Breaking the Deadlock: (No longer valid as of 17 May 2021)
While we were all concerned with the consequences of the new anchorage limits and regulations in French waters (Arrêté 123/2019 and its precisions per department), The COVID crisis has prepared a nice little bomb for us to deal with in the coming weeks.
Some of my colleagues may already be aware of l’arrêté PREMAR 238/2020
Those who haven’t are in for a bad surprise if they have already planned French Riviera charters. Long story short: If you have a flag out of Shengen area, you are not allowed to anchor in French waters.
The reasons for that are quite puzzling as the same ships are allowed to enter ports where they have a firm booking, which creates more exposure for both crew and the public. It is also quite strange that a yacht coming from South Africa or Florida under a Shengen flag is allowed to anchor in France, while a yacht under, say Marshall island flag, which has been in France for the last 8 months, will be refused permission to anchor.
One can only hope that the authorities will sensibly alter those maritime measures as they relax other restrictions on shore, but obviously we cannot count too much on that. Hopefully ECPY, PYA and other bodies are already voicing our concerns on this issue.
If nothing changes, I fear the usual anchorages of Cap Ferrat, Villefranche, Cannes and St Tropez will be very quiet this summer. This is of course good news for any yacht with a Maltese or Portuguese flag at the stern.