Important information COVID-19

March 19, 2020 by Sharron Beck

Here you will find all the essential information island by island. Last update : September 29th, 2022


Here is a short recap on the situation in Panama, provided by our member, Shelter Bay Marina (SBM) on June 4th, 2021 :

Panama is after the US the most open destination in the Americas, its safe and has a very aggressive follow up and testing  program.  Very good medical facilities which expanded to meet the pandemic and have never been overwhelmed, ICUs are less than 50% occupied. It also has the inexpensive cruising vessel regulations and indefinite length of stay.  Marinas are at about 50 % of capacity, fuel and provisions are at the best price in the Caribbean, service and parts are readily available.

  1. A QUICK COVID test on arrival, test negative (wait about 24 hours for results) proceed to the docks and the country. Universal wearing of masks, temperature taken everywhere, lots of disinfectant everywhere you go. Most business are open, bars and restaurants limited capacity.  A 14-day quarantine applies if you fail the test.
  2. All vessels are allowed to come into Panama without any issue, vessels coming from South America and Colombia have different protocols.
  3. Once you arrive, vessel goes to the Quarantine slip.
  4. We get lab to visit at your slip and do the test, results back usually in 2 hours, $75.00 per person if negative you are granted access to the country.
  5. Vessels from South America, PCR test before departure, Quick Antigen test upon arrival, 3 day quarantine, additional test to be done after the 3 days, if all negative you are granted access to Panama.
  6. Arrival of vessel documents and passport stamp can be arranged at SBM.
  7. The airport is open with scheduled flights to Europe and the Americas.
  8. Recreational boating open, although some restrictions may apply as local government’s implement the rules.
  9. Masks and social distancing required in all facilities.
  10. San Blas is closed.
  11. CAUTION COVID TESTING on arrival is not available at all ports of entry. Check with the port prior to arrival.

2/ Panama Canal (ACP)

  1. Operating as usual.  Back to their typical process.
  2. Crossings happening likely 3 days after you get measured, night in Gatun or 24 hour crossing is the one option available, like PreCovid times.

3/ Leaving Panama

Zarpes being issued with no problem, need to have:

  • Panama Cruising Permit.

4/ Curfew

  • Gone for now could be reintroduced if cases increase

5/ Vessel Movement : From port to port open

6/ Airport is open COVID test negative 48 hours prior to departure or COVID test at the Airport $ 50. If you test positive 14 days in a hotel at your expense.

If you have any questions or specific case, our member Shelter Bay Marina will be pleased to assist.

French Polynesia

Conditions of access to French Polynesia by sea pleasure boats

Conditions of access to French Polynesia by sea:

Pleasure boats are authorised to enter French Polynesia when they meet one of the following conditions:

– Travel for compelling personal, family or business reasons that cannot be postponed.

– Call related to an obligation to repair, supply or refuel the ship. – All passengers and crew are fully vaccinated;

-Favourable health advisory issued by the Manava platform (for vessels of 5 persons or more) or vaccination certificates to be sent to the French State departments before departure.

  • Possible points of entry: Tahiti, Nuku Hiva, Rikitea (RT-PCR tests may only be carried out in Tahiti)

Download the COVID-19 Arrival in French Polynesia by sea flyer


Find the updated Entry and Stay conditions hereafter and on our website : Please note that they are subject to modifications



Tonga has officially re-opened borders for visiting yachts

The only restriction that remains in place is that visitors must be fully vaccinated or if they have a medical exemption it must be provided to The Ministry of Health prior to travel.

More details:



Download the official arrival plan for Fiji with the application and quarantine procedure.
Fiji’s maritime borders are now open,  please follow the rules and don’t ruin it for everyone.

  • You must have an AIS that is always on during your crossing.
  • Enjoy the Fijian hospitality and always be respectful for everyone that lives in this amazing country!

Most of the clearance requirements are relatively the same as previously, however there are some important changes:

  1. You need to have a negative Covid-19 test result and leave your current destination within 48 hours after receiving it.
  2. You must use the services of an approved Yacht agent
  3. You will need to undergo 14 days of quarantine, however the “time at sea” counts towards that 14 days.
  4. Once you have been checked by the Ministry of Health and there is no signs of Covid-19, you are then cleared by the relevant authorities and you are free to enjoy all of  Fiji for the next 18 months.

