Travel to the Caribbean: A Reopening Timeline, Country by Country

Daily Life In Cuba During Coronavirus Pandemic
Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo / Getty Images

With each island enacting social distancing guidelines and various lockdown rules, the spread of the coronavirus in the Caribbean has slowed significantly, with several countries reporting no new cases as of mid-May. Many islands’ borders remain closed, but life is slowly returning to normal as restaurants, beaches, and hotels open up. In some cases, intra-island flights are set to resume the first week of June. With much of the region’s income coming from tourism, the economic impact of the pandemic will likely be felt for years to come. Read on for more information on various Caribbean islands’ border closures, quarantine procedures, and reopening plans.

Anguilla

On June 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized Anguilla as having no cases of COVID-19. The island nation began easing lockdown restrictions on April 27. That said, Anguilla’s ports, excluding Road Bay Port, remain closed to visitors.

Antigua & Barbuda

After closing its international airport to commercial flights on March 26, Antigua and Barbuda began welcoming all tourists on June 4. New arrivals will be tested at the airport and those who test positive will have to enter isolation. Currently, nine hotels and resorts are open for guests with more opening on a rolling basis.

Aruba

Aruba began enforcing social distancing restrictions on March 16 and started reopening the borders on June 15. Currently, borders are open to citizens of Bonaire and Curacao. Visitors from Canada, Europe, and the rest of the Caribbean (excluding the Dominican Republic and Haiti) are permitted to enter after July 1, and U.S. travelers can enter July 10. Reopened businesses meet specific health and safety standards, called the Aruba Health & Happiness Code; approved businesses will have a gold certification seal.

Bahamas

The Bahamas entered lockdown in March, and currently, all islands will enter phase two of the five-phase reopening plan on July 1. International and domestic flights can resume in phase two along with hotels and home-share services. International boaters, yachters, and inter-island travel is currently allowed.

Barbados

While Barbados enacted stringent social distancing measures, it never established an official travel ban. However, commercial air traffic is suspended until June 30 with no set date on when airlines will resume flights. Since March 22, any arrivals from must quarantine. Barbadian residents can self-quarantine while visitors will have to quarantine in a government facility. On the island, many nonessential businesses and services are open for business, though there are social distancing measures in effect.

Bermuda

Bermuda will start accepting international arrivals on July 1. Travelers will need to have a negative COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of departure), health insurance, and wear face masks on the plane and in the airport. Once arrived, visitors will have to take another COVID-19 test and isolate until the results are returned, as well as undergo twice-daily temperature checks. Bermuda is currently in phase 3B of reopening.

Bonaire

Bonaire is beginning to reopen to tourists on July 1. On that date, people from Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands can travel to Bonaire with a cap of 1,000 European tourists admitted each week.  Tourists must provide a negative COVID-19 test to enter along with some other restrictions. Citizens of Curacao, Saba and Sint Eustatius, and Aruba can travel freely to and from Bonaire with minimal restrictions.

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands closed its borders on March 19 to all travelers, and they are not expected to reopen for tourism until at least mid-August. The country began to open internally at the end of April and has established a few phases for doing so.

Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands’ airports closed on March 22 to all incoming international travelers, and that closure was extended until Aug. 31, 2020. Cruise ship arrivals were banned as of March 16, and that ban was also extended to Aug. 31. Only returning residents are allowed to enter the country and they are then placed under a 14-day quarantine. Travel between the islands is also currently prohibited.

Daily Life In Cuba During Coronavirus Pandemic
Sven Creutzmann/Mambo Photo / Getty Images

Cuba

Cuba closed its borders to non-Cuban citizens on March 20 and suspended all international flights to and from the country on April 2. On May 13, the latter was extended until at least Aug. 1, 2020. Face masks are required within the country, and social distancing is recommended.

Curacao

Curacao relaxed its “shelter in place” order as of May 8 and is gearing up to welcome visitors. Borders are currently open for people from Aruba, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba. Citizens of the Netherlands can visit Curacao from July 1 onward.

Dominica

In a statement made by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit on May 17, the country had no active cases of COVID-19, and some restrictions were lifted beginning May 18. All travel to the country by foreign visitors is still suspended until further notice. 

