The World ARC round the world rally currently has boats sailing on routes across the Pacific and in the Atlantic. There is now a significant impact from COVID-19 health measures on air travel and social gatherings in many countries, plus restrictions and additional quarantine measure in place affecting arrival by boat and by air. World Cruising Club are committed to the health and welfare of our participants, and are working with our team in the field and with our local agents to ensure boats and crews can comply with rapidly changing requirements.
Where is it necessary to alter the rally route or itinerary, we are communicating these changes to skippers and crew directly. The route of the 2020 rally has already been altered, with the leg from Niue into Tonga now arriving into Tongatapu, rather than Vava’u. We continue to monitor the situation for the other island nations on the route of the first half of the 2020 rally.
Changes have also now been announced affecting non-EU citizens arriving into French Polynesia. The new rules require arriving non EU nationals to have a flight ticket to their home country and to provide a hard copy of the travel / medical insurance for each crew member, as medical coverage remains a condition of entry into French Polynesia.
In addition, it is becoming harder for those with planned crew changes, as more flight bans have been effected, impacting on all Europeans travelling via the USA.
The 2019 rally boats are arriving shortly into Grenada and will face additional quarantine measures on arrival. Although this is not expected to significantly affect the rally at this time.
As COVID-19, restrictions are constantly changing, we are advising crew to check all travel plans in advance of travel via government and airline websites. The World Cruising Club team in Cowes are also available to assist with advice.
Plans for 2021 rally are going ahead as it is anticipated that the public health emergency to have passed by then. However, it is likely to be late summer 2020 before we know what the long term affects are in ports on the route and will adjust our plans to suit.