Fiji Registered agents are:

  • Seal Superyachts
    • Chase Smith
    • Phone: (679) 9996556
    • Email:
  • Yacht Partners
    • Josephine Morris
    • Phone: (679) 9927986
    • Email:
  • Yacht Help
    • David Jamieson
    • Phone: (679) 7505000
    • Email:

New Caledonia

The territory of New Caledonia is Covid free.

Foreigners are not authorized to arrive in New Caledonia, borders remain closed at least until december 2021. Pleasure craft are not allowed to stop over, except if they have a permission granted by the Haut Commissariat.

If a pleasure vessel has to stop for distress reasons or compelling needs, the procedure is to contact MRCC on arrival, the only authorized entry port is Port Moselle in Noumea.

Check information at the maritime affairs website, and have access to the full procedure :

A compulsory quarantine of 14 days in a hotel is in effect for all passengers arriving on a yacht.

More Information is also available on Port Moselle website.

New Zealand

COVID-19 update from the New Zealand Government

31 Aug , 2022



Once again we are preparing for the summer arrivals of recreational vessels, yachts and small craft into New Zealand. This year will look quite different, with less COVID-19 restrictions in place and with the maritime border having reopened to foreign flagged recreational vessels, yachts and small craft.

We can now confirm with you that these vessels will once again be able to arrive at seven ports and marinas in New Zealand from 11.59pm, 31 August 2022.

Since 2020, arrivals have been restricted to entering New Zealand via Opua in the Bay of Islands so that COVID-19 restrictions could be managed effectively to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The ports/marinas that vessels can arrive at from 31 August are:

  • Opua
  • Whangarei
  • Auckland (Westhaven marina)
  • Auckland Harbour Viaduct marina and Silo Park marina
  • Tauranga (Vessel works precinct)
  • Picton
  • Lyttelton

Pre-COVID-19, these seven ports were authorised for arrivals of recreational vessels, yachts and small craft. All seven ports and marinas are Customs Controlled Areas (CCA’s) and Places of First Arrival (PoFA) for MPI.

Some health requirements remain in place for arrivals on these vessels as described in theMaritime Border Order:

  • Passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated, exempt, or excused for medical reasons before arriving in New Zealand.
  • Passengers and crew will be required to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or exemption to New Zealand Customs on their arrival
  • If passengers or crew test positive for COVID-19 while in New Zealand, they will need to self-isolate for 7 days on board. On a recreational vessel, yacht or small craft, everyone on board the same vessel as someone testing positive for COVID-19 is considered a ‘household contact,’ and must self-isolate on board for 7 days.
  • The master of the vessel must complete mandatory documentation and send this to Customs before arrival in New Zealand including the Extended Notice of Arrival (ENA) and Advance Notice of Arrival (ANA).
  • Passengers and crew on these vessels are no longer required to test or isolate on arrival unless they are unwell and test positive for COVID-19.

For more information about travelling to New Zealand on a recreational vessel, yacht or small craft including mandatory documentation visit | Recreational vessels, yachts and small craft

For more information about vaccination requirements to travel to New Zealand | Vaccination requirements to travel to NZ

If you have any queries please email

Wallis & Futuna

The islands of Wallis and Futuna are still Covid free.
Given the current sanitary crisis, access to the waters of Wallis and Futuna is prohibited to recreational yachters until further notice.

Specific authorizations may be granted to yachters presenting a situation of distress, damage, or any other subject to the appreciation of the local authorities. In this context, people must comply with the sanitary prescriptions ordered by the medical teams of the Health Agency, in particular any containment measure.

By air, only passengers coming from New Caledonia are allowed to travel freely, without any specific health protocol.
Passengers wishing to come from the mainland France or any other country must contact the Public Information Unit (CIP) of the Prefecture:

Any request to enter the Territory from mainland France must be the subject of a compelling medical, family or professional reason, backed with supporting documentation. Travelers whose requests have been accepted will have to follow a strict sanitary protocol prior to their trip, as well as upon arrival.


Galapagos is 100% open to yachts and visitors.

No restrictions, no extra requirements. Only the vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test.

For further information, do not hesitate to email our partner Yacht Agent, M. Javier Plúa Rizzo:


Office: +593 53 014 958

Mobile: +593 987 229 577


Galápagos islands – Ecuador