Updated Sept. 14.
Several Caribbean islands are reopening to international tourism, with protocols in place to protect visitors and residents against Covid-19.
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 procedures, most 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 have remained high and test results are delayed or tough to obtain.
Here are the latest developments across the region:
• Anguilla: Open to U.S. travelers. U.S. travelers must apply through the visitor portal, and applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The application form can be accessed through the Anguilla Tourism Board website. Visitors must submit health insurance that covers Covid-19-related treatment as well as proof of a negative PCR test within three to five days of travel. Fees are associated with entry to help offset additional costs incurred, such as the deployment of additional health professionals to ports of entry, surveillance and security across the island and additional PCR testing when the application is approved. For a stay of less than three months, the fee is $1,000 for a single traveler and $1,500 for a family of four. For a stay of three months to a year, the fees are $2,000 and $3,000, respectively.
• Antigua and Barbuda: Open to U.S. travelers. 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. All travelers are required to fill out an Embarkation/Disembarkation card between 72 and four hours prior to travel. 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.
• Bahamas: Open to U.S. visitors. All incoming travelers must complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application before departure from the place of embarkation, upload results of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival and provide contact information. All travelers are subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine at their own expense at a hotel, private club, rental accommodations such as Airbnb or on a private boat. They must take a Covid-19 test at the end of the 14 days or the end of their stay, whichever is shorter. All entry requirements can be viewed at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.
• Barbados: Open to U.S. visitors. 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: Open to U.S. visitors. 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. Children nine and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30. Visitors ages 10 and up must submit proof of a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours but no more than seven days before departure. 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: Not currently open to U.S. visitors. 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.
• British Virgin Islands: Not currently open to U.S. visitors. The borders have not reopened to international travelers.
• Cayman Islands: Not currently open to U.S. visitors. Borders plan to begin to reopen to travelers on Oct. 1. The reopening will come in phases, beginning with repatriation flights. Commercial flights are not included in the first reopening phase. When US visitors are allowed, they and all travelers must register via www.exploregov.ky/traveltime to receive pre-travel authorization. Visitors must submit proof of Covid insurance. They will be subject to a 14-day quarantine in preapproved residential and government facilities and take another PCR test at the end of the 14 days. The Cayman Islands is testing the use of a health monitoring device to monitor incoming travelers for early Covid symptoms, and it may be used when the borders reopen to US travelers. For details, visit www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus.
• 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.
• Curacao: Not currently open to U.S. visitors. 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: Open to U.S. visitors. Dominica reopened to international travelers on Aug. 7. Entry requirements can be found here. Visitors must upload an online health questionnaire at least 24 hours prior to arrival; submit a negative PCR test result taken between 24 and 72 hours before arrival, and receive an email notification from Dominica of clearance to travel. Once on the ground in Dominica, visitors have a temperature check and undergo rapid test screening at no charge, with results available in 15 to 20 minutes. If test result is negative, guests go through immigration and customs and are transferred to one of eight properties that have been certified safe by the Environmental Health Department: Cabrits Resort and Spa Kempinski; Rosalie Bay; Secret Bay; Tamarind Tree Hotel; the Champs; Riverside Hotel; Banana Lama and Mango Garden Cottages.
• Dominican Republic: Open to U.S. visitors. The Dominican Republic eliminated the entry requirement for proof of a negative Covid-19 test result on Sept.15. All travelers are still required to fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit and get a temperature check upon arrival. In place of the test result is a rapid Breathalyzer-style test that will be performed on randomly selected travelers upon arrival. The test takes five minutes and detects if a traveler was exposed or infected within the last four hours. If positive, the traveler quarantines in a designated area within his hotel and is regularly tested until symptoms are gone. The rapid test is part of the government's initiative called The Plan for the Responsible Recovery of Tourism and includes free health and travel insurance coverage through Dec. 31 that covers hospitalization for coronavirus in the DR, telemedicine services, costs for extended hotel stays and airline ticket changes. The insurance is paid for by the DR. For details, visit godominicanrepublic.com.
