What The Bahamas Shutdown Means For Boaters [COVID Protocol]

April 15, 2020 10:47 am

A breakdown of the Bahamas State Of Emergency and new protocol for yachts, boats, and charters in light of the coronavirus

If your boat is currently in Bahamian Waters, or you had plans to shelter in the Bahamas with your vessel, you will need to take action in light of the new protocols set in place for COVID-19. The Commonwealth of The Bahamas issued a statement on April 14, 2020 stating new protocols for the Bahamas, currently operating under a state of emergency, in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Until further notice, no boats are permitted to enter Bahamian Waters for any purpose without written consent of Competent Authority.

Protocol For Leaving The Bahamas

Foreign (Non-Bahamian) Boats are encouraged by the government to leave the Bahamas. If you are leaving the Bahamas to the United States or elsewhere, you must go directly to your destination without stopping.

Protocol For Foreign (Non-Bahamian) Boats Currently Docked In The Bahamas

There is a shelter-in-place protocol for all foreign boats currently in Bahamian Waters. This protocol means you must stay docked where you currently are, and avoid interpersonal contact with people ashore. If you’re currently onboard, you must stay onboard. If you’re currently ashore, you must remain ashore. If you need to replenish necessary supplies like food, you must request grocery delivery to your boat.

These mandates affect not only boaters, but the Bahamian marinas and resorts. For Romora Bay Resort and Marina, Managing Partner Joseph A. Dargavage notes that the hotel is closed and not taking any new guests. For long-term vessels that are currently docked at the marina with no crew on board, those vessels remain safe and secure.

What New Protocols Mean For Summer Season In The Bahamas

“We are blessed to have a Prime Minister who is a medical doctor; we are praying to recoup half the summer months. It depends not on the Bahamas, but on the U.S. The problem is that the U.S. has to be under control in order for the Bahamian regulations to be lifted, as the U.S. is our nearest border,” says Dargavage, V.P. of the Association of Bahamas Marinas (ABM).

Joseph A. Dargavage  Vice President of ABM
Joseph A. Dargavage
Vice President of ABM

“The marina owners in the Bahamas greatly appreciate not only all of our yachting clients from Florida and the United States, but also we have an amazing relationship with the charter brokers and yacht brokers,” Dargavage says, “We look forward to getting back on track with all of you.”

For a complete description of the protocols for boats, yachts, private craft, recreational craft, cruising in, plying in the waters of, or sheltering in the Bahamas or seeking to do so during the COVID-19 Shut-Down, see the official statement.

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