Many countries rely heavily on tourism to boost their economies. Some of them are starting to welcome foreign visitors with various limitations and restrictions. Here is a list of countries in the Caribbean that have recently announced reopenings.
Personally, I have no current plans to travel, and am not recommending for or against getting on an airplane. That is up to each person based on their individual circumstances.
Antigua and Barbuda
Temperature checks are required upon arrival, and face coverings are required in the airport.
This island is open to tourists although travelers from some states like California and Florida will be required to be tested for coronavirus and upload their results before they depart from the U.S. Travelers from other states like Indiana and Montana can choose to be tested for the virus at their expense when they arrive at the airport in Aruba.
You will need to be tested for coronavirus within 72 hours of departure and bring the negative test result. In addition to tourists, Barbados is also trying to attract people who are working remotely. Under new visa requirements foreigners are eligible to visit Barbados and work remotely for up to one year.
Belize opens to international tourists on August 15. A negative COVID-19 test result from within the last 72 hours will be required upon arrival. Only “full service” properties that can fully accommodate their guests with everything they need on-property will be open.
I know it is not in the Caribbean, but i won’t hold that against this beautiful island. Bermuda requires completing a pre-departure form online at least 48 hours from when you depart. The form comes with a $75 fee per traveler. You will also need to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure for your trip and bring your negative test results along.
The Dominican Republic is implementing enhanced safety precautions such as mask requirements and temperature checks at the airport upon arrival. Not all hotels are open, so travelers are asked to confirm their plans before they get on a plane.
Jamaica is admitting tourists to enjoy travel within a “coronavirus-resilient corridor” along the northern coast of the island. This includes popular destinations like Montego Bay and Ochos Rios. Jamaica requires temperature checks upon arrival in the airport as well as wearing masks in public places. You will also need to fill out a travel authorization application prior to arrival.
Land crossings into Mexico from the U.S. are currently banned for instances where travel is not considered essential. Leisure travelers can arrive by air at certain tourist destinations (including Riviera Maya and Puerto Vallarta). Expect temperature checks and coronavirus screenings at the airport upon arrival.
You will have to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours upon arrival. Travelers will also need to fill out a travel declaration, wear a mask in the airport and undergo temperature checks in transit.
Visitors are required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival and bring thier negative test result with them. If unable to take a test and provide negative results upon arrival, travelers will need to be tested immediately in St. Barts and quarantine for 24 hours until their results are received. If you plan to stay for more than a week, you must also agree to be tested again on the seventh day of your trip.
You will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result from the last seven days upon arrival and complete a pre-travel registration form.
All visitors to the island must meet several strict requirements, including producing a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel, temperature screening upon arrival and wearing a mask at all times in the airport terminal building.
Visitors from the U.S. are welcome starting August 1. Already permitted are flights from Europe, Canada and Caribbean destinations such as Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, Anguilla, St. Barths, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and the British Virgin Islands.
Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos requires masks in all public places until December 21, 2020. It also requires filling out a pre-authorization form online before arrival.
Those who arrive in this island nation are required to present a verified, negative coronavirus test that was taken within the last seven days. Also expect temperature screenings in airports, new rules in hotels and resorts and enhanced cleaning protocols to be in place when you arrive.
U.S. Virgin Islands
Guidelines for tourism ask travelers to wear face coverings when in public spaces, wash hands frequently and maintain social distancing. You will also be subject to health screenings upon arrival.
Note that many of these countries require negative results for COVID-19 tests taken with a couple of days of travel. For people in the U.S. it may be hard to get results back in time to meet that requirement.
Bear in mind that the restrictions outlined in this post are subject to change by local governments without notice. Before planning a trip and starting travel, be sure to check the latest information on the current state of travel restrictions, the state of the virus, and hotel accommodations.
Caribbean islands are quite beautiful and are populated with friendly and welcoming people. These islands are within reach of the U.S. with only a short airplane flight. I’d love to go back, but am uncomfortable presently with travel in general. Others may not feel the same way.
All images: Getty Images