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Where Can Americans Go in the Caribbean?

*Editor’s Note: Each week, we’ll be covering regions and updating you on which countries are open to Americans for travel and what you need to know before you go. Check  PeterGreenberg.com  for all of the latest, weekly updates. This week, we begin with the Caribbean.

 

Anguilla:

Anguilla has been in phase one of reopening since August 21st. You’ll have to submit a pre-registration application online with the Anguilla Tourist Board before you visit. You’re also required to disclose dates of travel, home address, and submit a negative COVID-19 test 3-5 days ahead of arrival. Once landing at the airport, you will have to take another COVID-19 test and stay in an approved accommodation site. There is not a minimum stay requirement, but after 10 days on the island, you will have to take another coronavirus test. You will also have to wait ten days to rent a car. In the event you test positive, you will have to isolate at a government-approved location. Wearing a mask isn’t mandatory but guests are expected to respect social distancing rules and hygiene practices.  Not only will you be required to provide an insurance policy covering medical expenses related to COVID-19, but you will also be charged $1,000 per individual for a stay of less than three months. The fee covers testing, additional health staff required during your visit, and surveillance and security for the ports and accommodation. A family of up to four will be charged $1,500 in total. There will be no minimum period for stays, yet the registration process and fees remain the same.

 

Antigua and Barbuda:

If traveling by air, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result is required, and it must be taken within seven days before you travel. Once you get there, you will be monitored for 14 days, but that does not mean quarantine. You can still go to the beach, but just remember that you can’t have beach parties due to social distancing. Properties currently opened include Buccaneer Beach Club, Cocobay Resort, Cocos Hotel, Heritage Hotel, Hodges Bay Resort, Lamblion Apartments, Nonsuch Bay Resort, Hammock Cove, Sandals Grande Antigua, Siboney Beach Club, The Escape at Nonsuch Bay Resort, The Villas at Sunset Lane, and Tradewinds. Starting in October, more properties will reopen. There are currently 24 tour operators that are certified and operating. More are set to open in October.

 

Aruba:

Since July 10th, it has been open to American visitors. As of September 25th, Americans from 23 states considered high-risk will need to upload a proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of flying to Aruba or they won’t be allowed to board. Those from less risky states will also need to upload a test or have one taken at Oranjestad’s airport. Those who take a test on arrival will need to quarantine at their hotel for up to 24 hours while awaiting the results. The tests are paid for by the tourist.

 

All guests must also purchase visitors’ insurance from the nation of Aruba. The cost of Visitors Insurance starts at $15 per day and decreases depending on the length of your stay. Children up to and including age 14 are insured for free per day, but a one-time flat administration fee of $10 is applicable per child. For visitors older than age 75, the coverage starts at $21 per day, and also decreases depending on the length of stay.

 

The country has also placed temporary capacity limits on some tourist spots, especially in popular destinations. Casinos are open with new safety measures in place.

 

There’s also the “One Happy Workation” program, which allows for visitors to book their stay in Aruba for up to a three-month duration and work remotely.

 

The Bahamas:

The Bahamas have been open since July 1st. Travellers are required to complete an electronic Health Visa, present a COVID-19 RT-PCR test with a negative result taken no more than five days prior to date of travel, and upload it to the Health Visa portal and present it upon arrival to the Bahamas. All hotel guests must “Vacation-in-Place” (VIP) for 14 days or the length of their stay, whichever is shorter. There’s also a curfew in place between 10 p.m. – 5 a.m. daily.

 

Barbados:

It has been open for all countries since July. In effect from September 19th, it is mandatory for all persons travelling to Barbados from high and medium risk countries to take a COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited or certified facility/laboratory within 72 hours prior to arrival in order to enter the country. (U.S. is a high-risk country). In other words, any person travelling to Barbados without a negative COVID-19 PCR test will be denied entry. Persons travelling from low-risk countries are strongly advised to take, and will be allowed to present results of tests taken up to five days prior to arrival. In order to expedite processing through the airport, travellers are also required to complete the online Immigration and Customs form available 72 hours prior arrival in Barbados.

