UPDATED: A country-by-country guide to Caribbean reopenings
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Editor’s note: This recurring post is regularly updated with new information.
As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or later this year.
By a show of hands, who’s ready for a beach vacation? We definitely are.
With more and more people getting vaccinated, we’re starting to see travel restrictions ease in some places. While international travel still requires jumping through a few hoops, there are destinations open to U.S.-based travelers — including many in the Caribbean.
For more travel news and advice, make sure to sign up for our daily newsletter!
However, the U.S. State Department has many Caribbean destinations as Level 3 or Level 4 when it comes to COVID-19 risk. So while some island destinations may be open for U.S. tourists, it’s important to consider whether travel is worth the risk.
As of March 7, Level 4 (“Do not travel”) countries include: Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, St. Barths, Aruba, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, all cruise travel is listed as a Level 4. Level 3 (“Reconsider”) countries include: Bermuda, the Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.
Here’s what you need to know if you are planning a Caribbean trip.
This guide is current as of the time of publication, and we will keep information regularly updated as the global situation progresses.
And if you missed it, here’s our country by country guide to reopenings
Anguilla: Open, application required
Anguilla reopened to visitors back in November, but there are considerable precautions being taken by the island to ensure that all visitors and residents remain safe and that the spread of COVID-19 is avoided.
First, you’ll need to apply through the Visit Anguilla website — each application is considered on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, all applicants are required to submit a negative COVID-19 test three to five days before arrival and carry travel insurance that covers any potential COVID-19-related treatments. You’ll also be tested again upon arrival.
There are also fees associated with traveling depending on family size and duration of stay starting from $300 per person and ranging up to $3,000 for extended stays.
Anguilla has only had 18 COVID-19 cases total throughout the entire pandemic (with zero deaths), so the precautions taken are a necessary step to keep residents and everyone who visits the island safe.
Antigua and Barbuda: Open, negative test required
The country reopened to tourists back in June 2020, but with a number of restrictions. While some of those restrictions have now been lifted, travelers will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public.
All arriving travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of arrival. And the Visit Antigua and Barbuda website specifically say that at-home PCR test kits are not acceptable — your test must be administered by a medical professional.
You’ll need to complete a health declaration form (which will be provided to you on your flight), and you may be required to undergo further COVID-19 testing upon arrival if deemed necessary by a health officer. These tests are $100 USD each.
You can learn more about traveling to Antigua and Barbuda on the FAQ page on its tourism website.
Aruba: Open, negative test required
Currently, all travelers must fill out an embarkation/disembarkation card (ED card) online at edcardaruba.aw. Additionally, you’ll need to purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance, submit a personal health assessment within 72 and four hours before traveling to Aruba. A negative COVID-19 test is required for all travelers 14 and up, taken within 72 hours prior to departure and uploaded no later than 12 hours prior to travel.
You can take a test prior to arrival (which is the preferred method), or you can take a PCR test when you get to Aruba for $75 USD per person. You will be required to quarantine at your booked place of stay for up to 24 hours or until your test results are back if you go that route. Note that only certain types of tests are allowed — at-home kits, antibody tests and tests that do not include a nasal swab are not accepted.
There is a curfew in effect and a number of restrictions for visitors once on the island.
Aruba does have a page on its tourism website dedicated to COVID-19 updates, so you can check to see the number of new cases, total active cases and recovered cases to help you make an informed decision about traveling.
Bahamas: Open, health visa required
The Bahamas are open for U.S. tourists, but you’ll need a negative COVID-19 PCR test and apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs. The visa has a non-refundable fee for all travelers starting at $25 for domestic travel and $40 for international travel and shorter stays.
Your negative test must be taken within five days of arrival — children 10 years old and under are exempt from the testing requirements.
You will be required to opt into health insurance coverage during the visa application process. Inter-island travel requires a Travel Health Visa as well.
It’s important to time your test and visa application carefully. Travel Health Visa applications take up to 48 hours to process, and you’ll need your negative test results before you apply. You’ll also need to present the test results upon arrival.
When on the islands, there are a number of restrictions and precautions in place to help keep everyone safe. The Bahamas tourism website has an interactive map to help you figure out what activities are available in each area. For example, you’re free to roam almost anywhere, but some islands have curfews in place.
Barbados: Open, negative test and quarantine required
Barbados has a robust testing protocol in place that includes a mandatory quarantine upon arrival.
You’ll need to take a PCR test within three days before you arrive. The BIMSafe app can be used to upload your entry documents and complete your health tracking requirements while in Barbados. You can also go to www.travelform.gov.bb to fill out online immigration/customs forms and upload your negative PCR test.
Self-samples, rapid tests and home tests are not considered valid. Children under five years old are exempt from testing unless they are symptomatic or a member of their travel party tests positive, but all unaccompanied minors will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
You’ll also be required to take an additional rapid test upon arrival. Then, you’ll be transported to your preapproved accommodations where you’ll be required to quarantine for at least five days — when you’ll be required to take a second COVID-19 PCR test before the quarantine is lifted. Each day of your stay, you’ll need to do self-temperature checks that will be shared with public health teams via call, text or the BIMSafe app.
There is a mandatory curfew and stay-at-home order in effect through March 15, 2021, which limits what you can do and see while you’re there.
