St Kitts and Nevis reopening borders, but you’ll need to quarantine

Aug 14, 2020

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As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Another Caribbean nation is opening up its borders. St Kitts and Nevis will begin reopening in October, just in time for fall and winter escapes.

The one major caveat is that it looks like a two-week quarantine will be required. The following information pertains to citizens and “incoming travellers”, for now. Formal rules for tourism will be announced in the coming weeks, but it could be similar to what’s on tap for repatriation. A representative for St Kitts and Nevis told TPG, ”The regulations that will be in place for incoming visitors once borders reopen in October have yet to be announced”.

St Kitts and Nevis has been very lucky with just 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths.

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St Kitts and Nevis opens October

(Facebook post from St Kitts and Nevis)
(Facebook post from St Kitts and Nevis)

 

Now, the nation is beginning a gradual reopening of its borders in October. Abdias Samuel, chair of the country’s COVID-19 National Task Force, says “…because we don’t have an outbreak in St Kitts and Nevis, we need to still be vigilant. It is critical. This is why every day we get up and continue the fight. I am appealing to the general public to understand what we are trying to do to protect you and your livelihoods and I am asking you to remain vigilant”.

If you are interested in visiting the country as it reopens, here are the rules for potential travellers.

What you need to visit St Kitts and Nevis

Pre-departure

  • Fill out a form prior to arrival with quarantine requirements
  • Email form to government of St Kitts and Nevis at hazel.laws@gov.kn
  • Must take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of arriving in St Kitts
  • Wear face masks when travelling to the departure airport
  • Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport

On the plane

  • Wear a face mask while on the plane
  • Practice social distancing to the extent possible

Upon arrival

  • Present form verifying quarantine
  • Show negative coronavirus test results
  • Potentially face a health screening
  • Quarantine for two weeks at Ocean Terraces Inn

Travellers will have a two-week quarantine at Ocean Terrace Inn (OTI), in Basseterre, St Kitts at a cost of $500. They will also need to pay $100 for another COVID-19 test at the end of the quarantine. Travellers will also need to sign a quarantine agreement you can find here.

More information can be found here including frequently asked questions.

What is open in St Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts Island. (Photo by Danita Delimont/Getty Images)
Saint Kitts Island. (Photo by Danita Delimont/Getty Images)

 

There is a daily curfew on the islands from 2 a.m. to 4:59 a.m., but that order is expected to be lifted on 29 August. There is also a $500 fine for not wearing masks in public. Hotels and other tourism businesses will be required to get a “Travel Approved” certification and seal in order to reopen. Government officials are offering complimentary training sessions on health and safety protocols for more than 5,000 tourism workers.

Most things on the islands are gradually reopening. The Royal St Kitts Hotel has already reopened, though at reduced capacity. The St Kitts Marriott and the Park Hyatt St Kitts will reopen in October. The Hilton Curio Collection in will reopen sometime in the fourth quarter of 2020. The Four Seasons Nevis hasn’t yet announced an opening date.

How to get to St Kitts and Nevis

Flights tend to start around £450 return in economy from London, and you can find them as low as £429 return with BA at some points.

You can’t fly nonstop, however, you can fly the entire way with BA. British AIrways flies nonstop to Antigua (ANU). From there, you’ll have a one-hour layover before continuing on to St Kitts (SKB) also with BA. The airline flies some connection routes within the Caribbean.

Related: The cheapest and most comfortable way to island hop around the Caribbean

Where to stay in St Kitts and Nevis

In St Kitts, there are some options for using hotel points, but not a lot. Nevis is home to luxury hotels like the Four Seasons, where you can maximize Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits if you have The Platinum Card from American Express.

But the neighbouring island of St Kitts is surging in popularity.

St Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino is one of TPGs favourites. Prices are very reasonable right now for dates in October. You can book a king suite for as low as $138/night.

(Screen shot courtesy Marriott)
(Screen shot courtesy Marriott)

 

We also love the new Park Hyatt, a Category 7 World of Hyatt hotel you can book rooms for 30,000 points per night. Cash prices in October are as low as $232 a night which is a great deal.

(Screen shot courtesy Hyatt)
(Screen shot courtesy Hyatt)

 

World of Hyatt also allows you to use points to book or upgrade to suites. Paid rates at the Park Hyatt are sometimes quite reasonable, so often it makes sense to pay for the room and then use points to upgrade to a suite.

You could also book the hotel through the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) programme, using a Platinum Card from American Express. Booking through FHR brings with it a full suite of additional perks, including complimentary breakfast, an upgrade subject to availability, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and a $100 property credit. Not bad for a room that goes for as low as $232 a night.

Conclusion on visiting St Kitts and Nevis 

It may not yet be time to plan a trip to St Kitts and Nevis considering the 14-day quarantine, but we’ll need to wait to see what the final rules are for tourism. It’s a good sign they are at least beginning the reopening process.

Related: A guide to Caribbean re-openings

Additional reporting by Zach Griff, Summer Hull and Eric Rosen.

Featured photo of Park Hyatt St Kitts courtesy the hotel.  

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