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These 5 Caribbean Countries Will Be Opening To Tourists This Summer
Your summer vacation plans may not be a complete bust. Caribbean countries have been successfully dealing with COVID-19 cases and as a result, are beginning to reopen to tourists.
The number of cases and deaths has remained low in the Caribbean because of the quick response to the pandemic.
Here is a list of Caribbean countries that will be reopening this summer as well as new health and safety guidelines that will be introduced to tourists.
Aruba is expected to reopen between June 15 – July 1st, according to an announcement by Prime Minister Evelyn Weber-Croes.
In a press release earlier this month, the prime minister said: “As a country that is heavily reliant on tourism, we are preparing to once again receive tourists, but will do so only when the proper processes are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and our people.”
The press release also announces that Aruba has implemented “the highest standards of health, sanitation, and social distancing.”
June 1st will mark the reopening of Antigua and Barbuda.
Initially there were talks of requiring travelers to quarantine for 14 days, but policymakers have changed their minds.
Information Minister Melford Nicholas tells the Antigua Observer, “We think the average length of stay will be seven days and not 14 days. It’s not going to be feasible to impose a 14-day quarantine on a would-be visitor.”
The country is still working out certain guidelines but remains confident in reopening in June.
The Bahamas has plans to reopen its borders “on or before” July 1st, according to an announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.
“We are looking at a possible date for commercial travel on or before July 1 of this year. These dates may change depending on the circumstance,” says the prime minister to the Tribune News.
He goes on to say, “I want to repeat, however, that this date is not final. It will be adjusted if we see a deterioration of the COVID-19 infection trends or if we determine that the protocols and procedures are not in place sufficiently to warrant this opening.”
Grenada has plans to reopen in June, according to an announcement by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
“We collectively agreed to start gradually relaxing the restrictions for travel, as the pandemic in the region has been largely contained,” says the prime minister to Caribbean Journal.
Dr. Mitchell goes on to say, “Governments, airlines, and hotels are now finalizing the details of the phased re-opening. Assuming the requisite protocols are in place, we expect to open our borders in the first week of June.”
St Lucia will be introducing the first phase of reopening on June 4th, according to The Minister of Tourism, Dominic Fedee. Only flights from the United States will be allowed to enter St Lucia.
A press release from St Lucia Tourism says, “The strategy, protects nationals and visitors from the threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) through advance testing; daily screening and monitoring of staff and visitors; sanitization at various points throughout the travelers’ journey; and new social distancing protocols.”
The country is going under a COVID-19 certification process and once it is completed, there will be about 1,500 hotel rooms reopening.
Tourists flying into St Lucia will have to provide proof of a negative test within 2 days of their flight as well as wearing a face mask and social distancing upon arrival.
Although they haven’t released official dates, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, Jamaica and the US Virgin Islands are all planning to reopen in the coming months.
According to Lonely Planet, “Delta Air Lines announced June flights to Aruba; Bermuda; Bonaire; Kingston and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Nassau, Bahamas; Turks and Caicos; Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Croix; St. Maarten and St. Thomas.”
Approval from the countries’ governments are still pending.