Updated Aug. 11.
Several Caribbean islands plan are reopening to international tourism, joining those destinations that have already reopened or that began phased operations in late May.
However, border reopenings are not uniform: Some islands are not accepting arrivals from the U.S.; others have not opened at all; others have reopened only to reverse course or scale back. Most openings are accompanied by strict new public health protocols and procedures, many of which require air travelers to produce proof of a Covid-free test result. These plans have been changing as the number of U.S. cases rise and test results are delayed or tough to obtain.
Here are the latest developments across the region:
• Anguilla: Anguilla's borders will be closed to most commercial travelers until at least Oct. 31, due to "the rapidly evolving Covid-19 situation globally, particularly the significant increase in cases in the Americas," according to a statement from Gov. Tim Foy and Premier Ellis Webster. The original border reopening for all travelers had been set for July 30. Check www.beatcovid19.ai for information and updates.
• Antigua and Barbuda: Arriving passengers must complete a health declaration form as part of the screening process and submit proof of a negative virus test taken seven days before boarding. Visitors will be monitored for Covid for up to 14 days of their stay and may be required to undergo testing on arrival or at their hotel. Face masks are required in public.
• Aruba: Aruba is open to U.S. visitors as well as those from the Caribbean (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe and Canada. Travelers residing in certain states (the list can be found at www.aruba.com/us/traveler-health-requirements) must take a PCR test within 72 hours before departure and upload the result at least 12 hours prior to their flight departure time for Aruba.
All other U.S. visitors residing in states not on the list have the option of taking the PCR test at their own expense upon arrival at the airport in Aruba or can upload the negative test result from a test taken at within 72 hours at least 12 hours prior to departure. If they opt for a test upon arrival they must quarantine at their hotel until the test results are received.
All visitors must purchase and pay for the Aruba Travel Insurance within 72 hours prior to departure.They can use their existing medical insurance to supplement the Aruba policy, but it cannot replace the Aruba Travel Insurance. Mask wearing is mandatory in all public spaces.
• Bahamas: U.S. travelers are now allowed to enter the Bahamas, a reversal from a decision July 17 that barred Americans after the islands recorded a spike in Covid-19 cases. But now, all arrivals into the Bahamas from any country are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense in a government facility and must take a Covid-19 PCR test at the end of the 14 days, also at their expense.
All incoming travelers must complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application before departure from the place of embarkation. Travelers also are required to upload results of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 10 days of arrival and provide contact information. Children 10 and under are not required to take a test.
All entry requirements can be viewed at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.
• Barbados: Travelers from high-risk countries, which includes the U.S., must take a Covid test within 72 hours of departure and fill out an online Embarkation/Disembarkation card (ED card) prior to arrival. When all supporting documents are uploaded, travelers will receive a bar code via email to clear health and immigration in Barbados. Once on the island visitors from high-risk counties must quarantine for seven days at a designated hotel or villa or free of charge at a government facility, and monitored daily. A Covid test will be administered at the end of the seven-day quarantine, and those testing negative will be released. More info is available here.
Those arriving without a documented test result from an accredited laboratory will be tested and quarantined.
• Bermuda: Travelers are required to complete the Bermuda Travel Authorization process online within 48 hours of departure. The fee is $75, which includes the cost of all Covid testing in Bermuda. Each passenger must complete the form, regardless of age. Children nine and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30.
Visitors must submit proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours but no more than seven days before departure. This applies to adults and children 10 and up. Children 10 to 17 must have parental consent to be tested. If consent is denied, the young traveler must quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Test results must be entered as part of the online Travel Authorization and be presented upon arrival in Bermuda.
Visitors without a pre-departure test will not be able to obtain Travel Authorization and enter Bermuda.
Visitors must take a Covid test upon arrival and quarantine in hotel room until results are obtained (usually six to eight hours). Tests also are required on day 4, on day 8 and on day 14 of their trip at pop-up testing centers with immediate results.
• Bonaire: The U.S. is not part of this reopening phase because it is still considered high risk. Bonaire lifted its border closures on July 1 for visitors from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and France. A maximum of 1,000 visitors per week is allowed. A negative Covid test must be conducted within 72 hours of the flight's departure for Bonaire.
