The Yachting sector in Dominica remains impacted by the effects of COVID 19. However, the sector has made significant economic contribution to the economy.
The sector has been closed since March 2020, due to Covid-19. Understandably, at the onset of the pandemic, a similar response was actioned by most (not all) destinations. As Government reconsiders reopening to the yachting sub-sector, a certain rebound is to be expected across both the superyacht and yacht cruiser markets. The increased interest and enquiries are considered early indicators.
Even with the risks of global travel, yachties are still very much interested in coming to experience rest and relaxation in Dominica. Many of them have been limited to other islands for the past months and have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of the sub-sector in Dominica. For example, the agents in Portsmouth jointly have recorded over 80 requests from all three categories of yachts from September to December 2020 (not including yacht companies which are monitoring and awaiting a reopening date). This would augur well for the many persons who depend on yachting for their livelihoods, but who have not been able to earn a decent living since March. Therefore, the reopening of the yachting sector would mark the opportunity to welcome more visitors to Dominica and give tourism an additional chance to make a meaningful contribution to GDP and livelihoods.
PROTCOLS FOR YACHTS WISHING TO TRAVEL TO DOMINICA
The following are the protocols proposed for travellers on yachts wishing to come to Dominica.
- TRAVEL PROTOCOLS FOR ENTRY INTO DOMINICA
General protocols and guidelines upon arrival:
- Travellers are required to wear face masks at all times during the arrival process up to and including disembarkation and leaving the port of entry.
- Travellers must observe physical distancing
- Travellers must practice good respiratory etiquette and personal sanitization
- Travellers must follow all instructions of health care staff and officials
- PROTOCOLS FOR PRE-ARRIVAL
Compulsory requirements for all arriving travellers
All travellers must:
- Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival in Dominica (website)at http://domcovid19.dominica.gov.dm/
- PROTOCOLS UPON ARRIVAL
- A Quarantine Zone will be established by DASPA in conjunction with the Police. Yachts will be required to remain in the Quarantine Zone for a duration as advised by the health authorities. While in the Quarantine Zone, vessels will be required to fly a colour-coded ‘quarantine flag’ to facilitate identification. A penalty for leaving the quarantine zone without medical clearance is set at $2,500.
- When a vessel is medically cleared, they will be allowed to move to the “cleared” area of the harbor as established by DASPA. This will facilitate identification of vessels within quarantine versus those which have been medically cleared. A flag will also be attached to those vessels.
- Captain of vessel will:
- proceed to berth at Cabrits Cruise Ship Berth, or moor or anchor in the Quarantine Zone
- await clearance and instructions to disembark from local authority.
- be required to sanitize hands at sanitization stations as directed;
- be required to undergo a health assessment to include a temperature check;
- be conveyed to Immigration for processing and to Customs for screening.
- Return to vessel.
Submission of confirmation of the health notification to travel for all passengers and crew, as well as Immigration and Customs clearance may be facilitated by the yacht agent.
- If the crew members / traveller on the vessel is coming from a country which fits into the low/medium/high risk protocol description and remaining in Port for a period longer than five (5) days, the crew member must be PCR tested, at their cost, on Day One (1) and return to their vessel for five (5) days of mandatory quarantine. Crew/traveller will be tested again on Day 5 and await their results on their vessel.
- If the results of the PCR test done on Day five is positive the crew member / traveller will be admitted to COVID isolation Unit until released by an authorized Health Professional. Hospital fees will apply.
- If the results of the PCR test done on Day five is negative the crew member / traveller will be deemed medically cleared at the discretion of Medical officials.
- Other protocols:
- No more than 30 vessels, at any given time, shall be allowed to dock
- Landing for all yachts shall be at Prince Rupert’s Bay only st Cabrits Cruise Ship Berth
- Pre-arrival protocols shall be required minimum 24-hours before arrival
- All travelers shall be required to remain in quarantine and shall be subjected to a 5-day PCR test as per existing protocols for Crew aboard vessels.
- Security and monitoring shall consist of DASPA, Coast Guard, Immigration, Customs, PAYS and a representative from the Yachting Association
- Everyone in quarantine shall be required to wear a wrist band to facilitate identification
- Data/Information is required for vessels to include particulars of identification, number of vessels in port and total number of visitors
- RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE YACHT AGENT:
- Completing the necessary training sessions by the DDA and EHD
- Monitoring and surveillance
- Informing the Primary Health Care Unit of incoming yachts at least five hours before arrival in order to assign staff to screening facility.
- Making the necessary arrangements for the guests to undergo PCR swab test and other health related checks.
- Logging in daily temperature checks and symptoms on the Ministry of Health Surveillance Database.
- Ensuring guest adheres to the protocols set out by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment.
- Reporting to the District Medical Officer and/or Hotline if guests are in breach of the protocols and/or goes on island unexpectedly.
- Ensuring that all guidelines are adhered to.