Additional Covid 19 Measures for Your Health and Safety Onboard
As we return to blissful days sailing the Mediterranean, the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff are paramount. Feeling safe adds to our ability to explore, relax, experience the new and gives us the reassurance that we can have a great time. So as you get ready to set sail around picturesque islands, we want to make sure that you feel as safe (if not safer) onboard with us as you would at home or anywhere else at this time.
In order to ensure a safe and responsible return to the Mediterranean, we have reviewed all of our health and safety policies and are implementing new regulations that emphasise increased hygiene and sanitation on all of our sailing holidays. Our additional COVID-19 measures have been designed to ensure we meet and exceed the hygiene recommendations set out by the World Health Organization (WHO) and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Here’s how we are going to be ensuring a safe and responsible return to sailing in the Med this summer:
Daily swims in the ocean and afternoons lying in the sun on the the front of your catamaran will fill most of your days sailing in the Mediterranean. With no traceable cases from salt water, a steriliser in itself and scientific backing of much lower risk of transmission outdoors than indoors, being onboard a yacht in the sunshine is as good as it can get for low risk.
Your Sailing Crew
Chartering a whole yacht with your friends or family? No problem, your yacht is clean and sterile and yours for the week!
Booked a cabin or berth? We have a number of enhanced hygiene measures in place detailed in this policy. You should also feel assured that the safeguards put in place by the national health authorities ensure only those guests from low community transmission countries are welcomed to their countries and these are the guests you will be sharing your trip with. So those travelling with you are no more likely to have the virus than anyone in your home country.
Should the virus re-emerge anywhere and entry regulations be put in force, we will act quickly and follow the same protocols to prevent inbound travellers from any hot spot arriving on our trips.
Our yachts have always been rigorously cleaned and prepared for your arrival. For the time being, we have stepped up this standard with our cleaning companies. Additional measures for the industries enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures include:
- Disinfecting with ecologically friendly formula and disinfecting of the interior after the return of each charter and before cleaning staff enter the boat, as outlined by WHO and ECDC
- Disinfecting of all inside surfaces with disinfectant and mattresses/pillows/blankets sanitized between charters
- For each charter, a sanitized galley inventory set is placed in a sealed bag on the saloon table and sanitized bed linen is in a sealed bag on the beds. Beds with not be made up
- Used sets of snorkels and masks removed from all yachts
- There is a second disinfecting with ecologically friendly formula and disinfecting of the interior after cleaning is completed
- Finally, we disinfect the boat exterior and lockers including cushions
On arrival, your yacht will be as sterile and as clean a place as it’s humanly possible! The only bad news here is, for the time being, you will have to make up your own bed and bring your own snorkel as sharing sets will not be onboard.
Check-in & Arrival
As all of our check-in areas are located outdoors, we believe these areas to be very low-risk areas. A few minor changes we have made for the time being are:
- Observe the recommended social distancing guidelines in place (1.5m between groups)
- We will no longer accept cash payments for local currency. Local payments can be made before departure by card or at check-in by Chip and Pin.
- There will be no need to sign any disclaimers locally
Your Skipper and Crew
Along with your sailing crew and a sterile yacht, your skipper and our team are equally vital to ensure you are as safe or safer than at home.
Here is where we have made the decision to test test test. This achieves 2 important management steps:
- Before your arrival your skipper will have been tested for the “has it” test so you can be confident along with your clean yacht your skipper is not carrying the virus at the time of your charter. This allows them to perform their job which involves handling ropes, escorting you in dinghies, being in the communal space safe in the knowledge they are tested and virus free.
- Regular testing is a far quicker means of test and trace as it shows the emergence of a virus immediately, versus test and trace only being effective once someone becomes ill and this can easily be 7 days later. We will very quickly know if your skipper has developed symptoms to prevent contamination in future trips and keep the contact numbers to the absolute minimum.
You might be wondering what if it’s positive? In this highly unlikely event we will notify the regional authorities to get in contact with you and as appropriate to return to a yacht or apartment to quarantine with healthcare available in case of illness.
All of our staff are also given additional training on our revised hygiene protocols and enhanced Covid-19 awareness training for symptoms and transmission.
Alongside our prevention measures and ensuring you are as safe or safer onboard than at home is keeping things this way! There is not any heightened risk in any of our destinations of picking up the virus and bringing it on board. There are a few steps together we can take to even further reduce any risk onboard during your week with us and keeping you as safe or safer than at home. These are:
- Hand sanitizer at every instance you board the yacht (except after swimming). This is provided and communal at the boarding point.
