Caribbean government and tourism websites offer the most updated information regarding current protocols for regional countries, which can vary significantly. Some Caribbean governments have changed protocols and requirements several times as more is learned about the illness.
Entry requirements also vary within the region. For example, high-risk visitors to the Bahamas and Barbados are required to quarantine for up to 14 days upon arrival. Anguilla requires potential visitors to pre-register online at the Anguilla Tourist Board’s website and provide information including proposed travel dates. The Bahamas and U.S. Virgin Islands both changed protocols earlier this summer due to local COVID-19 spikes.
That’s why it’s crucial that travelers access data from official tourism authorities in the Caribbean destination they plan to visit this fall. “The most important things to know about traveling right now is to understand all the protocols that are in place in both the destination and resort you are visiting,” said Varghese, owner of the Travel Tom agency.
Not surprisingly, Caribbean countries that “have shown that they have great measures in place to protect our clients as well as provide a relatively hassle-free means of entry” have been most popular with his clients, Varghese said. He cited Antigua and St. Lucia as destinations where “both the countries and resorts are taking great measures to keep our clients safe while providing a great travel experience.”
Doncsecz meanwhile advises consumers to select their Caribbean vacation targets carefully. “When we have last-minute travelers, we tend to stay away from suggesting destinations that ‘intend’ on reopening by a certain date,” said Doncsecz, “and suggest destinations that are already reopened.”
She noted “Barbados, Turks & Caicos, and The Bahamas have flip-flopped on their entry requirements and reopening dates,” making it imperative travelers access the latest information.
Travelers can find government ministry and tourism agency links for 24 Caribbean destinations on the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s website. The Centers for Disease Control recommends Caribbean-bound travelers consult the destination’s Ministry of Health or the U.S. Department of State’s Country Information page. In addition, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association maintains a Resource Center that provides regional alerts, travel advisories and airline and accommodation policies and guidelines.
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