The Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Island, GSGSSI is committed to facilitating visits without compromising the high standards in safety and environmental protection. The GSGSSI website now includes the latest information and details of the upcoming 2021/22 tourism season.
South Georgia remains free from COVID-19 and will be taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. The mitigation measures created last season have been updated, but stand largely unchanged.
The main mechanism being the three-part health declaration which is in place to ensure vessels are risk assessed before arrival into the Maritime Zone, again before landing at Grytviken and a third element ensures that contact tracing is achieved should anybody test positive for COVID-19 in the 14 days following embarkation.
For vessels not coming into direct contact with station personnel, there is no mandate for quarantine or vaccination, but the information provided in the health declaration will inform GSGSSI decision making about how visits are facilitated and determine if Government Officers will board vessels or conduct clearances remotely.
More details will be released nearer to the season setting out what facilities may be available at Grytviken and to describe in more detail how remote clearance will be undertaken. We may ask vessels to undertake extra checks and self-audits to ensure visits continue to be sustainable.
Vessels with confirmed COVID-19 cases will not be permitted to land, but vessels carrying people with more generic symptoms will be able to land outside of Grytviken if they have dispensation. Landings at Grytviken will only be permitted if assurance can be provided that the vessel is free from COVID-19.
Last season GSGSSI published a new policy governing the use of Human Occupied Vehicles and Remotely Operated Vehicles in the SGSSI Maritime Zones. Operators wishing to use submersibles can now apply to do so by filling in the relevant application form as an annex to the Vessel or Yacht Visit Application – all available online.
Prion Island will remain closed until works have been completed to the boardwalk which has become unsafe and in need of replacement. Apologies for any disappointment this may cause. Zodiac cruising to observe the wandering albatross is still possible.
A South Georgia--A Visitor's Guide was released last season and it is ready for distribution. It will be available to Permit Holders on USB, or can be requested in an ultra-high resolution format suitable for showing on cinema screens.
Finally, to improve communication a new mailing list has been set for Operators and Expedition Staff, who can opt in to keep up to date with the latest information and releases.