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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Restrictions for Caribbean Islands and Airports

News about how the Coronavirus is impacting travel to the Caribbean islands can be challenging to keep up with.  WIMCO can help you sort out the latest news, and when and how you can visit the Caribbean. This page is updated daily.

Necker Island

So, where can you vacation now?

May 29, 2020 – As of today, you can vacation in a villa on the beach right now in Mexico’s Riviera Maya coast or in Barbados as long as you agree to shelter in place, and only leave to step out to the beach for a swim. Groceries and take-out food will be delivered to your villa.

Several Caribbean island destinations where WIMCO operates have successfully controlled and eradicated the coronavirus locally, and have announced border reopening dates. Here is a list of countries who have published a tentative date when they plan to re-open their borders for tourism, based on official government announcements. We update this daily.

USVI (St John and St Thomas) – Confirmed resumption of tourism on June 1*

Riviera Maya & Cancun – Planning to re-open the region around June 10 *

Bahamas (and associated private islands there) – Planning to re-open the borders on July 1*

Mustique – Planning to re-open the borders on July 1*

Barbados – Open, with self quarantine for visitors

Turks & Caicos (and associated private islands there) Planning to re-open the border July 22*

* Each passenger will have their temperature taken upon arrival. If the passenger tests within the normal range they can move freely about the island during their vacation. Reopening dates announced by local governments are subject to change

The situation on each island is fluid. Contact your WIMCO villa specialist at info@wimco.com for the most up to date information, or to be placed on a destination travel alert list.

Getting there: Is it Safe to Fly Now? The TSA is allowing passengers to carry  up to 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in a carry-on bag. Many airport restaurants have reduced service to take out, and airlines are encouraging passengers to bring their own food and beverages as in-flight meal service is reduced. Airlines are performing sanitizing “wipe downs” of the planes during change overs. Read the full article for more detail.

Coronavirus Travel Restrictions for Caribbean Islands and Airports

St Barts travel news – re-opening this summer – The  island’s “shelter at home” order expired on Monday, May 11, and residents can now move freely around the island as long as they practice social distancing.  As of April 20 there are no active cases on St Barts.  The government is working on detail of a plan to reopen this summer, no earlier than June 6, and likely later. It is expected that there will be health screening at the airport for arrivals. Read more on the St Barts Covid19 page.

St Martin & Sint Maarten travel news – re-opening this summer –  On May 11 the Prime Minister introduced a five step plan to reopen the local economy, starting with an end to the shelter at home order on May 11, and ending with the reopening of the island to tourism, which would happen no earlier than June 15. It is expected that there will be health screening at the airport for arrivals.

Turks & Caicos travel news – re-opening this summer –  Premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson ended the shelter at home order on May 4.  The Premier announced on May 29 that the county’s borders would be re-opened to tourism on July 22.  It is expected that there will be health screening at the airport for arrivals. This reopening also applies to nearby private island resorts at Parrot Cay, Ambergris Cay and Sailrock on South Caicos.

Anguilla travel news – re-openign this summer – On April 28 Anguilla Governor Tim Foy ended the shelter at home order, and announced that the island would re-open its borders no earlier than May 31. That date has now been extended to sometime in June or July. It is expected that there will be health screening at the airport for arrivals. As of April 20 there are no active cases on Anguilla.

Barbados travel news – reopening with quarantine–  The shelter at home order ended on May 4, however an overnight curfew remains in effect from 8:00 pm to 5:00 am.  Some low-risk business have been permitted to reopen, the sale of alcohol is permitted, and beaches are open from 6:00 am to 9:00 pm

Mustique travel news – reopening set for July 1 – On March 22 the Mustique airport (MQS) paused all flights for non-residents  to protect the inhabitants of the island. The island is planing to reopen the airport for international arrivals on July 1. Once the airport is reopened, all guests will be required to wear N95 masks, surgical gloves and have immigration forms completed before landing on the flights to UVF, BGI and SVD and to Mustique.  No quarantining or masks are required on the island.  The restaurants, tennis courts, activity centre’s and common areas will be open with social distancing policies in place.

US Virgin Islands travel news – reopening June 1 (St John, St Thomas reopening info)- On May 4 Governor Albert Bryan Jr. announced the end of the shelter at home order, part of a five-step plan to reopen the islands for tourism by June 1, 2020. Step two was allowing businesses and beaches to reopen. On May 22 the government confirmed the June 1 reopening date for tourism, and permitted restaurants to resume dine-in services modified for social distancing.

British Virgin Islands travel news – reopening Sept 1 (Virgin Gorda and Tortola travel restrictions) – On April 26. Deputy Premier Carvin Malone announced the end of the shelter at home order, and the start a phased re-opening of businesses.  The BVI will open its borders to returning residents only starting on June 2 at the earliest. Non-resident visitors are not expected to be permitted to visit the BVI until September 1 at the earliest.

Access to private island resorts in the BVI is on hold  until September 1 – this includes Necker Island, Scrub Island, Oil Nut Bay, Moskito Island, Eustatia Island, Cooper Island, Jost Van Dyke, Peter Island and more. Guana Island will reopen on Oct 1.

Grand Cayman travel news – re-opening Sept 1 – On May 11Prime Minister Alden McLaughlin announced the end of the shelter at home order, although a nightly curfew remains in place. All international arrivals into Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman are suspended until 31st August 2020 at 11:59 pm.    The country is not expected to reopen for tourism until Sept 1, 2020 at the earliest.

