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Photograph: ShutterstockST LUCIA

St. Lucia, Aruba and Antigua will reopen to tourists in June

They'll be the first Caribbean islands to reopen.

Written by
Sarah Medina

The Caribbean is starting to reopen with three islands setting tentative dates to welcome tourists again—St. Lucia, Antigua and Aruba. 

St. Lucia will begin a phased reopening starting June 4 with updated sanitation protocols and allowing only tourists from the United States. Before opening, local hotels will have to apply for a COVID-19 certificate from the government that shows they've met more than a dozen criteria for sanitization protocols, social distancing and more. About 1,500 hotel rooms are slated to open in early June. 

Visitors must also present certified proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flights when arriving on the island. Health authorities at ports will be conducting random temperature checks upon arrival. Visitors must also continue wearing face masks and practicing social distancing while on the island and will find new safety measures in taxis to separate drivers and passengers. Hand sanitizer will also be readily found on the island. 

Phase two of the reopening will start August 1. 

Antigua will allow flights from the United States to recommence on June 4. To be allowed into the country, travelers will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport. New safety protocols will include built-in breaks for taxi drivers to wash their hands at hotels after dropping off passengers. In addition, hotel employees will also need to live on property once hotels reopen to limit potential spead and tourists will be discouraged from mingling with locals. 

UPDATE (6/16): Aruba currently allows visitors from Bonaire and Curaçao. Tourism from other Caribbean nations (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Europe, and Canada will begin on July 1. United States tourism will begin on July 10. 

Aruba has not set a date to reopen, but hopes to welcome back tourists between June 15 and July 2020. Its also revealed new health protocols to keep both tourists and residents safe. The Aruba Health & Happiness Code is a cleaning and hygiene certification program that will be mandatory for all tourism-related businesses. Upon arrival at the airport in Aruba, travelers can expect to undergo new screening measures including temperature checks. 

As for the rest of the Caribbean: The US Virgin Islands reopened on June 1Jamaica has announced a July 15 reopening date; Turks and Caicos plans to welcome tourists on July 22; while the Bahamas, Aruba and the Cayman Islands haven't announced official dates. 

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