Yachting News » Business » French Government Announces Easing of Restrictions in Nautical Sector

French Government Announces Easing of Restrictions in Nautical Sector

Following a Decree issued on 20 March 2020 concerning territorial waters, this week the French government has announced an easing of restrictions, allowing movement of certain vessels under certain conditions in the Mediterranean, valid from Monday 11th May, subject to further notice on 2nd June 2020.

See the full notice here: ARRETE PREFECTORAL N°062/2020

Regulating the Navigation of Ships and Maritime Activities in French Inland and Territorial Waters of the Mediterranean to Manage the 2019 Coronavirus Epidemic (COVID-19). 

Key points include:

Navigation - Navigation is authorized within a radius of 100km or 54 nautical miles from a vessel's home port.

Port calls - Port calls, mooring and anchoring of pleasure vessels with a French or foreign flag are authorized at a maximum distance of 54 nautical miles (100 km) from a vessel's home port.

Disembarkation - Disembarkation of passengers on land must respect the same land measures (100 km from home), except  in the case of an emergency.

Passengers - Pleasure vessels with a French or foreign flag must not carry more than 10 passengers.

Entry with French Flag - The captain of a pleasure vessel with a French flag arriving from a foreign port must declare their health status to the nearest semaphore.

Entry with Foreign Flags - Entry into French territorial waters of a vessel with a foreign flag from a port outside the Schengen area remains prohibited if the final destination is a port along the French coast. Continuous passage remains unaffected. 

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Today, Jean-Luc Annone, Président of ECOMER shares the following observations: 

  • The coronavirus has been found in the black and gray tanks of yachts in Italy.
  • Unlike yachts above 24m which are obliged to comply with regulations set out by the IMO (MARPOL), yachts under 24m discharge their black and gray water directly into the sea. This was raised in a recent Q&A with the founder of Wally Yachts, Luca Bassani who considers how the coronavirus is prompting innovation across the industry.
  • The Academy of Technologies calls for research funds to examine the presence of active SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater. No analysis has been done to date to know if the coronavirus is at sea.
  •  As a precaution, I therefore recommend that you refrain from swimming in the sea, especially not around a pleasure boat of less than 24m until analyses have been carried out. 

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