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Reopening guide to the British Virgin Islands for travelers

Nov. 06, 2021
6 min read
Landscape of the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands
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As of May 15, 2021, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have been open to tourists. As Caribbean islands enforce and adapt to vaccine requirements and loosening travel restrictions for adults and kids amid the pandemic, The Points Guy will walk you through everything you need to know to enjoy these warm island destinations.

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What You Need to Visit the British Virgin Islands

The Government of the Virgin Islands has updated its protocols as of Oct. 1. Vaccinated travelers must receive the second COVID-19 vaccine dose no less than two weeks before entry and the vaccine must be approved by the World Health Organization.

Vaccinated travelers will still need to pre-register for a rapid antigen test via the Hummingbird portal. Proof of vaccination and results of a negative PCR test or antigen rapid test taken within the previous five days are also required. Fully vaccinated travelers must also take an antigen rapid test upon arrival.

Visitors also must have travel insurance. The insurance should include minimum approved coverage for COVID-19 medical costs including hospitalization, doctor’s visit and prescriptions, medical repatriation and quarantine accommodation costs.

All individuals are required to wear masks in BVI and will be issued a $100 fine for non-compliance, according to the U.S. Embassy. Further, you can face a $5,000 fine for violating quarantine and a $2,000 fine for intentionally damaging a quarantine tracking device.

The British Virgin Islands is currently under a Level 4 Travel Advisory, the highest advisory due to greater likelihood of risk, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

Related: Americans can now visit 60+ countries and territories; a complete list

What’s open in BVI?

British Virgin Islands aerial.

(Photo by Taylor McBride / Shutterstock.com)

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Pretty much everything is open in BVI.

Restaurants, bars, resorts and beaches are all open for business. Weather is generally great in BVI, so you can enjoy the bulk of your meals outdoors. BVI Tourism has a list of recommended restaurants and bars where you can dine on the islands. Make sure to bookmark this page before your trip — there are a ton of great recommendations.

Whether it's scuba diving or exploring Smuggler's Cove on the island of Tortola with its powdery white sand beaches, there's no shortage of ocean activities in BVI. There are a wide variety of land activities to do as well including eco-tours, hiking and national parks to explore.

Related: 7 little-known Caribbean destinations you should discover — before others do

Where to stay in BVI?

Boats docked in British Virgin Islands.

(Photo by Alexey Stiop / Shutterstock.com)

There’s no shortage of places to stay in BVI — here’s a look at some points options.

Marriott loyalists can stay at the Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina. This hotel is a part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and has private villas, a spa and a handful of on-site restaurants. A standard room for a January stay starts at $598-629 per night before taxes and fees. It is a category 8 hotel which will set you back 70,000 points per night for off-peak days, 85,000 per night for standard and 100,000 per night for peak. Note that come March 2022, Marriott is switching to dynamic award pricing, and will do away with its existing award charts.

(Screenshot Courtesy of Marriott)

Wyndham has a more budget-friendly option near Tortola. The Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort will cost about $335 per night or 30,000 Wyndham Rewards points for a January stay.

(Screenshot Courtesy of Wyndham)

Related: Escape to these five small Caribbean islands with hotel points

How to get to BVI?

Silver Airways plane in Florida.

(Photo by Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.com)

Mainline U.S. carriers don’t currently operate flights from the mainland U.S. to BVI. That said, you can fly to San Juan (SJU) in Puerto Rico or St. Thomas (STT) in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and hop on a regional flight to Tortola (EIS) near Beef Island. You can fly Air Sunshine, Cape Air, Silver Airways and InterCaribbean Airways from these airports to Tortola.

Many of these airlines have partnerships with major U.S. airlines. For example, Cape Air and Silver Airways have partnerships with American, JetBlue and United. Depending on the airline, you may be able to book your connecting flight to BVI as a part of a larger itinerary from your home airport.

On Google Flights, we found a roundtrip ticket in January for $839. The trip is from DCA to SJU via JetBlue and SJU to EIS via Silver Airways.

Screenshot Courtesy of Google Flights

Alternatively, you can fly to the USVI and take an inter-island ferry to BVI. The BVI to USVI ferry resumed operations as of April 15. The ferry runs between St. Thomas in USVI and Tortola in BVI.

Related: Best ways to get to the Caribbean using points and miles

Bottom line

Even with updated protocol and requirements for vaccinated travelers, visiting the British Virgin Islands is well worth it. You’ll be greeted with miles of pristine beaches and incredible resorts. And let’s be real, who doesn’t need that right now?

Additional reporting by Liz Ramanand.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
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Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more