South Georgia remains free from COVID-19 and we will be taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of staff and visitors. We have been working on a detailed plan to help deliver a tourism season and develop measures to provide the safeguards needed to protect South Georgia.
These measures and precautions are in addition to a host of measures and precautions that IAATO and vessel operators will take to ensure the safety of their guests and staff before reaching South Georgia.
A new 3-part Health Declaration will be in place to ensure vessels are properly 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.
Vessels with confirmed COVID-19 cases will not be permitted to land, but vessels which have more generic flu-like symptoms but do not believe they are COVID-19 will be able to land outside of Grytviken if they have dispensation to do so. Landings at Grytviken will only be permitted if assurance can be provided that the vessel is free from COVID-19.
For the first visit of the season, dispensation to land outside of Grytviken will be given on successful completion of the online Permit Holder Briefing and Assessment, and dispensation is maintained by passing the biosecurity audit undertaken at each visit to Grytviken.
All indoor spaces at Grytviken will be closed e.g. Museum, Church, Gift Shop, Post Office and Toilets. Grytviken whaling station and the cemetery will be open for visitors to explore and a ‘remote’ Post Office service will be available for visitors to post letters or purchase gifts. King Edward Point will be out of bounds.
Visiting South Georgia Booklet
The information in this downloadable booklet, which is updated annually prior to each season, provides visit applicants key information prior to visiting South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI).
All visit applicants (both cruise ships and yacht applicants), must study this document carefully before submitting their visit application. Of necessity, there are certain codes of conduct and guidelines that must be observed. These are intended to ensure that visitors enjoy safe landings without causing any environmental damage or wildlife disturbance.
Guidelines For The Provision Of Medical Care
Antarctic tourism has grown increasingly popular in the last decade and diversified into an ever wider range of activities, transport modes and destinations. The continued success of Antarctic tourism is welcome. With this increase, and a number of incidents where medical attention has been required, there is a need for operators to assess and review the medical care on vessels and available on-shore to ensure a robust and safe medical provision.
The aim of this document is to identify the specific medical risks associated with travel to South Georgia with potential wider applicability to the southern oceans, assess the current medical professional standards being delivered and offer advice and guidance regarding appropriate medical provision of care.
Vessel and Yacht Visit Application Forms
A visit application form must be completed by all cruise ship and yacht operators or owners intending to visit South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands. Individual passengers do not need to complete this.
Applicants wishing to operate Human Occupied Vehicles (HOV) or Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) should fill in the relevant application form and return it along with the Vessel or Yacht Visit Application.
If permission is granted to operate an HOV or ROV (stipulated on your Visit Permit) the GSGSSI HOV & ROV Policy sets out the parameters for acceptable use, and should be studied carefully. Details of all HOV & ROV dives must be recorded and submitted to GSGSSI in the Dive Record Report.
The biosecurity Protocols, which are regularly updated, must be studied closely by all visit applicants and visit permit holders. Failure to comply with these protocols is an offence.
The ‘Biosecurity Handbook’ has been developed in response to our Strategy commitments, recognising biosecurity infringements represent one of the most significant risks to future sustainable management. It represents a statement of current biosecurity policy.
The ‘Self Audit Check List and Landing Declaration’ must be completed and signed by all visitors to South Georgia before making their first landing.
Visit Permit Holder Landing Declaration
Declaration to be completed by the Visit Permit Holder prior to the first landing (everytime a vessel visits SGSSI).
Permit Holder Briefing & Assessment
Permit Holders are invited to take the Annual Permit Holder Briefing & Assessment by following the instructions in the Permit Holder Briefing document.This is mandatory for all Visit Permit Holders, and is the mechanism by which dispensation to make the first landing outside of Grytviken is attained.
- Permit Holder Briefing 2019-20 [pdf, 0.3M]
Post Visit Report Form
To be completed and submitted by all Visit Permit Holders within 30 days of departure from South Georgia.
Additional Information for Visiting Grytviken and King Edward Point
For all visitors intending to come ashore at Grytviken and King Edward Point, the ‘Visiting Grytviken And King Edward Point’ and ‘Visitors Map of King Edward Point and Grytviken’ documents should be read and understood in addition to the ‘Information for Visitors to South Georgia’ booklet before visiting.