In response to the coronavirus pandemic, islands across the Caribbean restricted travel and closed their borders to tourism. It wasn’t just the cruise ships either, private vessels were also prevented from entering ports. This swift action helped keep the number of cases in these island nations low.
As summer sets in, some of these countries are looking into reopening. Tourism is a major part of the economy in the Caribbean and the COVID-19 travel bans have already caused major losses in revenue. That’s why many islands have started or will start lifting restrictions to both commercial and private travel. That means yacht owners can start preparing for a tropical getaway very soon.
Coronavirus Safety and Health Protocols Put In Place
“But one thing that has become critical is that the tourism that emerges from this pause will be different from the tourism that paused at the end of March. And the key way it will be different is that now tourism will be living and functioning with COVID-19. That means that there will be a significant integration of tourism and health functions across the world – not just in the Caribbean – and the Caribbean as arguably the most tourism-dependent region in the world has had to do the same thing: integrate tourism functions to ensure the safety and health of visitors and locals alike.” – Neil Walters, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) 1
Every country will have their own set of re-entry requirements that need to be met by a yacht’s crew and passengers as well as health and safety rules that are to be followed when you are on the islands. It is important to look up the requirements and regulations of the country you are cruising too before embarking on your trip.
Caribbean Islands Reopening Dates
- June 15 – Open to private planes and yachts only
- July 1 – Nationwide reopening; open to all international visitors
U.S. Virgin Islands
- June 1 – Open to all leisure visitors
Turks and Caicos
- July 22 – Open to commercial air travel and international visitors
- June 4 – Open to travelers from the United States only
- August 1 – Phase 2 of reopening will start
- June 22 – Open to travelers from all countries
- September 1 – Planned reopening date; likely to be delayed by Premier Alden McLaughlin 2
- July 15 – Open to international tourists
Antigua and Barbuda
- June 4 – Open to international travelers
- July 1 – Open to European, Canadian, and Caribbean tourists (except travelers from the Dominican Republic and Haiti)
- July 10 – Open to U.S. tourists and all international travelers
- June 15 – Open to international tourists
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- The New York Carib News – Caribbean will have a different tourism product after COVID outbreak
- Reshma Ragoonath, Cayman Compass – Premier: 1 Sept. border reopening unlikely