Dreaming of an island vacation in 2021? It might actually be in the cards this year, if you're willing to read through the fine print. The islands that make up the Caribbean have been in various stages of reopening since June 2020, with many countries open to tourists who are willing to be tested before departure or have been fully vaccinated. Here's what each island requires from visitors who are thinking of hoping on a flight this year:
Countries appear in alphabetical order:
Anguilla: The Caribbean island is open to pre-approved tourists from certain countries. It requires prospective travelers to apply in advance and submit a negative PCR test, taken within three to five days, upon arrival. You will then take a second test upon arrival, a third on day 10 or 14 and one more on departure. While on the island, visitors must remain in an approved location for at least 14 days.
Antigua and Barbuda: Visitors 12 years old and older are required to arrive with a negative PCR test from within seven days of their flight. All travelers will have to register with the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment and there is a recommended quarantine period of 14 days during which the health authority may require further PCR tests.
Aruba: Prior to arrival, travelers have to complete an online immigration card, purchase Covid-19 health insurance, and show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Alternatively, you can opt to take a PCR test on arrival, then self-isolate at a hotel until results are ready.
The Bahamas: Travelers must test negative for COVID-19 within five days of departure and apply for a Bahamas Health Travel Visa which requires you to opt-in to mandatory Covid health insurance (paperwork must be shown to board the flight and upon arrival). A second, rapid antigen test must also be taken on day five of the visit. Visitors must also self-report their condition via a daily health questionnaire for up to 14 days, or for the duration of their stay. Be aware that inter-island requires an online health application and possibly another PCR test, too.
Barbados: Visitors are required to take a COVID-19 test three days before arrival, upload the negative result online before departure, and bring the results to the airport for inspection. Upon arrival, travelers will then have to take a rapid antigen test and quarantine at their hotel for five days. During quarantine, visitors must report their temperature and give daily health updates as well as wear an electronic tracking bracelet. Another PCR test will be administered on day five, and if the result is negative then the quarantine is over.
Bermuda: To travel to Bermuda, visitors must receive travel authorization one to three days before arrival and present a negative test result, taken within five days of travel. A second PCR test is performed upon arrival and visitors must then quarantine until results are ready. Once released, a Traveler Wristband must be worn for at least 14 days. Further tests are required on days four, eight, and 14, and visitors are required to report their temperature twice daily online.
British Virgin Islands: Travelers must submit a negative PCR test taken within five days of departure online and have travel insurance that covers Covid-19 to obtain a Traveler Authorization Certificate. Upon arrival, visitors will undergo another test and must download a contact tracing app and put on a monitoring wristband before using approved transportation to get to approved accommodations to quarantine for four days. And the end of quarantine, visitors will take another test, and if negative, be allowed to visit select locations. A fee of $175 is required to cover the two tests, the contact tracing bracelet and the app.
Cayman Islands: As the islands slowly start to reopen, they are only offering entry to a privileged few. If you meet the criteria (which includes making at least $100,000 annually) and are approved, you can enter with proof of a negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours before your flight. A 14-day quarantine period is then mandatory. If you want to travel between islands, you’ll need advance authorization and may have to take additional PCR tests.
Cuba: Visitors will need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, then have to take another test upon arrival. You'll then quarantine for five days, before taking a third test. Note that you can't stay in a government hotel and you must have non-U.S. health insurance.
Curaçao: Visitors will be allowed to enter if they show proof of a negative test from within 72 hours before traveling and fill out an online immigration card and Passenger Locator Card and purchase insurance before departure. Travelers arriving from high risk countries, who have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 6 months, will be required to take an additional antigen test on the third day of their stay.
Dominica: Travelers will need a negative test taken 24-72 hours before arrival and submit an online health questionnaire. Upon arrival, travelers will undergo another test. If it is negative, travelers will be taken to either a “Safe in Nature” certified property or a quarantine location for at least five days. On the fifth day, travelers will be re-tested and can be released from quarantine if that result is negative.
Dominican Republic: All visitors must fill out an E-Ticket for entry and exit and a health declaration form. Rapid tests are carried out randomly on arriving visitors.
Grenada: Travelers must arrive with a negative test taken within three days of arrival, a Pure Safe Travel Certificate (which you can get online) and a reservation for at least seven days, during which visitors will have to self quarantine and self-report health statuses during the first seven days. Travelers can be re-tested on day five of the trip and leave quarantine if they test negative.
Guadeloupe: Not open to U.S. travelers.
Haiti: Visitors must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding or show proof that they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last 90 days. In addition, health declaration form must be at the hotel and temperature screenings may be performed at the airport.
Jamaica: Travelers will need a negative test taken within three days of departure and a pre-approved travel authorization form. Visitors must also quarantine at an approved hotel for 14 days.
Martinique: Borders have not reopened to U.S. travelers.
Monserrat: Borders have not reopened to U.S. travelers.
Puerto Rico: All travelers, including Americans, must complete an online Travel Declaration form and present a negative molecular COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.
St Kitts and Nevis: Visitors must fill out an entry form online, download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing app, and present a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Travelers will then have to quarantine at an approved hotel, but will be able to move around the hotel’s property and participate in hotel activities. On the seventh day, visitors will get re-tested and, if they test negative, can book excursions through the hotel.
St. Lucia: If visiting St. Lucia, you will have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival and complete two pre-arrival registration forms. Visitors must also have a confirmed reservation at a COVID-19 certified accommodation for the duration of their stay; After 14 days of quarantine at the hotel, you are free to roam the island.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Travelers will have to complete a pre-arrival form online, present a negative test taken within 72 hours of arrival, and take another test upon arrival. Travelers will then have to quarantine for 14 days days in an approved hotel and be retested between day four and seven of quarantine.
Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin: Be prepared to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours or 120 hours (depending on the airport) of your arrival and fill out an online immigration card prior to travel. You'll also have to sign a statement saying you have no coronavirus symptoms and haven’t been in contact with anyone who had COVID-19 within 14 days of your flight, be prepared to monitor your temperature for 14 days and show proof of health insurance.
Turks and Caicos: Before traveling, you'll need to apply for a travel authorization, upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of travel, have insurance that covers COVID-19 costs, and complete a health screening questionnaire online.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Travelers older than five must use the country's online screening portal and submit a negative test taken within five days of travel. Upon arrival travelers must show the original test result and travel certification received from the portal.