Caribbean islands open for travel: Entry rules and protocols

Credit: Jennifer Martins

Most Caribbean islands have reopened to international tourism, with protocols in place to protect visitors and residents against Covid-19. Here are the latest developments for travel from the U.S. to each Caribbean country.

All international passengers flying into the U.S. from the Caribbean will need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test received no more than 72 hours prior to boarding the flight to the U.S. Airlines will deny boarding to those passengers who do not produce a test result. Since the rule was announced many hotels in the Caribbean region have stepped up to offer their guests pre-travel testing; see our report.

In addition, the CDC recommends that travelers get tested again three to five days after arrival and stay home for seven days after travel, unless they have been fully vaccinated.

Updated April 15.

•Anguilla:

U.S. travelers must apply through the visitor portal, www.ivisitanguilla.com Vaccinated travelers who have had the final dose of vaccine administered at least 21 days before arrival must submit a negative Covid-19 test result three to five days before travel, be tested upon arrival and quarantine for seven days. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 14 days and take a second test on day 14. Families or groups with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 10 days. The Entry Application fee for vaccinated travelers staying under 90 days in a villa, hotel or private home is $300 per individual and $200 for each additional person. Unvaccinated travelers staying in an approved accommodation is $600 per individual and $200 for each additional person. Starting July 1, all visitors must be vaccinated, although a negative Covid-19 test three to five days before entry will still be required. Effective Oct. 1, the travel authorization application for entry will be removed; all visitors must show evidence of completed Covid-19 vaccinations. Updated April 15.


•Antigua and Barbuda:

Open to U.S. travelers. U.S. travelers must submit proof of a negative PCR test taken seven days before boarding and complete the Traveler Accommodation form upon arrival in Antigua. Visitors who complete a successful screening (temperature check) by health officials are not required to quarantine once booked at a certified accommodations (at least 160 hotels and villa properties are certified) and can participate in certified tours/activities, including destination weddings, dining out and certain land and sea activities. More information: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.


• Aruba:

Open to U.S. visitors. All travelers are required to fill out an Embarkation/Disembarkation card between 72 and four hours prior to travel. U.S. visitors have the option of taking the PCR test at their own expense upon arrival at the airport in Aruba ($75) or can upload a negative test result from a test taken at within 72 hours at least 12 hours prior to departure. If they opt for a test upon arrival they must quarantine at their hotel until the test results are received. All visitors must purchase and pay for the Aruba Travel Insurance within 72 hours prior to departure; they can use their existing medical insurance to supplement the Aruba policy, but it cannot replace the Aruba Travel Insurance, which is $30 per person for those 15 and older, and $10 for those under 15. More information: visitaruba.com.


Bahamas:

Open to U.S. visitors. All travelers must submit a negative PCR test taken five days prior to arrival, submit a Bahamas Health Travel Visa and take a Covid-19 rapid antigen test on day five of their visit. Visitors must also complete a daily health questionnaire during their stay. Beginning Nov. 14, travelers must opt in to the mandatory health insurance plan when applying for the health visa at travel.gov.bs. Once the Covid test taken on Day 5 is returned with a negative result visitors can move beyond their accommodations. Visitors traveling to any of the 16 islands available to visitors must check the status of the island they want to visit, since conditions and instances of Covid can differ. More information: www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.

Barbados:

Open to U.S. visitors. New protocols take effect May 8. Fully vaccinated travelers are required to provide a vaccination certificate upon arrival, provide proof of a negative PCR test result taken within three days of travel, have a standard Covid-19 test done at the airport in Barbados or at the approved accommodation, use designated transportation providers to approved accommodation while awaiting test result, quarantine for one to two days. Unvaccinated travelers or those from or who transited through a country where certain variants of Covid-19 concern Barbados must provide a negative PCR test taken three days prior to arrival, use a designated transport provider, quarantine in rooms for five to seven days and take second test five days after arrival. Children under 18 traveling with vaccinated guardians are allowed to adhere to vaccinated traveler guidelines.


Until May 8: All incoming U.S. travelers over the age of 5 years must complete the online Immigration and Customs form 24 hours prior to arrival in Barbados at travel form.gov.bb and submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. U.S. travelers also have the option of in-home Covid testing through Stage Zero Life Sciences; the company will send a healthcare professional to draw nasal swabs, ship the samples to a lab and provide results within 48 hours, for $265 per person or $166 per person for a family of four. Visitors will be required to take a rapid antigen test upon arrival, quarantine for five nights at an approved hotel, villa or guesthouse and take a second PCR test during that time. More information: www.visitbarbados.org.

Bermuda:

Open to U.S. visitors. Travelers are required to complete the Bermuda Travel Authorization process online within 48 hours of departure. The fee is $75, which includes the cost of all Covid testing in Bermuda. Children nine and younger do not have to be tested at any point, and their Travel Authorization fee is $30. Visitors ages 10 and up must submit proof of a negative Covid test taken no more than five days before departure. Visitors must take a Covid test upon arrival and quarantine in hotel room until results are obtained (usually six to eight hours). Visitors are required to wear a Traveler Wristband for the first 14 days of their stay; the wristbands will be distributed during testing at arrival. Tests also are required on day 4, on day 8 and on day 14 of their trip at pop-up testing centers, with immediate results. A stay-at-home order is in place as of April 13. More information: www.gotobermuda.com.