• Grenada: Open to U.S. visitors. The government has announced a phased approach to the reopening of borders, which reopened for international passengers on Aug. 1. Countries will be categorized as low, medium or high risk for the purpose of entry requirements; 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. Visitors must have travel insurance covering Covid-19 or declare that they will bear the cost for treatment and isolation if they test positive for Covid on arrival. All passengers from all countries, regardless of risk assessment, 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: The borders have not reopened to U.S. visitors. Guadeloupe reopened to travelers from France in early June and from other EU countries and elsewhere on July. 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.
• Haiti: Open to U.S. visitors. The airports in Porte-au-Prince and Cap Haitien have reopened to scheduled flights. 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: Open to U.S. visitors. Arriving passengers are required to complete and submit the online Travel Authorization between two and five days prior to their planned arrival in Jamaica. Once travelers are approved, they receive a certificate that must be submitted during the airline check-in process. In addition, all travelers from the U.S. must upload the results of a negative
Covid-19 test, not older than 10 days before the date of travel, prior to departure. Once on the island, visitors must remain on property during their entire stay and must stay at Covid-19 Protocol Compliant Approved accommodations, which are listed on the www.visitjamaica.com website.
• Martinique: Borders have not reopened to U.S. travelers.
• Monserrat: Borders have not reopened to U.S. travelers.
• Puerto Rico: Open to U.S. visitors. A negative Covid test, taken 72 hours prior to arriving, is required. 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 obtain an Airport Exit Confirmation number and QR code, which travelers will automatically receive when uploading proof of their negative Covid result to the portal. Without the test result, arriving visitors must quarantine for 14 days at their lodging or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter, or until negative test results are provided.
Flights are only allowed in and out of San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin airport in San Juan.
• St. Barts: Open to U.S. visitors. 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. For visitors staying on the island for more than seven days, a second test will be required during their stay.
• St. Kitts and Nevis: Not currently open to U.S. visitors. St. Kitts and Nevis plan to reopen their borders to international travelers in October. All arriving travelers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, quarantine for 14 days, take a second PCR test after 14 days and be released from quarantine if test result is negative. Incoming travelers are required to complete the Covid-19 entry form and must have valid travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for the duration of their trip. For details, visit www.covid19.gov.kn.
• St. Lucia: Open to U.S. visitors. 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 resumed; however, the French side of the island is closed to U.S. visitors. A completed health declaration must be uploaded at stmaartenentry.com before departing; U.S. visitors must submit proof of a negative Covid test result taken within 72 hours of departure. Visitors must also bring paper copies of the test result and health questionnaire with them.
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Open to U.S. visitors. Travelers from the U.S. must complete a pre-arrival form, arrive with a
negative Covid-19 test done no more than seven days prior to arrival,
must be retested upon arrival in St. Vincent and quarantine for five
days in a Tourism Authority-approved quarantine hotel at their own
expense (must arrive with proof of a fully-paid reservation), must be
retested on day four and day five of quarantine and continue to
quarantine for nine to 16 days or until test result is negative. Forms
and a list of approved accommodations for quarantine are found here.
• Turks and Caicos: Open to U.S. visitors. Borders, Providenciales Airport and private jet terminals reopened on July 22. 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: Open to U.S. visitors as of Sept. 19. Leisure travel will resume on Sept. 19, following a 30-day closure in mid-August due to a spike in Covid cases. All travelers arriving on or after Sept. 19 are required to upload a negative Covid-19 test result taken within five days of travel to the USVI if their state or country of residence has a positivity rate higher than 10%. Arrivals who cannot produce the required test result will be subject to a 14-day quarantine or until they test positive. Travelers must also complete the online Travel Screening Portal within five days of travel. Further information can be found at www.usviupdate.com.