 

Bermuda:

Since July 1st, it has been open to Americans. Both visitors and residents must apply for a Bermuda COVID-19 Travel Authorization one to three days before departure. Visitors must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than seven days* before departure. (*For example, a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test taken on September 1st, will be valid for travel until September 8th.) Upon arriving, you must undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport. Once on the island, visitors must quarantine at their accommodation until arrival test results are received.

 

The Dominican Republic:

Since July 1st, it has been open to American travelers. As of September 15th, you no longer need to provide a negative PCR or COVID-19 test upon arrival. Instead, airports and other ports of entry will administer a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3% and 10% of passengers, and all those who present symptoms, upon arrival. All passengers will also need to perform a temperature check. Starting August 9th until September 27th, the curfew was reinstated from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. from Monday through Friday and from 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Santiago, San Cristóbal, La Vega, Puerto Plata, Duarte, San Pedro de Macorís, La Romana, San Juan de la Maguana, La Altagracia, Azua, Monseñor Nouel, Sánchez Ramírez y María Trinidad Sánchez; and every day from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. in Espaillat, Peravia, Barahona, Monteplata, Valverde, Hermanas Mirabal, Monte Cristi, Samaná, Bahoruco, Hato Mayor, El Seibo, Dajabón, Santiago Rodríguez, San José de Ocoa, Elías Piña, Independencia and Pedernales. The use of public pools, lakes and rivers has been temporarily banned at a nationwide level. Beaches remain open, while still practicing social distancing. Parks are open for recreational and exercise purposes.

 

Grenada:

It has been open as of August 1st, but with many restrictions. Anyone traveling to Grenada from a high-risk country must undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine period awaiting upon arrival. Additionally, tourists from “red zones” (there are red, yellow, and green zones) will have to undergo quarantining at an approved state facility for the same period — subject to the discretion of local officials. Additionally, requirements of low and middle-risk countries still apply. A negative PCR test result, dated at most seven days prior to entry, is needed — and rapid testing upon arrival will still take place. You may have to stay two to four days at a government-approved accommodation while awaiting PCR results and be able to resume quarantine elsewhere (as long as they are not from the “red zones”).

 

Haiti:

A health declaration form must be completed in-flight and presented to immigration authorities upon arrival. Temperature screenings are mandatory upon arrival. Once on the island, wearing a face mask is required in all places of business, and customers’ hands are sprayed with disinfecting solutions. Public transportation is still available, and wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged.

 

Jamaica:

Jamaica officially reopened for tourism beginning June 15th. All visitors from the United States of America (USA), Brazil, Dominican Republic or Mexico who are 12 years of age or over, are required to obtain and upload a COVID-19 PCR test result from an CAP, CLIA, or ISO 15189 accredited or certified medical laboratory for travel authorization approval. The date of the sample collection must be less than 10 days from the travel date to Jamaica. Example: For a travel date of October 20th, the earliest the test sample may be collected is October 11th. Samples collected using home test kits (ex. Pixel by LabCorp), along with antibody and antigen tests will not be accepted. Applications will be accepted up to 5 days, but NO LESS than two days before the date of intended travel to Jamaica. All U.S. travelers must bring along negative results of a COVID-19 test, dated within 10 days of the date of arrival. You are also required to stay at accommodation under the “Stay in Resilient Corridor” control measure.

 

Puerto Rico:

Puerto Rico officially reopened to all international travelers on July 15th. To enter Puerto Rico you must fill out a Travel Declaration form through the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal, get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior visiting the Island, and show proof of a negative result. A curfew on the Island is in effect through October 2nd from 10:00 p.m.– 5:00 a.m., except for emergencies. Public beaches and natural reserves are open for leisure, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations are open, with supermarket delivery services available through midnight. Restaurants and museums will be operating at 50% capacity and pools at hotels and other establishments are open at 25% capacity.