Bonaire:

Open to U.S. visitors. As there are no direct flights, U.S. travelers must exit in Curacao and follow Curacao's entry protocols before connecting to Bonaire. In addition, Bonaire travelers must fill out an online health declaration form no earlier than 72 hours nor later than 48 hours prior to departure and show proof of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and an antigen test result within 24 hours of departure. All travelers must have health insurance that covers the costs of medical care while on Bonaire, including care related to Covid-19. More information: tourismbonaire.com. Updated April 1.


British Virgin Islands:

Open to U.S. travelers. Travelers are required to register on the online BVI Gateway portal at bvigateway.bviaa.com at least 48 hours prior to departure to obtain the Traveller Authorization Certificate and submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within three days of departure and medical insurance that includes coverage for Covid-19. At the Welcome Center at the Terrance Lettsome airport, visitors will have a health screening, take a PCR test and download a contact tracing app. Approved transportation will shuttle visitors to certified accommodations, where they will quarantine for four days, take another PCR test and, if negative, be allowed to visit designated locations. Visitors will pay $175 per person for two PCR tests, a contact-tracing bracelet and the Covid monitoring app. If visitors need a test to exit the BVI, the government will charge $70 per test. More information: bvitourism.com

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Cayman Islands:

Not currently open to U.S. visitors. The borders continue to reopen in phases. When U.S. visitors are allowed to enter they must apply via Travel Cayman Portal at www.exploregov.ky/traveltime to receive pre-travel approval, produce proof of medical insurance that includes Covid-19 coverage, show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, wear a Stay Safe Cayman monitoring wristband while in quarantine for 14 days and on day 15 be retested.


Cuba:

Open to U.S. visitors. All arriving passengers must submit a health declaration, produce a Cuba Tourist Card (available from the airlines) and produce a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arrival and take another PCR test upon arrival, with results available within 24 hours. The test upon arrival is free. All incoming travelers must have travel insurance that covers Covid-19 during their stay. Visitors must quarantine in accommodations until results arrive and be PCR tested at their own expense on Day 5. American visitors are barred from strictly tourist vacations to the all-inclusive resorts on the north coast but can travel to Cuba under 12 specific categories, the most popular of which is Support for the Cuban People. All regulations are detailed at https://cu.embassy.gov/covid-19-information.


Curacao:

Open to U.S. visitors. Visitors must complete a Digital Immigration Card, fill out and upload a Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of departure (carry a printed copy as proof upon arrival) and upload proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure (carry a printed copy, as well). Children six and under are exempt from the test requirement. A surge of Covid cases prompted restrictions in Curacao: Visitors must abide by an islandwide curfew that began March 24 and will last at least two weeks, and beaches are currently closed. Updated March 25.


Dominica:

Open to U.S. visitors. Visitors must upload an online health questionnaire at least 24 hours prior to arrival; submit a negative PCR test result taken between 24 and 72 hours before arrival, and receive an email notification from Dominica of clearance to travel.


Once on the ground in Dominica, visitors have a temperature check and undergo rapid test screening at no charge, with results available in 15 to 20 minutes. If test result is negative, guests go through immigration and customs and are transferred to a property that has been certified safe by the Environmental Health Department. and quarantine for five days. A PCR test ($40) will be administered on day five; if negative, the traveler is free to move about the island.


All entry requirements are at http://domcovid19.dominica.gov.dm. Dominica has no nonstop flights from the U.S.; Visitors who transit in the following islands (Antigua, Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and St. Lucia) to connect on a regional carrier to Dominica must follow the entry regulations of that island as well as adhere to the entry requirements for Dominica. U.S. visitors who transit in Antigua must quarantine up to seven days in Dominica and wear a color-coded wristband until the visitor has had a PCR test on day five and been medically cleared.

Dominican Republic:

Open to U.S. visitors. The Dominican Republic eliminated the entry requirement for proof of a negative Covid-19 test result on Sept.15. All travelers are still required to fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit. The forms can be accessed at https://eticket.migracion.gob.do. Travelers will get a temperature check upon arrival. In place of the test result is a rapid Breathalyzer-style test that will be performed on randomly selected travelers upon arrival. The test takes five minutes and detects if a traveler was exposed or infected within the last four hours. If positive, the traveler quarantines in a designated area within his hotel and is regularly tested until symptoms are gone. The rapid test is part of the government's initiative called The Plan for the Responsible Recovery of Tourism and includes free health and travel insurance coverage through March 31 that covers hospitalization for coronavirus in the DR, telemedicine services, costs for extended hotel stays and airline ticket changes. The insurance is paid for by the DR. More information: godominicanrepublic.com.

Grenada:

Open to U.S. visitors. All pre-arrival documents must be entered digitally no later than 48 hours prior to the date of travel. The documents include a negative PCR test result from anyone aged 5 and over taken within 72 hours of travel; proof of a minimum five-day reservation from one of the Pure Safe travel accommodations of more than 60 hotels, inns, apartments and resorts; health declaration forms and waivers and download the Ronatrac mobile app for contact tracing. Visitors must quarantine at their hotel for the first four days of their visit; on day four visitors have the option to get a PCR test and, if negative, can then move about the island. All forms and information are at ht