How Marinas In Asia Are Handling Covid-19
Published: Friday, 27 March 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed international travel, left yacht yards standing silent, and decimated the tourism sector. Many marinas around Asia-Pacific do remain open, albeit with reduced facilities and limited berths. Read on to discover the measures being taken by marina managers to ensure the safety of members, guests and staff.
In light of a recent outbreak of imported cases of Covid-19, short-term visitors cannot currently transit through or enter Singapore. Citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who return to Singapore must observe a 14-day home quarantine.
One15 Marina, Sentosa Cove
The club has implemented a suite of precautionary measures. These measures include sanitisation of touchpoints, daily temperature checks for staff and guests, and requiring guests to make health and travel declarations.
All club events during April are cancelled. The Boaters’ Bar, Lobby Bar and Bar Nebula are all closed until April 30, while Latitude Bistro and Wok°15 Kitchen remain open as usual. All tables in restaurants have been spaced over a metre apart. The club’s sports facilities, infinity pool and gym remain open.
One15 is offering a 30-percent discount off all hotel room rates from June 1-July 31.
Raffles Marina, Tuas
“Our status is fluid, and changing in response to the need,” says Ray Parry, CEO at Raffles Marina. “Throughout, we will be complying with directives from relevant government authorities. These currently include ‘do not land’ notices for visiting yachts, so Raffles Marina will not be accommodating visiting yachts while this notice is in place.
“We also are encouraging our own boaters not to leave Singapore at present. Internally, the marina is practising temperature checks on all visitors and staff, enhanced cleaning regimes and safe-distancing measures are carried out throughout the club and marina.
“The club will amend all or any of these practices to meet the developing needs.”
As of March 25, Thailand has introduced an emergency decree barring all travel into the country via land, air and sea. Thai citizens, diplomats, foreigners with work permits and goods deliveries are exempt. All crew and passengers of any international boat arriving in Thailand must undergo an onboard health and quarantine check by health department officials.
Anyone on a boat that enters Thailand will need to display a medical certificate stating they have tested negative for Covid-19. They will also need to show evidence of insurance that includes cover for Covid-19 up to US$100,000.
Update: As of March 30, Phuket enters a lockdown that will last at least a month. Most transport to the island is banned, except for boats, cars and trucks providing essential goods and services.
Phuket Boat Lagoon
The marina is currently open as usual, although all arrivals to Phuket Boat Lagoon must make the necessary health and travel declarations.
The Hardstand Cafe has currently ceased sit-in dining, although its catering service and take-out dining options are available.
Phuket Boat Lagoon is offering discounts for boats on hardstand berths. Until June 30, there are discounts up to 50 percent for one-year and 30 percent for six-month hardstand bookings. In addition, there is a 50-percent discount on travel lift, power wash and cradle charges.
Phuket Boat Lagoon
Phuket Yacht Haven, Phuket
“The health and safety of our employees and customers remains our top priority,” says Phuket Yacht Haven management in a public statement. “We are committed to ensuring that the marina remains a safe and enjoyable place to be for the yachting community and marina guests. Together we can get through this and make a real difference in keeping our community safe. We greatly appreciate our customers’ patience as we manage through these challenging times to serve you.”
At Phuket Yacht Haven, guests can no longer dine in the restaurant or public areas and must take out any meals or drinks. The Deck restaurant is offering free delivery within the marina for food and groceries.
The marina is disinfecting all shared surfaces and has introduced hand sanitiser throughout the facility. The marina has implemented a strict social-distancing and hygiene policy for its staff and is conducting temperature checks for all staff and any new arrivals from land or sea.
To navigate the downturn, the marina is offering a 7-percent three-month berthing discount for all vessels from April-June, and a berthing discount of 10 percent from July-September. There is also a 30-percent discount for office, workshop, condo and storage rentals until June.
Phuket Yacht Haven
Port Takola, Krabi
General manager Matthew na Nagara says that Port Takola marina is following all government regulations. These include all arrivals to demonstrate a maritime health declaration, negative Covid-19 health certificate and proof of insurance up to US$100,000.
The marina has upped its cleaning regime and implemented a strict ‘no gathering’ rule on tenants to encourage social distancing. The marina is offering a delivery service for food and provisions. The marina cafe remains open but with limited opening hours, and cafe tables are now set two metres apart.
Only contractors and allowed visitors may currently enter through the marina gate.
Royal Phuket Marina, Phuket
“We have prepared ourselves to deal with the virus,” says marina manager Ben Mccrory. “We are cleaning the toilets, gangway railings and door handles more often with disinfection cleaning products.
“We have information signs up in the marina explaining the importance of cleaning your hands and ways to reduce the risk of getting the coronavirus.”
Mccrory says that the number of tourists coming to Phuket has dropped rapidly, with only around 200 people arriving into Phuket airport each day. “The coronavirus is having a big impact on the marina industry and tourism industry in Thailand,” he adds. “We all need to work together and share information to find a solution to combat the virus and get the global marina and tourism industries back to normal.”
The Speakeasy Yacht Club & Restaurant are temporarily closed until further notice.