• Cayman Islands: Borders will reopen to international travel starting Oct. 1. The reopening will come in phases. Requirements for entry in the first phase: proof of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours before travel; an online application that requires permission from the health authorities for the traveler to arrive; wearing of a health monitoring device upon arrival and payment of a fee for use of the device; monitored self quarantine for five days; a second Covid test and, if negative, visitors can leave isolation but must continue to wear the monitor.
For further information, visit www.gov.ky.
• Cuba: Cuba has reopened its airspace to international travel, although visitors are only permitted to go to the all-inclusive island beach resorts off the northeast coast, an hour or so east of Havana, to prevent the spread of Covid into the general population. Since U.S. rules prohibit American visitors from trips that would be strictly tourism vacations, the reopening has little to no impact on U.S. travelers.
No American carriers have resumed service to Cuba; Havana airport remains closed to all but essential travel, and foreign visitors who do come fly in on chartered flights into other Cuban airports and are shuttled directly to their resorts. Arriving passengers must submit to temperature checks and additional screening if symptoms are present, fill out a health questionnaire for immigration authorities and provide a local address while in Cuba.
• Curacao: At present, there is no timeline for travelers from the U.S, Latin America and South America. Borders reopened on June 12 for visitors from Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius and on June 15 from Aruba and St. Maarten. International travelers from Western Europe, Canada and China followed on July 1. All travelers must upload proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more 72 hours before departure, a digital immigration card and a Passenger Locator Card and carry a copy of these printed documents to show upon arrival in Curacao.
• Dominica: Dominica plans to reopen to international travelers Aug. 7. Visitors must complete an online health questionnaire and
submit a negative result for a Covid-19 PCR test taken up to 72 hours before
• Dominican Republic: All travelers to the Dominican Republic must submit proof of a negative Covid PCR test taken no more than five days prior to arrival in the country, fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit and have their temperature checked upon arrival. If a visitor exhibits symptoms, a Covid-19 test will be administered. If the test proves positive, the visitor will be quarantined at their hotel. Airports receiving visitors include Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Santiago and Santo Domingo.
• Grenada: The government has announced a phased approach to the reopening of borders, which reopen for international passengers on Aug. 1. Countries will be categorized as low, medium or high risk for the purpose of entry requirements.Low refers to travelers from Caribbean countries where there is no community transmission or where the epidemiology is considered favorable or low risk. Medium refers to countries and regions with active but manageable transmissions such as Canada, the UK and some EU countries. The U.S. is in the high-risk category due to the widespread transmission of Covid-19.
Passengers from the U.S. are required to have proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than seven days prior to arrival and have to take a PCR test within 48 hours of their arrival in Grenada. If the arrival test is positive, visitors must be quarantined for 14 days. All quarantine accommodations must be approved by the Ministry of Health and paid for by the passenger. Visitors must have travel insurance covering Covid-19 or declare that they will bear the cost for treatment and isolation.
All passengers from low, medium and high risk countries must submit a Health Declaration Form and download and register on Grenada’s Contract Tracing App, both of which will be found on www.covid19.gov.gd.
• Guadeloupe: Although Guadeloupe reopened to travelers from France in early June and from other EU countries and elsewhere on July 1, a travel ban for U.S. visitors remains in effect due to the surge of Covid-19 cases. The ban is re-evaluated every two weeks. All travelers must present proof of a negative Covid test taken 72 hours before departure or be tested at the airport upon arrival with results within 48 hours. The cost of the test if done in Guadeloupe is $95. Mask-wearing is mandatory in the airport and in public spaces on the island.
• Haiti: The airports in Porte-au-Prince and Cap Haitien have reopened to scheduled flights. Spirit is operating flights from Fort Lauderdale to Port-au-Prince, and American has a daily flight from Miami. JetBlue has not yet resumed service. Airlines are distributing a health declaration form to all passengers who must complete the form, present it to immigration authorities upon arrival and then retain the form while in Haiti.
Temperature screenings are mandatory upon arrival; visitors must provide local address while in Haiti; mask-wearing in public is required, and social gatherings are limited to 10 people.
• Jamaica: Arriving passengers are required to complete and submit the online Travel Authorization between two and five days prior to their planned arrival in Jamaica. The online authorization includes the immigration form. Approved travelers will received a travel certificate which must be presented during the airline check-in process.
