APS agent updates around Asia
Asia Pacific Superyachts provides an update on regulations for yachts and visitors wishing to enter the Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand and the Andaman Islands.
Asia Pacific Superyachts offers a network of agents across the region; Photos: C/O APS
Among Asia’s favoured cruising destinations, several have opened or been partially open during the Covid-19 pandemic. Following is a summary of information provided by Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS) agents working in the Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand and India’s Andaman Islands, submitted in early March.
Yachts have been visiting the Maldives for months and the country has kept its Covid-19 cases low. Mohamed Hameed, heading up APS Maldives, said clear in/out is as usual, with an additional health declaration form to be filled for each person. There is no quarantine for crew and guests on arrival or departure unless symptoms are found and people test positive. Visas for all the vessel’s crew are on arrival and a PCR test negative report from the last port of clearance will be accepted.
There are no such restrictions other than a 96-hour valid PCR test negative report on arrival by air. Cruising, diving, snorkelling, visiting private islands with bookings made in advance, fishing and
watersports in the atolls are all standard as usual.
Rihiveli Baby Island, Maldives
For day visits to resorts, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) formality is not required. However, if visitors wish to split their stay, they must contact the resort to ensure that HPA split-stay declaration formalities are completed at least 48hrs in advance. If a cruising permit is included for the area when the permit was awarded, yachts are allowed to visit these areas except for those protected within the Maldives.
Hameed said: “Up to now, 20 per cent of the country’s population, including expatriates, have been given the first dose of vaccine and we look forward to positive outcomes.”
There have been changes for yachts wanting to visit Indonesia. Captain Thomas Taatjes and Captain Jimmy Blee head up Asia Pacific Superyachts Indonesia, and Taatjes shared the status for visiting yachts.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
“While visa applications are closed are currently closed for the majority wishing to travel to Indonesia, there are special exemption visas that can be granted and APS has been successful in obtaining many of these visas for our clients. Yachts and their crew can enter with these visas and crew can also fly in.”
At present, yachts may apply to quarantine aboard in Thailand as the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has granted permission for overseas yachts to check into Thailand.
Gordon Fernandes of APS Phuket and Myanmar has reported that one superyacht has completed quarantine onboard, while Jojo Singmanee confirms that the Government has extended the STV (Long Stay Visa Program) for yachts and is working with officials on further reducing restrictions.
The Andaman Islands is still open for domestic tourists only, reports R Rathnam of APS Andaman Islands & India. Rathnam noted that although there were only a handful of active corona cases in the
Andamans recently, he couldn’t predict when the islands would be open for visiting superyachts and international tourists.
“The SOP for visiting yachts has been approved by the A&N Administration and the Port Management and now has provisions for the following: Procedure on Arrival, Procedure for Acceptance and Clearance, Inter Island Cruise-Procedures, Departure Procedures and other general information required of visiting yachts,” Rathnam said.
Narcondam, Andaman Islands, India
“The SOP will encourage more yachts and superyachts to visit the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, while also aiding in organising international events such as Sail the Andamans at the ‘end’ of Covid-19.”
For updates on restrictions, reopening, visas and quarantine procedures for the above destinations and others in Asia-Pacific, feel free to contact the owner-agent directly through the website.
– By Linda Cartlidge
Note: The original article appeared in Yacht Style Issue 58