Royal Phuket Marina
From March 25, Hong Kong has banned all foreign visitors from entry. Travellers from Macau, China and Taiwan will be barred if they have visited a foreign country in the previous 14 days, and will otherwise be required to complete a 14-day quarantine. Returning Hong Kong residents are also subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The Home Affairs Bureau has requested all private clubs to close their ‘sports and recreation’ facilities to assist in the fight against the epidemic. Such facilities include children’s playgrounds, saunas and steam rooms, jacuzzis, swimming pools, tennis courts and gyms.
A ban on public gatherings of groups of over four people comes into force on March 29 for 14 days.
Aberdeen Boat Club, Aberdeen
Following government advice, Aberdeen Boat Club has closed all dinghy and sailing activities, including training classes and pleasure sailing and all club boating activities, as well as all sporting and leisure facilities, changing rooms and function rooms.
The Middle Island and Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter sampan service are suspended, although private recreational use of member vessels remains a personal choice.
The Four Peaks Restaurant, Waglan Bar, Galley Coffee Shop and Middle Island Restaurant will remain open until further notice.
Aberdeen Marina Club, Aberdeen
The club is reminding guests to avoid visiting if either they or their family members have been outside of Hong Kong in the last two weeks, or if they have been in contact with someone who has. “Our best safeguard against COVID-19 is our commitment to social responsibility,” says general manager Edward Read in a statement to members.
Checkpoints have been set up at the entrance to the club car park and the lobby. All guests, including berth holders and guests going out boating, must have their temperature taken and sign a health declaration form before passing the checkpoints.
The club is encouraging all members to wear a mask and use hand sanitiser regularly.
“As we continue to navigate this fast-changing landscape, your support and understanding on these measures are much appreciated,” says Read. “The health, safety and well being of our members, guests and staff are at the forefront of every decision we make.”
Aberdeen Marina Club
Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club, Tuen Mun
“The club is asking for the cooperation and support of all members to help us manage the risks in the coming weeks arising from the large number of returnees coming from overseas,” says GCYCC management in a statement.
The club is requesting all members and guests who have recently returned from overseas, or been in contact with someone who has, to stay away from the club for at least 14 days. The club has also implemented a health and travel declaration and temperature screening checkpoint at entry, and is recommending visitors wear a face mask while at the club.
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Causeway Bay
As well as closing all of its recreational facilities and exercise areas, the club has suspended all organised rowing, paddling and sailing, including races, regattas, training and leisure activities. The club has also suspended all club and private functions.
There is currently no club sampan at Kellett Island. Members who want access to a boat on a mooring at Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter must access a private sampan from the Noon Day Gun. However, as there is no alternative available, members may use the club sampans at Middle Island and Shelter Cove to access their boats. Cranes will remain operational to facilitate boat repairs, but not for launching or retrieving class boats.
Everyone entering the club is subject to temperature checks and a health declaration, and all members aged five and above must carry their membership card at all times. No guests are permitted on club premises, and no unauthorised vessel may come alongside any pontoon.
Food and beverage facilities continue at all three clubhouses, but are now only available for members. Buffet service has been suspended, groups are limited to six per table, and distance has been increased between tables.
The club has arranged a drive-through takeaway service at Kellett Island and Shelter Cove. The Boatyard and Ship Shop remain open as usual.
“This is an incredibly important time for Hong Kong in the effort to control and minimise the effect and duration of the Covid-19 outbreak, and the club must play its part for the benefit of its members and of course, our staff,” says Commodore John Woo in a statement. “Please be assured that we remain fully committed to the ongoing safety of the club, its members, their guests, and of course all our staff.”
Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club
The Malaysian government has extended its Movement Control Order (MCO) until at least April 14, to help contain the spread of Covid-19. The order bars Malaysians from travelling overseas, and bars visitors from entering the country. All government and private premises, including marinas, are closed, aside from those deemed ‘essential services’. This list includes supermarkets and hotels.
Royal Langkawi Yacht Club, Langkawi
The marina is closed until April 14, under the MCO, although the marina office remains open from 9am-5pm.
The Royal Langkawi Yacht Club Hotel has been deemed an ‘essential service’ and is operating under controlled measures. The hotel is currently open to international guests, although they must adhere to Covid-19 protocols, including temperature checks. Current guests can continue to stay at the hotel until their check out date, or extend their stay if they wish.
The breakfast buffet has been suspended, and food service at Charlie’s Bar & Grill is available for take-out orders only.
Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi
Under the MCO, no boats can come in or out of the marina until April 14. All water activities are postponed. Families at the marina who need provisions can send out one representative to buy groceries for cooking.
The Philippines is now in a state of national emergency, and special measures have been implemented to curb the rapid spread of Covid-19. The main island of Luzon, which includes Manila, is under lockdown. An emergency bill signed on March 24 grants President Duterte the power to take over private utilities, including hospitals, businesses and ships, and use them in the government’s efforts to fight the outbreak.
Subic Bay Yacht Club, Subic Bay
Luzon is under lockdown, and Subic Bay Yacht Club is temporarily closing its facilities until April 12.
The club is not accepting new bookings, functions, events, yacht cruises or berthing. The restaurant Cambusa Bistro is no longer accepting walk-in guests, and all recreational facilities are closed.
“We are hopeful for your understanding… this action is in response to the president’s declaration of the Philippines under the State of Public Health Emergency,” the club said in a statement.