Updated: Jan 20, 2021
As the whole world suffers from the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Caribbean island nations have also been sealed off and became off-limits to travelers. Thankfully, this lockdown showed positive effects in this region and new cases of COVID-19 are significantly dropping. With this at hand, some Caribbean countries have decided to reopen their borders and welcome tourists again while taking into consideration the new protocols to maintain safety against the pandemic.
Below are the details about the Caribbean countries reopening soon and their protocols for foreign travelers.
Antigua and Barbuda
Flights from the US will resume on June 4 with one particular American Airline from Miami to arrive at this date. Travelers are required to present a proof of negative COVID-19 test upon their arrival before proceeding. Rapid test is done for free upon arrival.
The Bahamas is targeting to open its borders to international tourists on July 1. However, this date is not yet final as resorts, airports, and seaports are finalizing the health safety protocols necessary to provide for a re-opening. The government is still also taking into account the ongoing stabilization of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
St. Lucia announced their first phase of reopening to start on June 4. Their phase one only includes flights from the US only. Visitors are also required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours from their arrival.
Belize is also looking into opening its borders tentatively on July 1. This date is still dependent on the availability of testing and no new positive cases. At the moment, Belize remains closed as long the country remains in a state of national emergency.
In early May, Aruba signaled its intent to reopen their island to inbound tourists. The date is yet to be confirmed by the officials and is hoping it will be between June 15 and July 2020.
Puerto Rico has already opened its borders but with strict precautions and a curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. to remain until June 15. The use of facemask is also mandatory when outside or inside a business establishment regardless of what you do.
US Virgin Islands
The Us Virgin Islands is set to reopen on June 1 although it is only open for US citizens, business travelers, flight crews, health officials, emergency personnel, and government guests to travel to and from the islands. Incoming passengers are also screened for health risks and are due to undergo a 14-day quarantine protocol upon arrival.
Cuba will resume flights by July if COVID-19 cases will remain under control. Flights are
said to reopen on July 7 while all measures are still being implemented to prevent the coronavirus from spreading again.
A tentative reopening is set by Grenada in June. The government has agreed to start gradually relaxing the restrictions for travel as the pandemic in the region is being contained. The final date for the reopening is yet to be announced.
Some of the most highly visited countries in the Caribbean region remained closed as they were badly affected by the pandemic. This includes the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands. The closure is still indefinite and will still be dependent on the result of the quarantine measures though they are looking at the possibility of reopening borders around September.
Refer to the table below for the summary of Caribbean countries opening their borders.
Hotels have also made adjustments to ensure the safety of their guests and staff. Hygiene stations are set up in lobbies for washing hands and disinfecting before entering common areas. Dining rooms are spaced up for social distancing. Most hotels have also made limitations on the interaction of any unnecessary personnel with the guests and will ensure that guests only interact with their butler alone. Most importantly, hotels have made strict sanitation measures more than before especially on any equipment their guests might use during stay. These measures are still in line with minimizing the possibility of disease transmission. To know more about the specific measures of a hotel, you may want to check directly with them first before booking your stay. This could prevent confusion or misunderstanding at the time of your stay.
What to expect when strolling around?
Expect that stricter measures are imposed when people are in public areas. Everyone is expected to wear masks and practice distancing. Some establishments will also require a temperature check before entry. Curfews are also set in place on some islands and restaurants are still limited to take out.
More details on each country in our articles about the “new normal”.
Though each country has different policies in accepting foreign travelers, they all have the same purpose of maintaining a safe environment for their people and their visitors. Be sure to follow these guidelines to enjoy a hassle-free and memorable vacation. In the end, with everything that’s going on now, we all deserve a peaceful and safe holiday.
To keep you updated with the latest information about the Caribbean countries, we’ll continue posting blogs in the upcoming months. We hope you could tune in. :)