 

St. Barths:

St. Barthelemy (St. Barths) opened to tourists beginning June 22nd. Visitors (age 11+) are required to show a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test (this is the molecular-based nasal swab test) where the date the test was administered is within 72 hours of their arrival. Visitors (age 11+) staying longer than 7 days will be required to take an additional RT-PCR COVID-19 test in St. Barth, at their own expense ($158), on the 8th day following their arrival. (i.e. if you arrived in St. Barth on Sunday, you will need to test locally on the following Monday).  The testing lab is available to drive up Monday-Friday from 2-3 p.m. and Saturday 9-10 a.m. If a visitor tests positive, they will be required to self-quarantine for 7 days or until they re-test negative.  If a visitor is unable to remain in their rented accommodations for the required period of time, they may quarantine at a designated lodging facility which is located in St. Jean.

 

St. Lucia:

Since June 4th, it has been open for all travelers. All arriving passengers (5 years and older) must have a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than 7 days before arriving in St. Lucia. All arrivals must either have confirmed reservations at a COVID-19 certified accommodation provider for the duration of their stay or have a pre-arranged stay confirmed at a government operated quarantine facility. COVID certified taxis are only booked by a certified hotel. Guests are required to remain at their hotel for the duration of their stay. But you won’t necessarily be “quarantined.” There are a few tour operators that you can book from your hotel.

 

St Maarten:

To travel to St Maarten, you must show a negative PCR test taken within 120 hours of travel. You must also submit an Electronic Health Authorization System (EHAS) health form. Children under the age of 10 are exempt from the testing. While, St Maarten, the Dutch side of the island, is open to Americans and all other travelers, Saint Martin, the French side, has closed its borders to the Dutch side — meaning U.S. visitors are not able to visit the French side of the island right now.

 

St. Vincent and the Grenadines:

They are open to travel but if you are traveling from a high risk country like the U.S. you must show a negative RT-PCR test and will be retested upon arrival. You have to go through a mandatory five-day quarantine at an authorized hotel. You must be retested between day four and day five of your mandatory quarantine. There are no curfews in place or other restrictions in intercity or interstate travel.

 

Turks and Caicos:

You must get pre-authorization from TCI Assured before traveling which requires you to submit a negative COVID testing result taken five days prior to travel. Children under 10 are exempt. You must also show proof of insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs and full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance. There is a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Grand Turk and South Caicos have curfews from 6 p.m. daily until September 30th. Until September 15th, restaurants had a limit to 10 people, but that may have been increased now. Cruise ships to Grand Turk are banned until January 2021. Resorts and hotels are open but you have to contact them personally as every one of them has their own reopening dates.

 

The U.S. Virgin Islands:

As of September 19th, anyone over the age of five must submit a negative COVID-19 test result through the USVI travel screening portal taken five days prior to travel. Travelers from anywhere are allowed to enter, but you can only fly in from the United States. You must go through a temperature checkpoint at the airport. Currently restaurants in USVI are allowed to only take 50% capacity or 50 people, whatever is less. And there can be no more than six people per table. Restaurants must close between midnight and 6 a.m. every day. Bars are to remain closed. Bowling alleys, movie theaters, and casinos are now open. Beaches are closed from 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Holidays. You are not allowed to have parties, barbecues, picnics, or bonfires on the beach.

 

NOT OPEN (as of September 24th): Trinidad and Tobago, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Monserrat

 

St. Kitts and Nevis:

Borders are scheduled to reopen to air and commercial traffic on October 1st. Visit here for more updates.

 

Cuba:

All international flights have been suspended until September 30th. Americans are allowed to travel to Cuba under 11 different travel categories. On September 23rd, President Trump announced Americans visiting Cuba are going to be prohibited from staying at 433 hotels that are believed to be owned or controlled by the government or “certain well-connected insiders.” U.S. credit and debit cards do not work in Cuba. Bring cash to cover your stay. The Cuban government requires that travelers declare cash amounts over $5,000.