, it will be interesting to see under which requirements. Hopefully being vaccinated (both shots) will play a part, but testing&quarantine are possible.
I'm bracing for another lost cruising season as well. While I expect things will start to ease up with the vaccines rolling out, I'm beginning to doubt that borders will open early enough in 2021 to give us northerners much of a sailing season.

In my case, my boat is in Newfoundland, and they are still telling us 'come from aways' to Stay Away! I really don't see them changing this prematurely. Same goes for the international border.
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