- Increased cleaning frequency of each shared bathroom to 3 times a day and disinfectant available in each should you so wish.
- Increased cleaning of indoor and outdoor communal spaces, specifically before and after every meal and again late afternoon before evening drinks.
- Soap and communal hand sanitizer available in the saloon to be used frequently and specifically after any bathroom visit and before any galley use.
With the measures listed above we are confident that your sailing holiday is as safe or safer than being at home. You will only be asked to implement social distancing when ashore or mixing with other yachts.
One of our most enjoyable and important times onboard our catamarans are our shared mealtimes. This has always been a shared environment, but we know that some guests may not feel comfortable seated in close proximity during meal times. Therefore, on request, we will ensure multiple meal servings and plated meals are available, along with a takeaway option to eat in separate areas on the yacht. All yachts are equipped with at least two tables where meals can be enjoyed separately if you so wish.
Masks and Gloves
The WHO does not recommend wearing masks or gloves apart from the situations listed below. This means it is not a requirement onboard our yachts or ashore but feel free to do so if you so wish. You may need to wear a mask in the following instances:
- When using public transport or taxi’s certain countries may require a face covering to board
- At airports
- If at any time, you feel unwell with any Covid-19 symptom, our yacht medical equipment includes medical grade masks for everyone if required. You should make any suspected symptom known immediately and your skipper will supply a medical mask and implement the review phase which will go on to include testing for any suspect case.
In pursuit of enhanced hygiene standards, your skipper will be required to wear a mask and gloves when preparing and serving food.
All of the countries we visit in the Mediterranean have very low virus presence remaining and have already relaxed the majority of restrictions we have become used to due to Covid-19. Bars and restaurants are open, shops and cultural sites are open, and all of our activity providers from wine tasting to watersports are open as usual.
There are just a few adaptations to note that together we can keep your holiday as safe or safer than being at home. These include:
- Indoor bar areas may have a reduced capacity
- Socialising with other holidaymakers including those on other yachts should be socially distanced
- At restaurants, we ask that you either eat with your sailing crew or eat as your own subgroup and avoid joining other groups unless you remain 1.5m apart
- We ask that you take your own sanitizer to public spaces and continue the standard practice of frequent handwashing after touching or using public communal spaces as you do at home
- Wash your hands every time you reboard your catamaran
We already have an embedded quality control process for 3rd parties to ensure anyone we recommend has been checked by our staff and are compliant with safety measures as well as giving you a quality experience. Covid-19 compliance has simply been added to the checklist we carry out of each provider we use.
Please note, if we don’t recommend them, we may not have checked them but we are always gathering information on new great places discovered or the opposite to ensure we forewarn where possible of any issues,
If there is a Yacht Getaways flag flying you can be safe in the knowledge that the same protocols are being maintained onboard and there will be hand sanitizer available when boarding.
We do require social distancing of 1.5m to be maintained where practical, when onboard or mixing with guests of another yacht as we do when meeting other households at home. If this measure further relaxes in each host country we will likely further reduce this requirement.
We recommend that you avoid boarding yachts that are not associated with Yacht Getaways and may not have the same protocols keeping you safe in place and likewise maintain social distancing with other holidaymakers inline with the guidance above.
Our aim is to make sure your sailing holiday is as safe or safer than simply carrying on your normal life at home. As well as being a great week of sailing, exploring, meeting new people and in essence the same with a few adjustments.
You can be sure our environment onboard is as safe as possible and the small additional hygiene measures we have bought in are there to give you the assurance to carry on and have a great week!
A Quick Recap
- If you booked a cabin, you are sharing your yacht with low-risk country residents only
- Your skipper is tested before and after your trip
- Your yacht is sterile and deep cleaned to the highest standard
- You will have to make your beds this summer, we’re sorry!
- You will have to bring your own snorkeling equipment too
- Enhanced cleaning of the yacht during the week and a requirement to hand wash frequently
- Staff trained in hygiene and Covid-19 onboard processes
- All of our destinations are open as usual but some social distancing measures are required when mixing ashore or with other boats
- 3rd party checks in place
With these measures in place, we are confident that not only will your trip be as safe or safer than being at home, but that coming on a week sailing holiday and into a safe environment will allow you to have the same onboard experience of sunshine, swimming, and relaxing as any of our sailing trips – just with a little bit of common sense and good practice applied both onboard and ashore. All in all, your experience with us in the Mediterranean will be no different to being at home, except, you’ll be on a boat, relaxing in the sunshine, exploring the Mediterranean and having fantastic a week sailing!