BVI Update - OPEN with Reduced Protocols for Vaccinated Visitors:

July 24, 2021 - Update Below to Protocol for Visitors traveling from the BVI to USVI

Updates: As of June 15th, groups of visitors who are all fully vaccinated (including groups with unvaccinated children under 18) will not be required to quarantine. Starting July 12th, all visitors will be given a rapid test on arrival. This is conveniently done at the port of entry in the BVI, either the airport or the ferry terminal.

Please note that face masks and sanitation are enforced in the local establishments, as well as maximum capacity limits.


Fully Vaccinated Visitors:
Travelers are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Moderna), or 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson.)

Fully vaccinated visitors are required to have a RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen COVID-19 test within 5 days of arrival, and receive a Travel Authorisation from the BVI Gateway. Groups of visitors who are all fully vaccinated (including groups with unvaccinated children under 18) will no longer have a quarantine period. The protocol fee has been reduced for vaccinated visitors to $85/person. Please see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

Unvaccinated Children Traveling with Vaccinated Adults:
Children under 5 remain exempt from the protocols.

Unvaccinated children between 5 and 17 years of are required to have a RT-PCR test (Rapid Antigen test is not accepted) within 5 days of arrival, and receive a Travel Authorisation from the BVI Gateway. In addition to the arrival test, unvaccinated children will be given a COVID-19 on Day 4 (by appointment). They must always be accompanied by the vaccinated adults until the Day 4 test results are received as negative. The protocol fee for unvaccinated children is $175/person. Please see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

Mixed Groups of Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Adults:
Everyone has to follow the unvaccinated visitors protocol of quarantining on board (visiting approved sites) for 7 days. Please see the testing requirements for vaccinated visitors and unvaccinated adults in the respective sections. Also see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

Partially Vaccinated Adults:
Partially vaccinated means that person has received one dose of a two-dose vaccine, or that the final vaccine dose was administered less than 2 weeks before arriving.

Partially vaccinated adults need a negative RT-PCR test (Rapid Antigen test is not accepted) 5 days or less before arrival in the BVI, receive Travel Authorisation from the BVI Gateway and will be given a COVID-19 test upon arrival. They will be required to quarantine onboard for 4 days, visiting the 14 Approved Mooring Sites and 3 Approved Anchorage Sites. An additional COVID-19 test is required on Day 4 (by appointment), and after receiving negative test results the quarantine period is completed and visitors may freely move around the BVI. The protocol fee for partially vaccinated adults is $175/person. Please see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

Unvaccinated Adults:
Unvaccinated adults need a negative RT-PCR test (Rapid Antigen test is not accepted) 5 days or less before arrival in the BVI, receive Travel Authorisation from the BVI Gateway and will be given a COVID-19 test upon arrival. These visitors, and groups containing unvaccinated adults, will quarantine on board for 10 days and can visit the 14 Approved Mooring Sites and 3 Approved Anchorage Sites. An additional COVID-19 test is required for the unvaccinated adults on Day 10 (by appointment), and after receiving negative test results the quarantine period is completed and visitors may freely move around the BVI.  Please see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers:
Everyone must have a departure COVID-19 test to meet the requirements of their intended destination. For visitors that have to take a test mid-charter, that test may meet their departure test requirements. For groups of fully vaccinated visitors who are not required to have tests to meet the BVI protocol, they will need to have a COVID-19 test prior to departure.

For a departure from the BVI by plane (Beef Island Airport) to Puerto Rico, a negative COVID-19 test no more than 3 days in advance is required by the CDC to enter the US. The results will be required to obtain your boarding pass at the airport.

Starting July 19th - Travel From the BVI to the USVI:
To travel to the USVI from the BVI (by ferry / water taxi or plane), a negative PCR COVID-19 or Rapid Antigen test taken within 48 hours of BVI departure. (July 24th update excludes a positive antibody test from being accepted.) You will need to make an appointment at a BVI testing location.
Once your test result is received, you must upload your results and get travel approval at USVI Travel Portal.

Test Appointments in the BVI: The British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) is the authority responsible for COVID-19 testing in the BVI. It is recommended to make your appointments a week in advance and it is essential to arrive on time for your test. The BVIHSA recommends emailing a request for appointment form to CovidRRT@bvihsa.vg at least one week in advance of departure. You can also make an appointment by calling the desired testing location directly.

The following are the COVID-19 testing sites in the Territory:


Alternative Self-Test Option: This option is only available for the pre-departure test requirement to enter the US. This test option is not available to meet the Day 4 test for unvaccinated children and partially vaccinated adults, nor for the Day 7 test for unvaccinated adults - all of the tests to meet BVI testing requirements must be done at a BVI testing center.