Dominican Republic

Phase two of the country’s reopening began on June 3 with a national curfew extended until June 27. Tourism will resume in phase four with hotels, restaurants, and airports reopening. Phase four is expected to begin July 1. Masks are required in all public spaces.

Grenada

Grenada also closed its borders in March to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and the borders remain closed; however, it was announced that the country might reopen to visitors June 30 if the government determines it can do so safely.

Guadeloupe

Guadeloupe began phase two of its reopening strategy on June 22 and most businesses and attractions are open. Travelers from France can visit Guadeloupe with ease, but the are currently no flights offered from the U.S.

Jamaica

Jamaica reopening its borders to tourists on June 15 but all visitors will have to apply for a Travel Authorization before checking in for their flight. The country is phase one until June 30 which allows businesses within an established "Covid-19 Resilient Corridor" to open.

Martinique

As of June 23, international flights between France and Martinique have resumed and flights from other regions are rare. Certificates are not required unless arriving from Guyana. All new arrivals must self-quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from Guadeloupe, St. Barts, or St. Martin. Quarantine requirements are expected to end July 1, 2020.

Montserrat

With no new cases of the virus, Montserrat will begin a gradual reopening on May 25, 2020, starting with restaurants, churches, busses, and taxis. Restrictions eased further on June 8 and borders are open to residents, citizens, family members of Monserratians, and select essential workers. New arrivals must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Extends Curfew To Contain Coronavirus Spread
Jose Jimenez / Getty Images

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico topped more than 2,900 cases of COVID-19 in early May but began to cautiously reopen beaches and some businesses on Tuesday, May 26. The island will reopen to tourists on July 15. A curfew remains in place from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and masks will be required in public.

St. Barts

St. Barts had confirmed six cases of COVID-19 within the country. Beginning May 11, it kicked off a deconfinement plan, not unlike the policies of France and other French-Caribbean islands. International flights are no longer banned, but there is severely limited flight availability. Free movement between Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barts, and St. Martin is allowed.

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis reopened its borders after closing them entirely on April 28. Travelers from China, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the European Union, Switzerland, the U.K., the U.S., and the Dutch and French territories in the Caribbean are still banned. Travelers from other nations will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. A nightly curfew is in effect, and face masks are required in public.

St. Lucia

St. Lucia began its phased reopening on June 4. During Phase One, airports will be open; arriving passengers must have their temperatures checked, luggage sanitized, and immigration forms and customs declarations already completed. Several certified hotels will be open, as will some shops. Restaurants are open for pick-up and delivery only, and attractions are closed. Those who do not stay at a certified hotel must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Taxis will be available at this time, though car rentals will not be. Phase Two is scheduled to begin Aug. 1.

St. Martin

St. Martin has been restricting flights to Princess Juliana International Airport (TNCM) since March 17. There is now free movement between Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barts, and St. Martin and people can move freely between French St. Martin and Dutch St. Maarten. Dutch St. Maarten is lifting traveling restrictions and flights to and from the U.S. will resume July 1.

St. Vincent & Grenadines

St. Vincent and the Grenadines has kept all airports and seaports open, though travelers from Iran, China, South Korea, Italy, the U.S., the U.K., and all E.U. countries are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. Anyone who enters the country will be given a COVID-19 hotline number and is expected to report any symptoms. American Airlines will resume service to the islands on July 4. 

Trinidad & Tobago

As of March 22, Trinidad & Tobago’s borders are closed to travelers, including nationals. Trinidad & Tobago is currently in phase four of its reopening plan. Restaurants are open for dine-in services, beaches are open along with zoos and amusement parks. Borders will open in phase six however there is no start date announced.

Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos will resume international flights on July 22 and the Grand Turk Cruise Center will reopen on Aug. 31. The country ended nightly curfews and the economy will be fully reopened on July 6.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Airports in the U.S. Virgin Islands open for tourists June 1 and all arriving travelers are encouraged to monitor symptoms for 14 days.  The Territory is in the “Open Doors” phase of its five-tiered reopening plan. Beaches and golf courses are open, hotels can accept reservations and restaurants are open.

Article Sources
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