Nearly all travel was abruptly put on hold earlier this year as result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are seeing signs of re-openings and restrictions lifting around the world. In many cases, Caribbean island nations are reopening as early as June 15. Travelers need to know about potential destinations so we’ve compiled a list of Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions by country.
Studies have shown that post Coronavirus travel is ready to take-off with a lot of pent-up demand for leisure and business travelers. Before going, travelers should know the latest Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions by country.
We are providing a series on global reopenings from the COVID-19 pandemic. My first installment was Europe reopenings and restrictions.
PointMe’s Juicy Miles booking site is getting a lot of interest and flight requests for the Caribbean. That’s no surprise as it’s one of the top summer destinations for many travelers. The Caribbean will be the second installment in our series of reopenings, country by country.
Now, our attention is on the many Caribbean islands. We’ll look at the countries within the Caribbean to see what Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions and policies are in place and what has changed in recent days.
Many of these island nations have laid out their plans for their “new normal” for locals. In addition, they are welcoming back visitors after being forced to take a pause as the coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe.
This gives sun chasers and island lovers everywhere a sign of hope that lounging on a white sandy beach while looking out at shimmering turquoise water may not be too far off. Personally, I have been looking at long-term AirbnB rentals which offer fantastic values.
Caribbean Coronavirus Travel Restrictions by Country
Accurate as of August 25, 2020
All the Countries of the Caribbean
Here are the thirteen (13) Independent countries of the Caribbean:
Antigua and Barbuda
Travelers to Antigua and Barbuda must provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result. The test must be within seven days of arrival. Absent the negative test result, the government can require arriving travelers to quarantine or to be tested (which comes with a $100 price tag.)
Temperatures checks are conducted at the airport. Furthermore people are asked to register with the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment for contact tracing and possible monitoring.
Visitors to Antigua and Barbuda must have a mask and it’s mandatory to wear it in public at all times. The penalty for not wearing a mask when required is fine of up to $5,000 or up to 6 months in jail.
Finally, under Quarantine Act (COVID-19) Regulations 2020, passed in June, “Persons traveling to Antigua and Barbuda from countries where there are outbreaks of COVID-19” will be subject to quarantine.
American Airlines currently offers daily nonstop flights from Miami to Antigua, with service on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with 16 seats in first class and 156 in the main cabin.
Find more information here
The Bahamas has opened its borders to all travelers, including visitors. However, beginning Wednesday, July 22 visitors from the United States are banned. This is in response to the surge in reported cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Travelers from other countries must submit a Travel Health Visa Application form online at travel.gov.bs. Confirmation will be provided via email. Each traveler must have that confirmation on hand upon arrival at their destination. Visitors from Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union are still be permitted to enter the Bahamas. As a result, the nation’s airline, Bahamasair, announced it will cease flights to the US immediately.
Where to Stay: The Royal at Atlantis, Nassau, Bahamas
For more information and updates check here with the Bahamas Ministry of Health
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley announced that the country reopens July 12 for international visitors. International flights will resume on that date.
Passengers arriving from China, Europe, Iran, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States will be quarantined for 14 days. Barbadian residents returning from these countries will be required to self-quarantine. Non-residents will be quarantined at a Government facility. There is no projected date for the lifting of this restriction.
There is a curfew in force; Monday to Thursday from 10 pm to 5 am and 8 pm to 5 am on Friday to Sunday. Beach access is permitted from 5:00 am to 6:30 pm daily. No groups of more than three persons are allowed, unless of the same family.
Where to Stay:
More information can be found here
All non-resident foreigners are barred from entering Cuba. Nationals and residents arriving on the island are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
Cuba has closed its airport until at least June 30, according to the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Southwest Airlines and American Airlines plan to start operating flights to the island on July 7.
There is one important note for some travelers to know. Cuba does not recognize the U.S. nationality of Cuban-born U.S. citizens. The Cuban government requires Cuban dual nationals to enter and depart Cuba using Cuban passports.
More information is available at the Cuba Minster’s site
Dominica has closed its borders to commercial and private flights or boats, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados. The first commercial flights are scheduled for June 30, 2020.
The country also has a curfew in place at night. Curfew is 7 pm to 5 am on Monday-Friday and 6 pm on Saturday until 5 am on Monday on the weekend.
