Dreaming of a sandy beach? A country-by-country guide to Caribbean reopenings

May 20, 2020

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By a show of hands, who’s ready for a beach holiday? We definitely are.

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Unfortunately, the world itself may not be ready for us to return to its beaches, at least in the Caribbean. As of the time of publication, this sunny holiday region has closed many of its airports for the time being, with various additional restrictions detailed below. Some countries are tentatively set to re-open in the next few weeks, although quarantine extensions could be announced at any time.

This guide is current as of the time of publication, and we will keep information regularly updated as the global situation progresses.

And if you missed it, here’s our country by country guide to reopenings

In This Post

Little Bay, Anguilla. (Photo by Nikolay Tranov/Shutterstock)
Little Bay, Anguilla. (Photo by Nikolay Tranov/Shutterstock)

Anguilla: Closed

All of Anguilla’s entry points are closed to tourists, both by air as well as by sea, although repatriation flights are allowed to land for retrieving foreign nationals. Tourists are not allowed under any circumstances, and crew must minimize ground time and cannot make an overnight stay.

Right now, lockdown restrictions are valid through 31 May 2020, although the nation has not yet announced an intention to reopen after that date.

Antigua and Barbuda: Reopening on June 1

Half Moon Bay, Antigua. (Photo by IndustryAndTravel/Shutterstock)
Half Moon Bay, Antigua. (Photo by IndustryAndTravel/Shutterstock)

International flights have been suspended since late March, but local government has announced the intention of reopening to tourists on 1 June. Right now, only country residents are allowed to enter the country and will be subject to enhanced health screenings and a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Repatriation flights are allowed to land to pick up stranded foreigners.

Aruba: opening on 15 June

Aruba December 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Aruba in December 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

Good news from Aruba: Borders will reopen to travellers beginning as early as 15 June. International visitors can come back as soon as 1 July, though it’s unclear exactly which countries’ citizens are allowed.

The Caribbean Journal, reporting Aruba Tourism Authority, said, “For travellers who already have a trip booked and are concerned restrictions may impact your travel dates, please contact your hotels and airlines directly for an update on their rescheduling policies. We will welcome guests back to our sunny shores as soon as it is safe to do so”.

Aruba closed its borders to tourists on 29 March, although crew members have been exempt from the restriction.

Bahamas: Closed

Emerald water idyllic beach at Nassau, The Bahamas in a sunny day.
Emerald water at Nassau, The Bahamas on a sunny day.

The Bahamas are under emergency orders through 30 May, with no announced reopening date as of the time of publication. No international visitors are allowed to enter or disembark on Bahamian soil for any reason, including transit. The nation’s airports are closed to all incoming passenger flights, although airlines are permitted to fly empty aircraft into the Bahamas to retrieve international visitors.

Barbados: Closed

Bottom Bay in Barbados. (Photo by TommL/Getty Images)
Bottom Bay in Barbados. (Photo by TommL/Getty Images)

A mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government facility has been instituted for all visitors entering the country between 4 May and 17 May. Passenger flights are not allowed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. Airline crews may spend one night in Barbados, but they must be quarantined at the hotel until departure. Alternatively, crew may remain onboard the aircraft. 90% of the hotels and all of the restaurants on the island are closed due to the lockdown. Current lockdown restrictions for Barbados don’t expire until 1 July 2020.

Belize: Closed

Blue Hole in Belize. (Photo by Schafer Hill/Getty Images)
Blue Hole in Belize. (Photo by Schafer Hill/Getty Images)

Alas if the Blue Hole was on your travel list for the spring; all of Belize’s borders and ports of entry are completely closed to tourists. Current restrictions expire on 30 May 2020, with no news announced for reopening yet. A few exceptions are made for specialized incoming flights such as cargo, humanitarian, medical and relief, technical stops where no passengers disembark, emergency/diversion and repatriation flights.

