(PRESS RELEASE) — The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) in collaboration with Events Company of Saint Lucia Inc. (ECSL), guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, will welcome the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC and ARC+) 2020 fleets to Saint Lucia in early December.
Observing a very different rally this year, the fleet will set sail within the realms of COVID-19 secure protocols, geared at ensuring the health and wellbeing of staff, participants, and stakeholders at the forefront of the event.
Saint Lucia has been home to ARC and ARC+ for over 30 years. This year’s edition will be recognized as the first major national event amid the Coronavirus pandemic. A combined 134 nationalities are participating in the 31st edition of ARC and ARC+ and of the 454 crewmembers expected to make landfall on Saint Lucia, 37 are children.
An expected 26 vessels participating in the ARC+ will depart Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday November 8, sailing to Mindelo, Sao Vincente, Cape Verde for a 3 to 5-day stopover, prior to setting sail to Saint Lucia on November 19.
The ARC fleet of approximately 60 boats will start their Atlantic adventure on Sunday 22 November, departing from the same location, but sailing directly to Saint Lucia.
Observing the COVID-19 protocols outlined by the Health Authorities and with the eminent arrival of the fleets, the following are some of the mandatory Health and Safety Protocols that all participants must adhere to:
Arrive in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria no less than one week prior to departure.
Undertake the necessary Covid-19 PCR testing and remain in isolation until departure.
Participate in mandatory virtual briefings on Saint Lucia’s strictly enforced protocols, ahead of departure.
Mandatory health screening upon arrival in Saint Lucia.
Wearing of wristbands to differentiate non-quarantine participants from those cleared for movement by Port Health.
Daily Health screening while in quarantine.
Sailors will be required to reside only on their vessels or at a COVID-19 Certified property throughout the duration of their stay if they have not met the quarantine period.
Additionally, individuals aboard all vessels arriving in Saint Lucia ahead of a 14-day sailing period from the point of departure in Las Palmas, will be required to quarantine aboard the vessel at anchor, on the Quarantine Dock at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina or at a COVID-19 Certified Hotel until the mandated quarantine period has elapsed.
Once signed off by the Port Health Office, after the 14-day quarantine, the participants may return to the vessel.
Individuals on vessels arriving at night must remain on board until the following morning when they will undergo the mandatory checks and clearance by Port Health.
All vessels will be moored on their own dock in an offset pattern which will ensure vessels remain a minimum of 15 feet apart.
All passengers and crew onboard vessels must always wear face masks once outside the cabin of their vessel.
Given that the quarantine period for ARC events will be observed with a minimum of 14 days, COVID-19 PCR testing upon arrival in Saint Lucia will be conducted as necessary and as determined by Port Health Authorities.
Security will be available 24 hours daily to ensure all rules and protocols of Saint Lucia are followed and sailors and crewmembers are reminded that the violation of the quarantine act is an offence and punishable by fines or prison.
In light of the stringent COVID 19 protocols being observed in Saint Lucia Events Company of Saint Lucia is working closely with its partners SLTA and WCC to develop an events and activities program that falls in line with COVID-19 Health Protocols while ensuring that the experience for the participants in ARC and ARC + 2020 is both enjoyable and memorable.
“COVID-19 has truly changed the way we exist and unlike previous years, the 2020 edition of ARC and ARC+ events will be scaled back to ensure the observance of all protocols. We commend the team at World Cruising Club for their courage and thank them for choosing Saint Lucia yet again, as home for the annual event. Said Tourism Minister – Honorable Dominic Fedee. “The decision to host the event this year speaks to the ethos of our people and their continued commitment to such a world-renowned event. At every juncture, the organizers will be guided by the Ministry of Health and Wellness as the aim is to ensure a safe experience for all.”
Events Saint Lucia (ECSL) which has the responsibility for executing on-the-ground events for the ARC and ARC+ participants shared a similar sentiment as expressed by CEO, Lorraine Sidonie. “We aim to strike some kind of balance, understanding that while this pandemic has forced us to impose health regulations that would otherwise have not been necessary for our events, it has also afforded us the opportunity to RETHINK EVENTS, to become even more creative and innovative in our quest to ensure that our patrons are entertained during their stay with us. We have prepared an events lineup that employs heavy use of technology as well as social media to engage this audience. All gatherings will be in keeping with the COVID 19 Protocols for the established period. We look forward to welcoming ARC and ARC + participants for 2020”.
Despite struggles to navigate through this world crisis, sponsors have once again pledged their full commitment to the ARC events, expressing that the protocols which include a three-week quarantine period are likely to make this, one of the safest events to date.
“Director for the World Cruising Club- Andrew Bishop noted; “As we coexist with COVID-19 and respect the protocols outlined, this leg of ARC contributes significantly to the success of the World Cruising Club events calendar. Saint Lucia is a hospitable destination and there is absolutely no doubt that that our partnerships with IGY Marina, and sponsors are invaluable to the overall success of ARC 2020. We especially thank ECSL and SLTA for providing the critical logistical, operational, marketing support and Promotion of the overall event year after year.”
The ARC and ARC+ events will once again culminate at its home base for the last thirty-one (31) years, at the IGY Rodney Bay Marina.