Updates will be provided at the government’s website
The Dominican Republic re-opened to international tourists on July 1. However, travelers to this island nation must provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test result in order to enter the country. In October, the Dominican Republic will allow travelers to forgo the pre-travel test requirement in favor of random, on-site rapid testing procedures.
As a huge bonus for visiting the Dominican Republic the government announced that guests staying at hotels will receive a free travel insurance plan covering emergencies, telemedicine, and costs toward an extended stay and flight changes in the event of an infection!
You can find more information here
Grenada is planning to re-open its borders as early as June 30. Charter flights, however, may resume earlier than that. Grenada remains under a state of emergency; however the beaches are accessible during morning hours. The summer carnival celebrations called Spicemas have been canceled.
Spice Island Beach Resort will be accepting reservations on Nov. 1.
Latest updates can be found at Grenada’s Ministry of Health’s website
Haiti has lifted its travel restrictions. All travelers are subject to medical screening and must present a completed Health Declaration Form on arrival.
The Ministry of Tourism announced the establishment of a management and monitoring protocol for all travelers entering the country as soon as they get off the plane, to start by a systematic coronavirus screening test. The ministry maintains that all suspected positive cases will be automatically quarantined according to the protocol defined by the health authorities. This protocol is in place when flights are restarted.
More information is available at the Haitian Ministry of Tourism Website
Passengers coming from these countries are not subjected to mandatory testing due to these countries’ management of the COVID-19 crisis: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Monserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands.
Jamaica recently revised some of its international travel restrictions. For Americans, and many others arriving from other countries, the restrictions are strict. You will be required to present a pre-travel health authorization registration upon arrival. In addition, passengers from a number of states within the US are now required to provide further documentation. Specifically, those coming from Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas (deemed ‘high risk’) by the Jamaica government are required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. These results must be within 10 days from the day the sample was taken to the day of arrival in Jamaica.
Jamaica has a great video welcoming guests back, referring to the island nation as “Jamaica; The Heartbeat of the World”
You can find the latest updates at the Jamaica Government website
Saint Kitts and Nevis
As of June 12, the islands report zero active cases of COVID-19.
In spite of this, the borders of St. Kitts & Nevis remain closed to commercial traffic by air and sea to prevent and/or delay the possibility of importing new cases of COVID-19 to the islands. The government is working to determine the opportune time at which to open the borders.
Beaches are open only from 5:30 am until 9:00 am Monday to Friday. There is also a night curfew in place.
Where to Stay: A Selection of the Best Properties
More information can be found here
The borders of Saint Lucia officially opened to international travelers on June 4, 2020 as part of the nation’s Phase One reopening plan. Arriving passengers must present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flight. Phase Two requirements, to begin August 1, are still yet to be announced.
Citing that Saint Lucia recorded a 100% recovery rate of all positive cases. The nation recognizes that tourism contributes 65% of the island’s GDP; therefore it cannot remain closed indefinitely.
Where to Stay: Villa Beach Cottages – Saint Lucia, Caribbean offers free cancellation and private bungalows!
More information on travel restrictions can be found here
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
While Saint Vincent and the Grenadines’ airport remains open, there are no commercial flights. All people arriving from several countries, including the U.S., are subject to a 14-day quarantine.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines reported new COVID-19 infections from repatriated cruise ship workers despite their being stranded on boats for two months.
Find more information at this SVG site
Trinidad and Tobago
On Monday, June 1, the government of Trinidad and Tobago began its third phase of the easing of restrictions introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Malls were permitted to reopen on Monday on the condition that members of the public observe social distancing and wear face masks. Malls are still required to close at 18:00 (local time). While street vendors have been allowed to resume and restaurants are open for take-out, dine-in is not offered. Additionally, outdoor exercise is allowed, but face masks must be worn.
The Trinidad and Tobago government has indefinitely closed its borders.
The nation optimistically plans to host the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPLT20.) The cricket tournament is scheduled to start from 19 August and end on 26 September 2020.
More details and the latest updates can be found here
Territories and Other Statuses: Caribbean Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
We’ll continue with our Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions by country, now focuses on the territories.
Anguilla (British Overseas Territory)
Previously, the government required all persons arriving in Anguilla who had traveled outside of the Caribbean region to be quarantined for 14 days on arrival. The government has banned direct flights from Europe, including the United Kingdom.
