St. Barts needs vaccination drive to have a shot at reopening

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Gustavia harbor on St. Barts.
Gustavia harbor on St. Barts. Photo Credit: Christian Graugart/Shutterstock

St. Barts will need to implement a "strong and immediate vaccination campaign in order for its borders to reopen," according to the French government.

When France, fearing the spread of the Covid-19 variants, temporarily closed the borders of its overseas territories, including those in the Caribbean and French Polynesia, on Feb. 3, St. Barts tourism officials were hopeful that the island would reopen by late March or early April.

Related: St. Barts resort looks after guests in shutdown

St. Barts had reopened its borders last June and visitor traffic began to pick up, especially during the holiday season and beyond.

Although vaccinations for eligible residents began in mid-March for St. Barts' population of 10,000, an intensified vaccination campaign organized by the French government will begin on April 19 and will last two to three weeks.

The goal will then be to reopen the borders by mid-May if all goes according to plan, according to the French government.

Two of the three other French overseas territories in the Caribbean -- Martinique and Guadeloupe -- have been closed to U.S. visitors for a year. The French part of St. Maarten also is temporarily closed to U.S. visitors, as of Feb. 3, and there is no word on any reopening date at this time.

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