Hitting the Reset Button on Caribbean Tourism

Impacted severely by the pandemic, tourism in the Caribbean is making cautious steps toward a safe reopening to re-attract vacationers, including destination wedding goers and honeymooners.

SIGNATURE BRIDE has curated a list of openings and other basic facts to consider. This list will update as more information is released.

Anguilla

Officially declared “COVID-19” free, Anguilla’s borders remain closed to international tourism with no definitive date for reopening. However, the island is taking a measured, phased approach. Additional updates and procedures will be announced in the coming weeks once safety protocols are in place.

Antigua and Barbuda

The islands officially opened for tourism on June 4, with strict health protocols in place. Arrival at the airport will include mobile temperature checks and nasal swab rapid-result COVID-19 tests.

Aruba

The country will reopen its borders to visitors from Canada and Europe on July 1 and the United States on July 10. Official opening dates for South America and Central America have not been announced. Travelers will have strict embarkation and disembarkation rules to follow, which will be announced later. Expect to see more capacity limitations on the more popular tourist spots to decrease visitor flow during peak times. 

Barbados

This island will officially begin receiving visitors on July 12. Travelers will be required to present evidence of a negative result of a PCR COVID-19 test and will receive a bar code to clear immigration. All travelers from “high risk” countries are strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure for Barbados. This includes the USA. Travelers without a documented negative PCR test result will be required to take a test upon arrival, and will be quarantined at their expense, with an anticipated wait time of 48 hours for the results. If travelers fail the test, they will be replaced in isolation and will receive care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Bahamas

On June 15 the island allowed international boaters and yachters to cruise its waters, and private charters to land. International and commercial travel are expected to resume July 1. Southwest and American Airlines have announced flights to Nassau starting that week. All travelers will require a COVID-19 test to enter the country. have temperature screenings at airports and seaports before being allowed into the country. Buffets will be discontinued, and staff must wear face masks and gloves.

Belize

Belize will open to tourists on August 15, according to the Belize Tourism Board. Travelers will be required to either come with a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their departure or undergo testing upon arrival. Travelers will also have to download the Belize Health App before boarding a fight, which can be used for contact tracing, as well as undergo a temperature check at the airport and wear a mask while traveling. While in Belize, the health app will check in daily with tourists.

Bonaire

Border closings will be lifted for selected Western European countries on July 1. However, due to the high risk, the United States is not part of the reopening phase at this time. For those traveling to the island from outside the United States, expect extra screening upon arrival. 

British Virgin Islands

Nonresidents are not expected for visitation until September 1, at the earliest.

Cancún, Riviera Maya & Los Cabos

This region is officially reopened for tourism. As a gradual start, hotels will be allowed only 30% capacity to avoid overcrowding; more capacity will be allowed later. Air connectivity is beginning to recover. Upon arrival in Mexico, travelers face health screenings like temperature checks—Cancun’s airport has thermographic cameras that register travelers with fevers—and the possibility of being asked to return home or quarantine in Mexico if they are symptomatic.

Cayman Islands

Borders, airports and seaports are closed until at least September 1, according to the Tourism Minister, Moses Kirkconnell. The island also said cruise ships will not be allowed entry before September 1, despite cruise lines advertising sailings to Cayman in August.

Cuba

All international and commercial flights are suspended through June 30. American Airlines plans to resume some flights on July 7, but there are several restrictions for U.S. travelers not related to the pandemic, but still in effect.

Curaçao

The Curaçao International Airport is closed to arriving passengers. The government has not yet announced a reopening date to international visitors.

Dominica

All air and sea access to this country is suspended until further notice.

Dominican Republic

The entire country will open for international tourism on July 1. There will be safety precautions at all airports to ensure no positive cases of the virus are allowed in. About half, 40%-50%, of hotels will reopen at this time, with the remaining half opening in November.

Grenada

The tri-island destination Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is preparing a gradual reopening scheduled for the coming weeks. Airports are moving toward commercial reopening later this summer. Currently, this destination is closed.

Jamaica

The island reopened on June 15, making it the largest destination to do so in the Caribbean. Southwest and Delta Airlines are revealing plans for selected flights. Travel Authorization Forms will be mandatory for all travelers. Visitors may be required to complete a COVID-19 test upon arrival. Visitors are required to remain within the “COVID-19 Resilient Corrido,” a defined geographical area designed for tourism purposes. Among the properties planning to reopen on July 1: Couples Negril, Couples Tower Isle, Couple Rose Hall – Montego Bay, Couples San Souci, Couples Swept Away and Azul Beach Resort – Negril.

Martinique

All flights and sea access have been halted for noncitizens until further notice. The island is currently in its second phase of de-escalation, which does not include international tourists.

Puerto Rico

Implementing a four-phase plan, Puerto Rico reopens on July 15. Incoming guests will be subject to health screenings, including COVID-19 testing. Travelers may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms. All commercial flights are diverted to San Juan. Sunbathing and other recreational activities on beaches and in some nature reserves are allowed, but limiting group gatherings are limited to gatherings of only those within the same household. Spas, museums and theaters are open, and restaurants are operating at 50% capacity. Hotels will operate at 50% capacity. Temperature checks will be taken at all facilities, especially restaurants. 

St. Barth

Borders reopened to tourists on June 22. Visitors must provide a COVID-negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival. If visitors can’t get tested prior to departure, they will be subjected to screening upon arrival in St. Barth within 24 hours of arrival. Until test results are known, visitors will be placed in strict quarantine. Test results will be made available within 24 hours. If you are staying on the island more than seven days, a second test will be required on day seven. Once tested negative, freedom to move about the island is allowed. Villa companies and resorts are starting to accept travelers after the reopening date.

St. Kitts & Nevis

The borders and airports are closed with no official reopening date.

St. Lucia

Beginning June 4, a phased plan for tourism becomes effective. Travelers are advised to check with airlines and flight schedules prior to booking. All travelers will adhere to wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing. The government is establishing a COVID-19 Certificate for hotels.

St. Martin/Sint Maarten

There is no date yet for resuming international flights to the island.

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Airports are open, but no commercial flights are allowed.

Trinidad & Tobago

Airports are still closed to international travel as of June 21.

Turks & Caicos

Borders will be reopened and welcoming visitors on July 22 with scheduled flights starting to arrive on July 23. A negative COVID-19 test is required (max 72 hours before travel), along with travel insurance. Masks are required in public places. 

U.S. Virgin Islands

A state of emergency will stay in place at least until July 17. Officially reopened on June 1. Routine temperature checks and health screenings at airports and ports of entry. Of the three islands, St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix, St. Croix has the most hotels open as of mid-June. Hotel reservations will begin to be honored, but at 50% capacity. Physical distancing is required in restaurants and bars.

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