Only nationals and Anguilla residents, or holders of valid work permits may enter the island nation.
At this point, no definitive date for reopening the borders to commercial international travel has been announced; however, the government has outlined their measured approach to reopening, which will take place in phases:
Phase One is the repatriation of Anguilla residents overseas who need to return home
In Phase Two, the administration will prepare to welcome paying guests. The Anguilla government is currently working on a number of touchless solutions. Travel safety protocols such as online immigration processing, virtual check-in and check-out at hotels will be implemented on reopening.
More information is available at Anguilla’s BeatCOVID19 website
Aruba (Constituent Kingdom, Netherlands)
As of June 1, lottery sales outlets, restaurants with inside seating, bakeries, coffee shops, spas, massage salons and saunas can all resume operations. A definite date for reopening Aruba’s borders has not yet been announced.
Aruba has a curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Aruba’s tourism minister announced plans to reopen the country’s borders on July 1st. Travelers from Europe are welcome as early as July 1. American tourists are welcome to visit Aruba beginning July 10.
Where to Stay: Aruba has some incredible hotels, mostly along Palm Beach facing west for incredible sunsets. I recommend the following properties:
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino (with Free Cancellation)
Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino (with Free Cancellation)
Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino (with Free Cancellation)
Travel Restrictions & updates can be found here
While not technically a Caribbean island, Bermuda often comes to mind when people think of a vacation to a nearby (from the US) island nation. Bermuda is a British island territory, located in the North Atlantic. It’s often associated with its pink-sand beaches.
Bermuda is home to a World Heritage Site; St. George; the territory’s original capital. It is known for its many shipwrecks along its reef in in relatively shallow and remarkably clear waters, making it ideal for divers.
Bermuda announced it is opening for visitors on July 1. Arriving persons will have to provide proof of a negative result COVID-19 test, taken within three days of their arrival on the island. Travelers wishing to enter Bermuda, whether visitors or residents, are required to complete an online Bermuda travel authorization which gathers information for health and immigration officials; a $75 fee is required, which covers a COVID-19 testing.
Where to Stay:
More information on Bermuda travel restrictions can be found here
Bonaire (Special Municipality, Netherlands)
Bonaire announced a tentative opening of the Flamingo International Airport for June 15. On Sint Eustatius, restaurants and bars are re-open with capacity restrictions. Hotels can open but leisure flights to the island are still restricted. Saba’s borders remain closed as well.
More information is available here
British Virgin Islands (British Overseas Territory)
The country continues to report no active cases of COVID-19. The British Virgin Islands beaches reopened for exercise and therapy from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. Riders of motorbikes and scooters are prohibited from using the Territory’s roads between the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
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.
More information can be found at the British Virgin Islands website
Cayman Islands (British Overseas Territory)
A nightly curfew remains in place for Grand Cayman. All international arrivals into Owen Roberts International Airport (GCM) on Grand Cayman are suspended until September 1st. The country is not expected to reopen for tourism until Sept 1, 2020 at the earliest.
However, recently the government cautioned the September 1 border reopening as ‘unlikely.’ Cayman Islands Premier Alden McLaughlin stated “Given what I and everybody else is seeing in the United States, the September 1st reopening date is not looking good.”
Where to Stay: One of your best bets is to book at Wyndham Reef Resort, Grand Cayman, for after September 1, with Free Cancellation.
More information is available here
Curaçao (Constituent Kingdom, Netherlands)
Curaçao is closed to external visitors. Additionally, while Curaçao, a territory of the Netherlands, its curfew has been totally lifted.
Establishments such as restaurants and ‘truk’i pan’ (food trucks) may now continue to operate as they did prior to the regulations that were implemented during and after the lock down.
It is still not permitted to be in groups larger than 25 people. Additionally, a distance of 2 meters between persons must be maintained and everyone must adhere to all hygiene protocols.
The Curaçao International Airport (CUR) remains closed for all inbound passengers. Although Curaçao prepares for a new normal, its government has not announced a planned reopening date for its tourism sector.
More information can be found at the Curaçao Tourist Board’s site
Federal Dependencies of Venezuela (Territories, Venezuela)
The largest island of the federal dependencies, La Tortuga, accounts for almost half of the territory.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro extended the nation’s lockdown through June 12. The restrictions to national flights were also extended through the same date.