Dominican Republic travel news – reopening this summer President Danilo Medina announced the closing of all borders starting on March 19. , until April 14. On April 3 President Medina asked Congress for authorization to extend the state of emergency for another 25 days, to continue implementing actions which include a curfew to slow down the rate of contagion of the coronavirus. This action is now extended until the end of May. The country is not expected to reopen for tourism until June17 at the earliest.

Jamaica travel news – reopening with quaratnines – On April 20 the government announced that the Sangster International Airport at Montego Bay (IATA: MBJ) would be closed to commercial flights until May 31. The country is not expected to reopen for tourism until June 1 at the earliest. Half Moon villa resort is proposing to reopen in June. Round Hill Villas is closed until SEPT 1.  The Tryall Club and Villas is proposing to reopen in early November.  

The Bahamas travel news –  reopening July 1 – On May 18  Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis announced yesterday the government is eyeing July 1 for the resumption of commercial flights to The Bahamas

Access to private island resorts in the Bahamas is permitted as soon as the county’s borders reopen. Kamalame Cay will reopen on July 1 or on a date set by the government which ever one comes later. Musha Cay has announced that they will reopen on July 15th, 202.  Reopening dates for Over Yonder Cay have not been published.

Antigua travel news – re-opening this summer – On March 25, the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda closed the V.C. Bird International airport to all incoming commercial traffic,  until May 31. The country is not expected to reopen for tourism until June 1 at the earliest.  Nearby Jumby Bay private island resort will resume operations on October 12, 2020.

Mexico travel news – re-opening this summer – The Riviera Maya (via Cancun airport) is welcoming visitors who show no signs of sickness or temperature. Visitors are asked to shelter in place in their villas, however trips to the grocery store and beach are permitted. Most of the popular restaurants are closed for the month of April to facilitate social distancing.

Riviera Maya travel news – reopening June 10: On May 13, the Quintana Roo Tourism Promotion Council announced that travel to Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya coast will begin in phases starting as early as June 10. There will be no restrictions of movement for arrivals

Darío Flota Ocampo, director of the Consejo de Promoción Turística de Quintana Roo (CPTQ) said that airlines from Canada, the United States and Europe have confirmed flights for June 1 and beyond.

St Lucia travel news – reopening in June – On May 18 Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee announced a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible fashion. Phase One of the reopening includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) on June 4, for flights from the United States only.  For connecting flights to Mustique (MQS). ask WIMCO’s air department for details.

Grenada travel news – re-opening this summer – On March 24 the Government imposed a curfew to limit infection, and ordered the closure of the Maurice Bishop airport in Grenada (GND) until April 15.  The Government extended the 24-hour curfew and the airport closure for an additional week (through April 27). Nearby Calivigny Island is scheduled to reopen in January, 2021

St.Kitts and Nevis travel news – reopening this fall – On March 26,  Prime Minister Dr Timothy Harris declared a State of Emergency,  closing its borders “to protect our borders, citizens, and residents.”  That impacts both St Kitts’ Robert L Bradshaw International Airport and Nevis’ Vance W. Amory International Airport. On April 20 the state of emergency was extended by six months, and intermittent curfews were rolled out. No date has been announced for the reopening of the borders.

Puerto Rico travel news – reopening this summer –  San Juan airport is open and accepting flights from North American cities. Connecting flights to the Virgin Islands and St Barts are on hold until April 15 as local governments have temporarily closed their airports to leisure travel flights.

On March 28, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, along with a closure of all local businesses, a shelter in place order, virus screening at the airport, and a 14-day self-quarantine for all visitors planning to stay in Puerto Rico.

Private Islands in the BVI, Grenadines and Bahamas reopening this summer in phases– Access to private island resorts is governed by the countries whose territorial waters they lie within. Consult the list above for area specific information.

Airline travel updates.

Airlines have reduced flights to the Caribbean, and are not expected to add flights until the summer.  Airlines have instituted cleaning procedures, and spacing procedures to protect passengers. The pace that airlines will ramp-up flights will be based on the level of consumer demand.

Criteria for re-opening to Caribbean Islands tourism.

The World Health Organization, the WHO, has established six (6) criteria that countries should use before lifting or relaxing the restrictions. These are:

  1. Controlling the transmission of the virus;
  2. Ensuring that the local health systems are able to detect, test, isolate and treat every COVID-19 case and to trace every contact;
  3. Ensuring that outbreak risks are minimized in special care settings such as healthcare facilities and nursing homes;
  4. Instituting preventative measures in workplaces, schools and other places where essential services are offered;
  5. Managing the risk of importing the virus from other countries/territories; and
  6. Fully educating, engaging and empowering communities to live under what has been described as the new normal

European Union Countries

For more news updates about travel to Italy, France and Greece during covid-19, countries with a coronavirus travel ban, and the latest information coronavirus travel restrictions, please see this related article:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Travel Restrictions for Italy, France and Greece

 

 

Travel advisories for North Americans planning to travel abroad

  • US State Department – Level Four travel advisory – March 31   (“Do not travel abroad” alert)
  • Canadian Government – Avoid all travel outside of Canada
  • CDC – Level Three travel alert – April 1 (CDC recommends that travelers avoid all nonessential travel to all global destinations)
  • CDC statement on the risk of getting Covid19 while flying – Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily. Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

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