Vacation resorts across the Caribbean are reopening since the pandemic. This is great news for travellers and vacationers but of course COVID has bought about some changes that you need to be aware of before you travel.
The rules around COVID testing seem to change on an hourly basis. However, most islands require that visitors must submit a negative PCR test prior to travel.
In addition it is mandatory to take out travel insurance that covers you for any COVID treatment. And although all the islands have different regulations and requirements, these basic obligations are in place across all the islands as far as we can see.
There are different restrictions in different locations.
All islands also require that you take a PCR test on arrival and stay in quarantine until you can be retested. In Anguilla, the period of quarantine is set at 14 days so unless you are planning to stay for a few months, this destination is not realistic for a two week holiday.
In the Bahamas, the quarantine period is set at 5 days so theoretically you could visit for a shorter time period without spending your whole vacation in your hotel or villa. The British Virgin Islands and Grenada also have a relatively short quarantine period of just 4 days.
In addition, you are no longer free to find your accommodation when you arrive. Many islands have a restricted list of approved properties that can accommodate you and you must provide your details of your accommodation before you travel.
If you are considering travelling to the Caribbean it is crucial to check out the requirements before you travel because with the changing situation of the pandemic, these rules can change very fast.
Some islands are more encouraging to US visitors. The Dominican Republic for example is trying to re start its tourism business so travellers can benefit from a rapid COVID test at the airport as well as obtain free health cover for COVID provided by the government.
It is important to keep to the local rules.
In some islands such as St Lucia, mask wearing is mandatory so it is crucial to keep to the guidelines or you could face a fine. Again this varies from island to island so you do need to check this before you travel.
So is the Caribbean really open for business right now?
These small island nations rely on tourism so are trying to balance the needs of the economy with safety. So if you do decide to vacation here right now, you will find your stay more restricted than usual. That said you still have the beautiful beaches and stunning landscape to enjoy and restaurants and bars are open albeit at limited capacity.
Not all Caribbean islands are open to US visitors. Montserrat, Martinique, Guadeloupe and the Cayman Islands locked their borders at the time of writing so are not available to US visitors.
The bottom line is that US visitors are now seen as high risk, so although Americans are usually welcome, visiting the Caribbean right now might see you subject to limitations.