Guadeloupe (Overseas Department, France)
Air France Commercial Airline is operating flights twice a week between Guadeloupe and Paris. The island nation has a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. The same travel restriction and rigorous measures applied to all French territories are also in place for Guadeloupe.
For more information, travelers should visit Guadeloupe’s Public Health portal.
Martinique (Overseas Department, France)
Air France is operating flights twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Martinique to Paris. A curfew is now in effect from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Gatherings of more than 10 persons are prohibited.
All leisure activities, restaurants, bars and businesses are closed. Public transportation is no longer in operation.
Martinique’s borders remain closed to foreign nationals who lack a permanent residence permit in one of the Schengen member and associated states, the European Union or United Kingdom.
Potential travelers in France have expressed more interest in flying nine hours to the country’s Caribbean territory of Martinique than in a short hop to Spain or Italy, according to recent flight search data.
Where to Stay: Located in Sainte-Luce, Résidence Pierre & Vacances Premium Les Ilets offers beachfront accommodation 450 meters from Gros Raisin Beach (Free Cancellation)
More information is available here
Montserrat (British Overseas Territory)
Called “The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean” both for its terrain and the heritage of its inhabitants, Montserrat is a British territory in the Leeward Islands and it is considered to be the ‘safest island in the Caribbean.’
Montserrat has relaxed business restrictions while reducing their curfew to 10pm to 5am from June 8 to July 1.
Entries of nonresident foreigners to Montserrat are banned until further notice. The nation hopes to re-open flights as early as July 1.
More information available at Montserrat’s website
Puerto Rico (Commonwealth, United States)
Puerto Rico has established a four-phase Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions reopening plan. As part of its four-phased plan, the island opened for business on May 26 with face masks mandatory in public and enforced social distancing. According to the travel advisory issued by Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing organization, new rules include screening on arrival at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan where passengers might be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms. A boatload of safety measures include restaurants operating with a maximum capacity of 25% and beaches open for surfing, jogging, swimming and kayaking (but no sunbathing). Golf courses are open with safety protocols in place. Many of the hotels are open as are malls and shops although trying on clothing is a no-no. Pool facilities are open at 25% capacity, within curfew hours, though spas and casinos remain closed. As a U.S. territory, no passports are needed for American citizens arriving from the U.S. mainland. For those who enjoy the path-less-taken, you’ll have to wait a little longer to visit the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
Where to Stay:
Here are my favorite hotels:
Saba (Special municipality, Netherlands)
The Caribbean island of Saba, along with Bonaire, and Sint Eustatius have no reported deaths from COVID-19.
Saba is dependent upon the St. Maarten (SXM) airport for international visitors arriving by air. July 1 is the earliest date that St. Maarten will reopen its airport to international visitors.
Saint Barthélemy (Overseas Collectivity, France)
Officials consider the current risk of transmission in Saint Barthelemy to be low. Businesses must limit the number of customers within their premises. The use of a facemask is mandatory on all public transportation services. The following businesses and activities have reopened and allowed to resume activity:
Cafes, bars, and restaurants
Retail stores and malls
Museums, monuments, and parks
Gyms, fitness centers, pools, and entertainment venues
Most schools and colleges will gradually reopen
Most beaches are open to public access
All restrictions for France’s overseas territories apply here as well.
In spite of the loosening of many restrictions, nonresident foreign nationals remain banned from entering the islands. This is expected to be lifted as early as June 22, or whenever the SXM airport opens. Arriving passengers must show a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
The latest updates are available here
Saint Martin (Overseas Collectivity, France)
Saint Maarten’s economy is based on a single sector of activity – tourism – on which nearly 70 per cent of jobs (direct and indirect) depend. The government has acknowledged the need to re-open as quickly as possible to prevent falling into an economic collapse.
As a result, Collectivité President Daniel Gibbs is seeking an immediate lifting of the 14-day quarantine requirement as of June 22. The leader offers implementation of a test on departure and then a seven-day isolation for all passengers on arrival. He cites compelling reasons to protect the nation’s economy.
France has the final decision on Gibbs’ request, yet he notes a disparity between the economy of France and the French Overseas Territories.
