Marigot Bay Marina on the scenic Caribbean coast of Saint Lucia, reopened (July 15, 2020) as an official Port of Entry for yacht-based visitors to the island after more than three months of closure in the face of COVID-19.
The marina, nestled in a bay described as “the most beautiful in the Caribbean” by the novelist James A Michener, closed on March 27, 2020 as island authorities locked down borders to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Since then, staff at the marina have been working closely with the Ministry of Health and the Immigration and Customs Department to implement over 100 new operational and hygiene protocols to safeguard the health of both visitors and island residents.
Customs officers will be resuming their services today, while the Immigration Department and the St Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority office is also fully operational and includes a new port health office with a full time representative. A new nursing station has opened and is ready to receive patients as the need arises.
“Providing a safe and clean environment for our boaters and Marina Staff has always been a top priority for Marigot Bay Marina. Now more than ever, we remain committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness and want you to feel at ease when you berth with us,” said Marigot Marina Manager, Troy Blanchard.
“As we look forward to the future of yachting and cruising, we have implemented full-scale enhancements to our already stringent quality controls and health and safety measures. We have embarked on our newly activated CASE programme (Clean and Sanitize Everything) which provides ongoing, real-time guidance on the safety and well-being of associates and guests in the evolving COVID-19 world and beyond,” he said.
Although the Marigot Bay Marina experience may appear different in this new environment, Mr Blanchard said he and his team would continue to provide customised intuitive service with an even greater attention to detail for which they have become known.
The summer season is looking to be a robust one for the marina with a number of yachts and catamarans booked on berths from tomorrow through to the early autumn. Visiting yachts will still be able to enjoy high speed refueling, boat maintenance and cleaning, and provisioning services with just a few changes in how these services are delivered.
For now, restaurants in the bay remain closed, however, yacht-based visitors will be able to take advantage of “In Boat”, room service style dining delivered to their yachts when ordered in advance.
Marigot Bay Resort’s upper swimming pool is also open to Marina guests as are the shower and bathroom facilities in the Marina Village.
“We will continue to work towards providing the best service possible while at the same time ensuring the safety of our boaters and associates,” Mr Blanchard said.
The Marigot Bay Marina will continue to monitor and follow recommendations and guidelines from the local health authority, World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control.
Current guidelines divide visiting yachts into two distinct categories:
- Yachts travelling from within the “Travel Bubble”. These destinations currently include Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos;
- Yachts travelling from outside the ‘Travel Bubble”
All yachts arriving from within the “Travel Bubble” are exempt from the presentation of COVID-19 test results and are not required to quarantine on arrival. However, passengers on yachts arriving from countries outside the “Travel Bubble” must have a negative result from a PCR Test within 7 days of arrival and undergo 14-day quarantine upon arrival.