The gorgeous twin-island federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is finally reopened to tourism on Oct. 31—months after some of its Caribbean neighbors. However, with zero current COVID-19 cases and a full recovery of all 19 cases the islands previously dealt with, the destination is not taking any chances as it begins welcoming visitors back to its shores. All arrivals to St. Kitts and Nevis will have to jump through several safety hoops before they can relax in paradise—or go back home.
All incoming arrivals will be required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of traveling. All travelers will also have to undergo an arrival screening that includes a temperature check and health questionnaire and download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing app for use during the first 14 days of arrival.
While these entry requirements are all pretty standard at this point in the pandemic, St. Kitts and Nevis takes precaution up a notch from here: you can only book into government-approved hotels and only into a hotel that is approved for your specific category. This is particularly noteworthy for any travelers who have their heart set on staying at a specific hotel—like the one-of-a-kind Golden Rock Inn in Nevis, for example. Sorry, but it’s currently only open to locals.
International travelers will want to choose their hotel wisely since they’ll have to follow a strict quarantine period once they get there. For the first seven days of your stay, you’re free to partake in everything your hotel has to offer—but you can’t leave the premises. A second PCR test will be administered on day seven at the expense of the guest (around $150 for international visitors and $100 for nationals), and a negative result is needed to start booking approved tours and excursions through the hotel concierge. To be free to come and go as you please is to stay longer than two weeks and test out of yet another PCR test given on day 14.
The list of approved hotels for international travelers was updated on November 11, 2020. Currently, the only hotels able to welcome international visitors on St. Kitts are Koi Resort, by Curio, Hilton; Marriott Vacation Beach Club; Park Hyatt; Royal St. Kitts; and St. Kitts Marriott Resort. On Nevis, international tourists can stay at either Four Seasons Nevis or Paradise Beach.
When the Federation first opened its borders, it was a part of the Caribbean's CARICOM travel bubble. This allowed for laxer quarantine protocols for travelers arriving from Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. However, St. Kitts and Nevis has since withdrawn from the CARICOM travel bubble and all arrivals, including returning residents and nationals, are now categorized as international travelers.
Returning nationals ande residents must show proof of residency or citizenship. These travelers will still have to fill out the health questionnaire, undergo an arrival health screening, participate in a contact tracing program, and are limited to staying at government-certified hotels if not in a government-approved private home. Right now, the “travel-approved” hotels for this category are The Ocean Terrace Inn, Oualie Beach Resort, Potworks, and Royal St. Kitts Hotel.
Even if you're just flying into St. Kitts and Nevis as a passenger in transit, you'll need to provide proof of a negative PCR test on arrival, undergo a health screening at the airport, and wear a mask at all times—and you cannot leave the airport.
Currently, the U.S. Department of State lists the destination at a Level 3: Reconsider Travel advisory mostly focused on possible travel interruptions and border closures due to the pandemic. Head over to St. Kitts and Nevis’ official travel advisory page for entry requirements and quarantine details and up-to-date lists of flight schedules and government-approved hotels.