For the test requirement to return to the US, a BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag CARD 2 HOME TEST KIT (not the BinaxNow Antigen Test) which is administered by yourself during a telehealth video call has been approved. These tests are not available for purchase in the BVI - you need to bring them with you, have the app downloaded on your devices and be sure you understand how to arrange a telehealth appointment to administer the tests. See FDA Information and See CDC Requirements

If you are departing the BVI by plane, you must show your results when you check in for your flight.
If you are departing the BVI by ferry / water taxi, you must upload your results and get travel approval at USVI Travel Portal.

Connecting Flights in Puerto Rico (SJU):
People with a connecting flight in PR to the Virgin Islands do not need to adhere to the PR entry requirements. Those requirements are only for people staying in PR. For a return flight from Tortola to PR, see Departure Testing Requirements for All Travelers below.

St. Thomas / Tortola Ferry:
Reservations are required. Starting May 27, 2021 the ferry schedule is increased to 2 ferries each route and passenger capacity increased to 65 per ferry. Schedules and arrival / departure guides can be reviewed at: BVI Reopening.

USVI Update - OPEN:
With successful reopening to visitors, the US Virgin Islands is back into the swing of chartering and clients are having a great time! Whether you are interested in lots of snorkeling, scuba diving, eating ashore, hiking or just relaxing, our team will help you plan an itinerary that meets your expectations! Travel to the USVI requires a negative COVID-19 test within 5 days of travel and online portal forms prior to travel. More information can be found here

The CDC requirement to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States DOES NOT apply to flights from St. Thomas to continental US.


Bahamas Update - OPEN with Reduced Protocols for Vaccinated Visitors

Protocol Updated April 21, 2021: Starting May 1, 2021, instead of a COVID-19 test, Bahamas is now accepting proof of full COVID-19 vaccination received at least 2 weeks prior to arrival. 

Two great Bahamas cruising areas to choose from: the Abacos and Nassau. If you are not vaccinated, you will need a negative COVID-19 test within 5 days of travel, online health visa approval prior to travel, and a rapid test on day 5. Clients are reporting absolutely beautiful scenery! More information can be found here

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.

Belize Update - OPEN with Reduced Protocols for Vaccinated Visitors:
Protocol Updated March 9, 2021: Instead of a COVID-19 test, Belize is now accepting proof of full COVID-19 vaccination received at least 2 weeks prior to arrival. 

Otherwise, either a RT-PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel or a Rapid Test taken within 48 hours of travel is required. Additionally, prior to arrival you must download Belize Health App and complete the required information within 72 hours of your flight. You will then receive a QR code with a unique ID to travel within the Tourism Safe Corridor. A negative test within 72 hours will allow you entry. More information can be found here.

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.

Antigua Update - OPEN:
Antigua was one of the first Caribbean islands that welcomed back visitors in the summer of 2020, and the curfew was lessened in April 2021 to 11pm to 5am. Travel to Antigua requires a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 7 days of travel and online portal forms prior to travel. Children younger than 12 years old are exempt from testing. A 4-day quarantine on board may be required, based on the local health authority's discretion, which means not visiting restaurants and bars. More information can be found here

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.


St. Martin / Sint Maarten Update - OPEN:
Protocol Updated April 15, 2021: St. Martin is welcoming visitors into Princess Juliana Airport. Travel to the St. Maarten requires a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours (3 days) of travel, Health Authorization Form and Visitor Protection Plan. Children younger than 10 years old are exempt from testing. Some Rapid Antigen tests performed within 48 hours of departure are accepted - More information can be found here

Charterers are allowed to sail between French St. Martin and St. Barths (French territory) without an additional COVID-19 test and can fill a one week charter. A letter for pre-approval to go ashore in St. Barths is required. Dutch St. Martin can be visited from St. Barths without an additional test, but to return the yacht to the marina (French St. Martin) requires an additional test. For bareboaters, it is recommended to stay in French St. Martin and St. Barths.

Anguilla is currently closed to visitors.

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.


Puerto Rico Update - OPEN:
Puerto Rico is open to visitors. There are no restrictions on where you can sail - public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distances guidelines. Restaurants are open at 30% capacity, bars are closed and there is a curfew from 10pm to 5am. Travelers staying in Puerto Rico for more than 24 hours must have a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test within 72 hours (3 days) of arrival and online Travel Declaration Form completed prior to travel. Children younger than 3 years old are exempt from testing - More information can be found here

The CDC requirement to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States DOES NOT apply to flights from Puerto Rico to continental US.

Greece Update: OPEN

Updated April 19, 2021: USA residents are exempt from quarantine restrictions if they present: 1. Negative RT-PCR test taken up to 72 hours before arrival, or 2. Certificate of vaccination, in English, issued by a public authority and provided that the vaccination was completed at least 14 days before arrival to Greece. For all details, see Greece COVID-19 Protocols.

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.