In addition, effective for travel July 10 or later, travelers from certain designated hot spots in the U.S. must upload the results of a negative
Covid-19 test, not older than 10 days before the date of travel, to
the visitjamaica.com site prior to departure so that their arrival can be approved before they've left the U.S.
Leisure travelers from areas not currently designated as high risk may be subject to swab testing based on symptoms or responses to the risk assessment done upon arrival in Jamaica. Travelers with negative results as well as those who do not require testing must adhere to the Stay in Zone order, which requires visitors to remain at their hotel or resort within the Resilient Corridor (on the north coast from Negril to Port Antonio) for the duration of their stay.
Screenings upon arrival will include electronic thermal scans. Face masks and social distancing in public spaces will be required of all persons, including visitors. This includes points of entry, ground transportation and accommodation facilities.
• Puerto Rico: Travelers are required to fill out a Travel Declaration Form through the Puerto Rico Health Department's online portal at https://travelsafe.pr.gov and get a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the island. Without the test, arriving visitors must quarantine for 14 days. Flights are only allowed in and out of San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin airport in San Juan.
Rising cases of Covid on the mainland U.S. have prompted Puerto Rico to scale back on reopening schedules and to reinstate some restrictions it had had in place. It currently is encouraging only essential travel to the island. Beaches are open only to joggers, swimmers and surfers from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m; theaters, casinos, bars, clubs, all attractions, tours and gyms are closed; restaurants and museums are operating at 50% capacity; alcohol sales are banned after 7 p.m.; hotel pools are closed; a curfew is in effect through July 31 from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.; and tourists are barred from visiting the islands of Vieques and Culebra. Face masks are required in public and those not wearing a mask are subject to a fine. For further information, visit discoverpuertorico.com.
• St. Barts: All inbound St. Barts passengers are required to present a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days prior to arrival. Children 10 and under are exempt. Passengers will be asked to present the negative test document at check-in. Without the document, boarding will be denied. For visitors staying on the island for more than seven days, a second test will be required during their stay. Many restaurants have resumed dine-in service with social distancing and safe serving practices in place. Beaches are open.
• St. Lucia: Travelers
must provide proof of a negative Covid test done within seven days of
travel and must complete a pre-arrival registration form. They must also
indicate which Covid-19-certified hotel they will be staying in. All
passengers will be screened at the airport. Symptomatic passengers will
be tested and then quarantined at their hotel until the result is
received. If positive, they will be in isolation at one of two
hospitals. Mask wearing is mandatory in public spaces. Entry requirements and protocols are at www.stlucia.org/covid-19.
• St. Maarten: Flights to and from St. Maarten from the U.S. have been pushed back a second time and was tentatively scheduled for Aug. 1; however, the French side of the island is closed to U.S. visitors. For other countries, strict health protocols for entry remain in place, including proof of a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of travel, thermal temperature checks and mandatory mask wearing in the airport and in public places on the island.
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines: The first reopening phase, which runs through July 30, requires that all visitors be tested upon arrival (the test is $40) and undergo a 24-hour quarantine in their hotel while awaiting results. Visitors who arrive with proof of a negative test conducted within 72 hours of arrival do not have to quarantine. All travelers must complete an online health questionnaire and submit to screening upon arrival.
• Turks and Caicos: Borders, Providenciales Airport and private jet terminals reopened on July 22. The Grand Turk Cruise Center will remain closed until Aug. 31. International travelers will be required to obtain certification using TCI Assured, an online portal at www.turksandcaicostourism.com. The portal will require travelers to submit the following information: a negative Covid-19 PCR test result taken within five days of travel; proof of medical/travel insurance that covers medical evacuation, costs related to quarantine, ambulance care or care at a local hospital; and a completed online health screening questionnaire. Once uploaded, the documents will be verified and a TCI Assured certification issued. The TCI Assured travel authorization must be presented at time of check-in; airlines will not board passengers without this authorization.
• U.S. Virgin Islands: Any traveler whose home state has a Covid-19 positivity rate higher than 10% is required to produce a negative Covid test result received within five days prior to travel, or a positive Covid test result within four months of travel. This applies to those 15 years and older. Positivity rates can be accessed at https://coronavirus.jhu/testing/tracker/overview.
Travelers unable to produce the required test result are subject to a 14-day quarantine or until they are able to receive the required test result on island.
Face masks are required at the airport arrival; passengers are subject to screening procedures for temperature checks and must complete a Traveler Screening Questionnaire.