Well, we didn’t get kicked out, and the rules have changed yet again.
Antigua/Barbuda is now under a one week 24×7 lockdown. And, the latest news regarding cruisers is that all private boats are to stay where they were at the beginning of the lockdown. So, I suppose we are here for at least the next week.
We are hearing through friends that there are many more cases on Antigua than have been reported. This rumor makes sense when you consider the rapid increase in protective actions taken this week. Airports closing, ports closing, overnight curfews, and now 24×7 lockdowns. Not to mention the arrival of a group of Cuban doctors that specialize in dealing with viruses like Covid-19.
So, yes, we are less comfortable staying here than we were even a few days ago. BUT, where would we go that would be an improvement? There are only two possibilities available to us. We could head to the US Virgin Islands, or we can head for the US East Coast.
The Virgins are mobbed with US cruisers who have rushed back to US territory. Stores are mobbed. Anchorages are packed. Travel regulations are still relatively loose (e.g. the airport is open). And, St. Thomas is known to be a relatively dangerous place even in good times. Oh, and did I mention the 2 week quarantine onboard after arrival? This option does not appeal to me and that is unlikely to change unless one of us does get sick.
The US East Coast (specifically Charleston) is an attractive option only because it provides our stow away friend Kim a way to return home to her family. If we were to head that way now we would be arriving just as the experts have predicted the virus will be at its peak. Why would I want to trade our current minimal risk for that. Oh, and once again we’d be placed under a two week quarantine onboard. Also, I’m not even sure that I could check out of immigration/customs here if I did want to leave. The US might let us in without clearance papers, but Antigua would be very upset if we left without following their departure process.
So, here we sit and here we are likely to be for at least another week. Or, at least until the rules change again.
Take care of yourselves out there. We are far more worried about you than we are ourselves. Follow the rules and STAY HOME!