Antibes-based Riviera Yacht Support has been keeping yachts and crew up to date with all relevant information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic in the south of France. In the midst of a lockdown period, ports are currently closed for entry and departure and yacht crew are subject to the same restrictions of movement as the rest of the population.
“There is a curfew in place prohibiting all movement in Antibes between 10pm to 5am and movement during the day is only permitted for necessities, including shopping, medical reasons and exercise,” advises Campbell Cormack, sales and operations at Riviera Yacht Support. “Each time you go out, you have to fill out an official document and carry identification. There are police on the roads into Antibes monitoring traffic and checking where people are going.”
A decree regulating the navigation of ships and activities in internal and territorial French waters of the Mediterranean to deal with the coronavirus pandemic was issued on 20 March. It concerns all yachts, with special considerations for foreign-flagged yachts crossing French territorial waters and for yachts returning to their home port.
The decree designates that foreign-flagged yachts will not be authorised to anchor or stop along the French coasts, except for in cases of force majeure. French and foreign-flagged vessels subject to the prohibitions of the decree are authorised to return to their home port on the French Mediterranean coast, provided that they have made a prior declaration to the port authorities.
Many of the day-to-day yachting operations in the region are continuing as normal. “The courier companies are still operating and yachts are still receiving packages,” adds Cormack. “There are many yachts here and the crew on board have got maintenance to do, with chandleries and supply shops still open. Our office is manned by a staff member daily to ensure yachts are supported at this time, while following all government guidelines.”
As for the summer season ahead, and when restrictions might start being lifted, Cormack acknowledges that there is still a high level of uncertainty.
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