Croatia Update: OPEN

Updated April 19, 2021: USA residents are permitted entry into Croatia under the approved category of Tourism. Visitors must evidence their charter reservation is paid in full, and must either have a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival, certificate of vaccination more than 14 days of arrival, proof of recovery from COVID-19 or accept COVID-19 testing on arrival with self-isolation until receiving a negative test result. For all details, see Croatia COVID-19 Protocols.

The CDC requires you to have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of returning to the United States.

Tahiti Update:
May 1, 2021 visitors from the USA will be permitted in Tahiti with a 10 day quarantine period on arrival. They will need a negative RT-PCR test within 3 days of air departure, plus health registration, certificate of derogatory travel and declaration of honor completed in advance of travel. See Full Tahiti Travel Details

Martinique Update:
Visitors to Martinique are required to quarantine for 14 days.

St. Lucia Update:
Visitors to St. Lucia are required to quarantine for 14 days.

St. Vincent Update:
Visitors to St. Vincent & the Grenadines are required to quarantine for 14 days.

Grenada Update:
Visitors to Grenada are required to quarantine for 7 days.

Thailand Update:
Visitors to Thailand are required to quarantine for 10 days. (Reduced April 1, 2021 from 14 days.

Why Choose a Sailing Vacation During a Pandemic: 

There are numerous reasons to consider a yacht charter at this time:

There is no doubt that yacht charters are affected by Coronavirus. COVID-19 has created uncertainty and disruption to spring and summer travel plans for many charterers but when you decide to vacation again, yacht charters are one the safest vacations. 

  • Limited Contact with Crowds

A yacht charter provides the best privacy and seclusion. Once you are on board, there is limited contact with crowds. You are literally in your own space with just your family and friends (and the crew members on a crewed yacht.)

Enjoy socially distanced activities such as water toys, games on board, and snorkeling. Protect the fish and yourself, wear a snorkel mask!

The precautionary measures when you're traveling and at your destination are the same as when you're in your own city. You'll wear a face mask while traveling and at the marina (not on board the yacht), and wash or sanitize your hands frequently. 

  • Cleanliness and Hygiene 

Staff and yacht crews work hard to sanitize and clean the boat prior to your arrival. This includes sanitizing all bedrooms/bathrooms, deck spaces, and dining areas. 

When possible, our partners are offering virtual check-ins and briefings for a contactless experience. Distancing protocols will be followed for any contact that cannot be eliminated. 

Additional time is being scheduled to turn around yachts between charters. During this time, yachts will be cleaned as usual, but will also be sanitized and disinfected.

Yacht chartering will only resume when COVID-19 risks can be minimized to the lowest possible levels with safety protocols in place.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Below is a list of answers to some of the most immediate questions you may have. 

How is Virgin Island Sailing® Responding to Coronavirus? 

Transparency and responsibility are some of the cornerstones of Virgin Island Sailing®.

We are actively participating in hospitality meetings and providing feedback for governments, especially the BVI, to consider in their safety protocols and decisions.

We are taking the initiative to inform clients of deadlines to cancel with a refund in case their personal situation changes or doesn't allow them the flexibility to wait out reopening. You will not find any other company willing to take this step because it means we may lose profits, but we believe it's the right thing to do.

What If the Borders Are Closed for My Charter?

The short answer is that you will be able to reschedule your charter. 

Unless your charter agreement says otherwise, there is no fee to reschedule. You will need to pay for the increase of charter fee if you change to a higher season time frame. In that situation, we would do our best to offer you the lowest charter fee.

We are actively contacting customers whose charter is affected by COVID-19. If you are concerned about your dates, feel free to contact our Charter Experts at (800) 382-9666.

Will the Restaurants & Bars Survive the COVID-19 Shutdown?

We don't yet know if any businesses will not survive the shutdown, but most have already reopened for local business, and they’ll be ready for you! Unfortunately, we know that the drastic decrease of income means the people are struggling. The good news is that most restaurants and bars in the Caribbean only have overhead proportioned to their sales. There are not a lot of businesses that are leasing the land or buildings; instead, many businesses operate on property owned by their family for generations ... a bit different than in the United States. Plus, some of the most beloved establishments are literally a wooden bar and sand floor! We know our friends are struggling right now, but they'll be open and welcoming visitors with their warm smiles and cold drinks!

Can I Book a Charter Now?

Yes! Because of the many rescheduled charters, it’s crucial to make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure availability. 

For the countries that are in a phased reopening, but not yet open to visitors – we are gladly taking reservations for November and after. For the destinations listed above, we can make a last minute reservation, as well as a future reservation.

Virgin Island Sailing® is happy to discuss any COVID-19 risks with making a reservation now and will ensure you are fully aware of your options for cancelling or rescheduling.

The islands are calling...

 

Important Links

For current travel advisories, please visit:

The Ultimate Cruisers Planning Tool

Travel.State.Gov


Virgin Island Sailing® 
17037 Palamino Lake Drive
Dade City FL 33523
Phone: (800) 382-9666 • (941) 966-9387
Email: charters@visailing.com