Policies and Restrictions in Place Throughout the Caribbean
Travel restrictions are continuing to evolve around the world. For the most updated information on your exact locations be sure to research current safety policies and protocols prior to travel.
Most of the islands in the Caribbean are listed at a Level 3 or 4 on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory scale. This means that Americans are advised to avoid travel for the time being.
If you are going to travel to these and other locations it is important to take the proper precautions and adhere to all local requirements and regulations. Regardless of what restrictions or policies look like where you’re coming from, you need to follow the rules in place wherever you are going.
Getting tested for COVID-19 both before and after travel, wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing and washing your hands frequently are keys to success.
If you decide to take a trip to the caribbean in near future here are some top tips and destinations for you. Stay and play at an all-inclusive resort that is operating at a limited capacity. Check to make sure they have enhanced their safety and health protocols including cleaning procedures. Limit travel once you arrived to decrease the chance of exposure.
Here are some of our recommendations for destinations.
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Kitts & Nevis has the Caribbean’s lowest travel advisory at Level 2 (exercise increased caution). What’s more, the CDC has lowered the dual-island nation to a Level 1 in regards to the pandemic. For safety reasons, visitors are required to provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result 48 to 72 hours prior to departure and quarantine for seven days at their resort upon arrival. On day seven, travelers will test again, and, if negative, will be allowed off property for planned excursions. Visitors staying more than 14 days will undergo another test on day 14, with a negative result allowing them to travel freely throughout the destination. While the rules are rigorous, they also seem to be working, as the island has had only 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of mid-February.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands is listed at a Level 3, with the State Department advising Americans to reconsider travel to the islands. Currently, the BVI is requiring all U.S. travelers to complete a BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate at least two days before arrival. The certificate is valid for five days. Travelers will also need to download a contract tracing app on their phone and take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and again four days after arrival. A negative result will allow travelers to move freely throughout the islands. Visiting might require a few extra steps, but there’s no reason visitors can’t find the right state of mind in the BVI this winter.
Like the BVI, the Bahamas is currently listed at a Level 3 by the State Department. Face masks are required in all public spaces, and a COVID-19 test must be taken on day five of your trip. Visitors must also complete the Travel Health Visa Application and opt-in to the mandatory COVID-19 health insurance that will cover any potential complications. There are curfews on different islands, as well as restrictions to and from certain islands. Travelers can visit the U.S. Embassy page for more specific information.
Like many islands throughout the Caribbean and countries around the world for that matter, Dominica is listed at a Level 3 on the State Department’s travel advisory scale. However, the island has long been considered a safe destination where locals are some of the friendliest in the region and crimes committed against tourists are rare. Dominica, which reopened its borders last summer, has reported only 134 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. To remain successful in its battle against the virus, Dominica has implemented some strict protocols for U.S. travelers and visitors from other high-risk countries. You’ll need to submit a health questionnaire, produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test result obtained within 72 hours of arrival and quarantine for a minimum of five to seven nights at a Safe in Nature certified property.
Another Level 3 destination in the Caribbean, Jamaica has established “resilient corridors” to help keep locals and visitors safe. “Within the resilient corridor, the tourism service delivery operators permitted to accept guests have been inspected and are compliant with the required standards of training, protective equipment and processes,” according to Visit Jamaica. “All employees and patrons of these facilities are required to observe the established protocols of hand hygiene, social/physical distancing and wearing of masks in public spaces.” Tourists also need to present a negative COVID-19 test result produced no more than 10 days from their travel date in order to obtain their required Travel Authorization document.
Aruba has reopened to tourism with enhanced health and safety protocols in place, including a five-component Embarkation/Disembarkation card process for entry that requires a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of travel for visitors age 15 and up. The island is still listed at a Level 3 on the State Department’s travel advisory scale due to the pandemic, but crime here is relatively low, and Aruba has seen fewer than 7,600 coronavirus cases and less than 70 COVID-related deaths as of mid-February.
The captivating Eastern Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is currently listed at a Level 3 by the U.S. State Department due to health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions. However, the destination has reopened to travelers who can show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken no more than five days before arrival and reservations at a COVID-19 approved accommodation. Staying at a resort is the safest way to go, and Saint Lucia offers a variety, including all-inclusive, luxury and boutique options. What’s more, the island is offering travelers massive discounts this winter.
The State Department currently advises Americans to reconsider travel to Barbados due to health and safety measures and COVID-related conditions (Level 3), but the island has recently made travel safer by complementing COVID-19 testing requirements (must be taken within 72 hours of arrival) with electronic tracking bracelets and mandatory five-day quarantine at pre-approved accommodations.
The Eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla has recorded only 18 total COVID-19 cases as of mid-February and is currently listed at a Level 3 by the U.S. State Department due to the threat of the pandemic and potential closures and limitations upon arrival. With safety continuing to be the top priority, the island’s travel requirements include COVID-19 PCR testing, a two-week quarantine at approved hotels, villas and long-term rentals and medical insurance covering any COVID-19-related costs.