Bermuda: Closed

Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda. Photo by Scott Dunn / Getty Images.
Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda. (Photo by Scott Dunn/Getty Images)

Only Bermuda citizens are allowed into the country at this time. Current restrictions expire on 31 May 2020. All incoming travellers must complete health forms, including flight and medical crew as well as passengers. Forms should be sent to althomas@gov.bm; ado@skyport.bm and fbo@cedaraviation.com. Ferry flights to claim outbound travellers are allowed, and overnight/crew rest is not allowed.

British Virgin Islands: Closed

The Baths at the southern end of Virgin Gorda. (Photo by Danita Delimont/Getty Images)
The Baths at the southern end of Virgin Gorda. (Photo by Danita Delimont/Getty Images)

The British Virgin Islands are off-limits to tourists by sea or air through 1 June 2020, and non-citizen crew members must stay within the port facility. No reopening date has been set as of the date of this publication. 

Cayman Islands: Closed

The Cayman Islands have banned all foreign nationals from visiting the islands, which are under curfew each day from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Locals stay within their homes during those hours. Restrictions extend through 31 May 2020, and there has been no talk of reopening borders as of right now. Repatriation and emergency flights are permitted. Returning residents must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, and no crew rest is available.

Cuba: Closed

Havana, Cuba downtown skyline.
(Photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images)

Cuba suspended international travel for commercial and charter flights until further notice, beginning 2 April. Transiting flights must depart within three hours of landing. Crew can only remain in the airfield compound, and must avoid interacting with anyone local.

Dominica: Closed

Roseau, Dominica. Image by Shutterstock.
Roseau, Dominica. Image by Shutterstock.

All commercial air and sea access to the nation of Dominica is suspended until further notice. Strict curfews are still being observed as well. There has been no announcement for reopening as of the time of this post’s publication.

Dominican Republic: Closed

The country’s borders are closed by land, sea and air through 31 May, and all incoming travellers must be quarantined for two weeks.

Grenada: Closed

Saint George-Harbour, Grenada. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)
Saint George-Harbour, Grenada. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

All of Grenada’s airports are closed for commercial passenger traffic through 20 May, and a date for reopening hasn’t been set yet. Cargo aircraft and pre-approved medical workers are allowed to land. 

Haiti: Closed

All international flights have been halted until further notice. U.S. citizens who are currently in Haiti need to coordinate directly with the U.S. embassy there.

Jamaica: Closed

The Blue Mountains of Jamaica. (Photo by © Rick Elkins/Getty Images)
The Blue Mountains of Jamaica. (Photo by ©Rick Elkins/Getty Images)

All airports and seaports have been closed for inbound international passengers through 31 May. All aircraft must have a newly instituted landing permit from Jamaica, and there is no reopening date as of right now.

Martinique: Closed

All international flights have been halted for non-citizens until further notice, and tourism businesses such as hotels are also limited to serving guests who have been stranded. All spas, pools and other amenities are closed. Restrictions expire on 18 May, although reopening has not been announced and only one hotel on the island is open, according to Universal Weather & Aviation: the Bakoua Hotel. There is a stay-at-home curfew for Martinique residents spanning from midnight to 5 a.m. Airline flight crew and support staff needed are exempt from travel restrictions, although overnight stays should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

Puerto Rico: Open, with restrictions and quarantine requirements

Photo taken in Culebra, Puerto Rico
(Photo by Getty Images)

Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it merits a separate entry as one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, the usual ease of access for U.S. travellers doesn’t exist right now, as the island has been on lockdown since March 2020. All port traffic, ferries and cruises have been suspended, while all travellers arriving by air must pass through San Juan International Airport (SJU) and undergo enhanced health screening, then participate in a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Furthermore, Puerto Rico has enacted a nightly curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., which has been extended through 25 May. People are only allowed to leave home for essential purchases such as groceries, and must wear a face mask inside any establishment.

