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French government shuts down St. Barts & other popular winter yacht charter vacation destinations over COVID

By Steve Mandaluff   4 February 2021

The French government has announced that the borders of its overseas territories have been closed indefinitely in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This includes those in the Caribbean and French Polynesia.

The Caribbean destinations affected by the ruling, which was put into place yesterday (Wednesday 3 February), are St. Barts, St Martin, Martinique and Guadeloupe. Only those with compelling reasons, including medical, professional or family reasons are allowed to travel to these destinations. Visitors currently on the islands will be able to leave within the next few days.

Luxury yachts in harbor, West Indies, Caribbean
Gustavia, St Barts

Local government in St. Barts has stressed it is working with the French government in an attempt to lift the ban as soon as possible, with Nils DuFau, president of the St. Barts tourism board, saying: "We are right now negotiating to ease the entry restriction and find an alternative solution. Our aim is to reopen the island’s borders as soon as possible.”

Similar restrictions have been placed on the islands that make up French Polynesia, which include Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea. This also follows in the wake of French authorities recently announcing new travel guidelines for yacht charters in the French Riviera. 

We will keep you up-to-date with news on both of these charter destinations and any other areas affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For more information you can also read our guide to coronavirus and charters.

For those who have already booked a yacht charter in the South Pacific or the Caribbean there are many non-French controlled territories that remain open and can still be visited, from the golden sands of the Bahamas to the enchanting archipelago of the US Virgin Islands, meaning you can still enjoy a truly wonderful yacht charter vacation.

To gain some inspiration we have prepared a series of Caribbean charter itineraries you can view.

For further advice and to make any changes to your itinerary please contact your yacht charter broker.


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