Sint Eustatius (Special Municipality, Netherlands)
Affectionately called “Statia”, Sint Eustatius is a captivating, largely unspoiled little island. For many who visit her, she remains a well-kept secret.
Sint Eustatius, along with Bonaire, and Saba have no deaths from COVID-19.
All three islands have restricted the entry of travelers from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
No date is known for the re-opening of Sint Eustatius.
Sint Maarten (Constituent Kingdom, Netherlands)
If you ever get the chance, you should visit Sint Maarten and make it a point to visit Maho Beach. Maho Beach is the site of an amazing aircraft approach. People flock to stand below arriving airplanes which land at SXM just a few feet from the sandy beach. The image above was taken by me from the bar and restaurant on the same sandy perch.
Sint Maarten announced a tentative opening of the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) for some time after July 1, 2020. A curfew is in effect from 11:00pm to 5:00am. Currently, a 14-day quarantine is in effect for arriving passengers.
One of my favorite hotels in Sint Maarten is the Sonesta Maho Beach All Inclusive Resort Casino & Spa. All meals included, located right on Maho Beach and it’s been completely renovated since being damaged from Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6, 2017.
The government maintains a well laid out site here
Turks and Caicos Islands (British Overseas Territory)
Turks and Caicos plans on reopening to tourists on July 22, utilizing new protocols for things like personal protective equipment and training, which officials said will be detailed in the coming weeks. The airport opens the same date. However, the Grand Turk Cruise Center, however, will remain closed until August 31.
There is currently a nightly curfew in place on the islands while face masks are required to be worn in public places. Retail businesses have re-opened. Restaurants are expected to reopen on July 6.
United States Virgin Islands (Territory, United States)
The U.S. Virgin Islands is closing to leisure visitors in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The decision is effective Wednesday, August 19, and will last for a period of at least one month.
Effective immediately, hotels, villas, Airbnb accommodations, guest houses, temporary vacation housing and charter vessels and similar businesses have been ordered not to accept or book any new reservations for 30 days.
The latest information can be found here
Caveats of Caribbean Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions can change dramatically from day to day. Each government reacts to their individual circumstance and experiences with the pandemic. One thing I have learned during the pandemic is it’s easy to get caught unprepared. It is possible to get stranded (if only temporarily) if a nation invokes a quarantine or travel ban.
All of these Caribbean nations are islands; so consider that when you plan your travel. Of course, that can work very well for travel sooner than later as these nations are re-opening. They also need the business and many will be offering great bargains.
Not every destination of the Caribbean is tourist friendly. Before traveling, remember to check this page: US State Department – Travel
The Upshot – Caribbean Coronavirus Travel Restrictions
For most countries and islands in the Caribbean, tourism is their lifeblood. The region is often touted as the most tourism-dependent region in the world. Unless the Caribbean nations find ways to open their borders and restore these economies, they face another powerful enemy; economic collapse. At the same time, high unemployment, overwhelming poverty and no financial means to sustain the people could result.
Governments can help the international carriers restart tourism to the Caribbean by lowering passenger fees and taxation fees. One of the biggest barriers faced in air travel to the Caribbean is a very highly taxed market. Historically, it is taxed on the airlines, on the passengers; the consumers. This will be a big challenge for the Caribbean once we are able to escape from this “crisis.”
The various Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions by country vary widely in their response as well as their motivations. Many of the nations of the Caribbean are still in some form of lockdown or quarantine. International travel has not opened for some. Most of the Caribbean countries are coordinating their responses with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA.)
Juicy Miles’ travel professionals can help you book award travel using your points or miles. They can also craft a personally designed Mileage Run for you around the program of your choice. With lots of potential destinations this year, deals may be the best offered in a decade. As for lodging accommodations, I suggest taking a look at long-term AirbnB rentals in which I have found some tremendous values. Many of these homeowners have suffered through the pandemic and are trying to get some income back quickly.
In the meantime while you wait for that great trip, you might want to study up on a new language. Your Babbel Guide: Learn a New Language – Free for Students.
French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese are the most widely spoken languages other than English in the islands.
As pointed out in most Caribbean Coronavirus travel restrictions by country, travelers should visit government websites for updated information and more details.
Let me know, if you have any questions or need help with booking a vacation in the Caribbean. Just a small reminder, I am also an independent travel agent.
The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.