St. Barts: Closed

The country has closed its border to foreign nationals who don’t have a residence permit from the United Kingdom, or one of the Schengen Area or European Union countries. Current restrictions expire on 1 June, but a reopening date has not yet been announced. 

Saint Kitts and Nevis: Closed

Saint Kitts and Nevis just loosened its 24-hour curfew on 18 May, imposing instead a nightly curfew from midnight to 5 a.m. through 23 May. Current restrictions expire on 31 May, with no reopening date announced yet. All inbound passenger traffic has been banned since 25 March, and data for all repatriation flights must be submitted at least five days before arrival and departure times. All information for repatriation flights must be received at least five days before actual arrival and departure date requested. Required information includes date of birth, passport number and expiration date for each passenger, as well as a list of all countries visited by each flight crew member within the last 14 days. Crew members are not allowed to stay overnight or disembark from the plane.

Saint Lucia: Opening 4 June to U.S. travellers

Saint Lucia government officials have announced a phased approach for reopening the island’s tourism sector, to begin on 4 June 2020. The first phase is nothing but good news for U.S. travellers: Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) will begin receiving international flights from the United States only.

Visitors must present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flights to UVF. Once they arrive, they will undergo health and temperatures checks. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay. The second phase of reopening will take place on 1 August 2020, with details to be announced in coming weeks.

Although St. Lucia has only had 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases with no deaths, the country closed its borders back on 23 March.

Sint Maarten: Closed

Sint Maarten January 2017. Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Sint Maarten in January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

There are no commercial flights scheduled into Sint Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport, and there is no scheduled restart date as of now. Repatriation flights are allowed to land empty in order to retrieve international tourists returning home. Current restrictions expire on 1 June 2020, but no reopening date has been announced yet.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Closed

All international passenger flights were suspended on 2 April. Current restrictions expire on 31 May, but a reopening date has yet to be announced. Also, all travellers who entered from the U.S., Canada, China, Iran, South Korea, the United Kingdom or any European Union country within the last 14 days must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine.

Trinidad and Tobago: Closed

Trinidad January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)
Trinidad in January 2017. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March, banning all tourists. While the two islands began easing restrictions on 12 May, the reopening plan doesn’t yet include relaunching tourism. Prime Minister Keith Rowley said in May that the nation’s borders will remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained.

In the meantime, the government is giving local hotels $50 million in grants toward remodelling costs in order to prepare for when international tourists are welcome to return; officials also launched a “Dreaming of Tobago” campaign on social media.

Trinidad and Tobago-based Caribbean Airlines is receiving a government bailout, and released a video on the airline’s new procedures in the wake of the outbreak. Again, however, there is no stated timeline on when flights or travel will resume.

The country has received high praise for keeping COVID-19 cases to a minimum; in fact, the nation ranked #1 in the world for meeting reopening requirements from Oxford University.

Turks and Caicos: Closed

The Cayman Islands. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)
(Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

All international flights have been suspended until 1 June, and cruise ships have been banned through 30 June. Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is closed to international passenger travel, along with all other airports in the country, although there are exceptions for emergencies, medical evacuations and cargo flights. An evening curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. is in effect until 25 May, although this guideline was relaxed somewhat on 4 May.

Going to the beach, grocery stores, hardware store, pharmacies and other open-air businesses is currently permitted, although restaurants are only open for takeout. Clinics and pharmacies are the only businesses permitted to remain open on Sundays through 25 May. Resorts and hotels have different opening dates; the government suggests reaching out to your specific property for information.

Bottom line

Although some countries are opening back up, it’s still too early to hope for spontaneity in travel planning. Instead, the best way to operate this summer will be by planning well in advance. So if you’re excited about some Caribbean sun — a trip to Saint Lucia, perhaps — make your reservations early, and make sure they’re fully refundable in case anything changes.

Related: A country-by-country guide to reopening borders around the world

Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images. 

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