You can visit the Visit Barbados website for more information and updates.
Belize: Open, negative test required
Belize is now open for international visitors by air — borders and seaports are still closed. All travelers are required to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter.
You can take a PCR test within four days of arrival to Belize, which is highly recommended. Some rapid tests taken within 48 hours of arrival are also accepted. If you do not have a negative test when you arrive, or if your negative result is not accepted by the health officer at the airport for any reason, you’ll be tested at the airport. You’ll have to pay $50 USD (in cash) for this test.
At-home testing kids or saliva tests are not recommended. Health officers at the airport have full discretion on whether your test is sufficient for entry, so taking a non-recommended test is at-risk of being denied.
You’ll need to download the Belize Health app and fill out the necessary forms within four days of arrival.
If you are traveling to Belize for “vacation only,” you’ll need to make sure your booked accommodations are a “Gold Standard accommodation.”
Masks are required in all public spaces, there are significant restrictions in place (such as no indoor dining and all bars and gyms are closed) and there is a nationwide curfew in effect.
Bermuda: Open, negative test required
Bermuda is open to international travelers, but you’ll need a negative COVID-19 PCR test and to go through the Bermuda Travel Authorization process online before traveling.
Your negative test must be taken within five days before arrival. Children under 10 are exempt. Keep in mind that you’ll need your negative test to complete the Travel Authorization process, and you’ll also need to present your negative test results upon entry into Bermuda.
You’ll also have to take a second PCR Covid-19 test at the airport and then quarantine at your booked accommodation until your results are ready. Currently, the turnaround time is around 24 hours, but it could take more time. Once your second test is confirmed negative, you’ll be required to wear a traveler wristband for the first 14 days of your stay.
All travelers are required to take their own temperature twice per day and report it to Bermuda authorities via an online application/portal. Additional COVID-19 testing will be done on days four, eight, and 14 of your stay — each booked automatically for you.
You can check out a full rundown of testing and mask-wearing protocols on the Go To Bermuda website.
British Virgin Islands: Open, negative test and quarantine required
The British Virgin Islands have reopened to visitors with requirements for entry.
You’ll need to register your trip online at bvigateway.bviaa.com — the process must be started no later than 48 hours prior to travel and completed at least 24 hours before travel.
For entry, you’ll need the following:
- A negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days prior to arrival (children under five are exempt)
- Proof of travel insurance that includes comprehensive medical coverage
- Application for a “BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate” 7 days prior to arrival — you’ll need at least 48 hours to finalize the application
Once you get to the British Virgin Islands, you’ll be required to take an “Arrival Day” PCR test. You’ll also activate a tracking system on your phone (which means you’ll need to have data or wifi connectivity available) and wear a wristband monitoring device.
After four days of quarantine, you’ll receive a secondary test. If that test is negative, you’ll be free to roam.
There is a $175 fee for each passenger that covers your arrival day and day-four tests, your tracking bracelet rental and mobile app usage.
Cayman Islands: Closed to international leisure travel
The Cayman Islands started a soft reopening on Oct. 1, 2020, but only select travelers approved by Travel Cayman are currently permitted:
- Cayman island citizens
- Permanent residents
- Work permit holders and their families
- Persons who own residential property within the Cayman Islands
- Students with a valid visa to study in the Cayman Islands
- Persons with close family ties to residents or work permit holders (spouses, fiancés, parents, grandparents and siblings)
- Persons approved on the Global Citizen Concierge Program
- Other visitors approved via the Travel Cayman team
Those who do meet entry requirements will have to register with the Travel Cayman service before your trip and provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to departure. There are also testing protocols upon arrival and again on day 15. You’ll be required to quarantine for 14 days and wear a tracking device for the duration of your self-isolation. For the quarantine to end, there needs to be sign-off by the Medical Officer of Health, and you’ll need to allow 24-72 hours for the off-boarding process from quarantine (includes the time to confirm a negative test result and return monitoring equipment).
Cuba: Open, with existing restrictions in place upon reopening
Cuba reopened its borders to international visitors in July 2020, but keep in mind that the U.S. State Department has a “Do Not Travel” advisor in place. There are a number of additional restrictions for U.S. travelers visiting Cuba that are not related to the pandemic that must be adhered to.
Dominica: Open, negative test required
Dominica reopened Aug. 3, 2020. All eligible travelers arriving in the country must follow the procedures below:
- Submit a health questionnaire online at least 24 hours prior to arrival
- Present notification of clearance to travel in the form of a doctor’s note or similar document
- Submit a negative PCR test result recorded within 24-72 hours prior to arrival
- Provide confirmation that you’ve booked a government-certified private property
- Undergo a health assessment upon arrival
- Undergo rapid COVID-19 test screening at Dominica’s airport with a negative test result (children under five are exempt). Even with a negative result, travelers will need to spend 5-7 days in either mandatory quarantine at a government facility or 5-7 days in a Managed Experience at a Safe in Nature certified property.
As with many other countries accepting U.S. tourists, visitors must also adhere to stringent on-site policies around social distancing and safe hygiene, including:
- Wearing face masks at all times during the arrival process, up to and including departure from the airport
- Observing physical distancing guidelines
- Following all instructions from local health care staff and officials
Any traveler with a high temperature, a high-risk alert from their questionnaire or positive rapid test will be given a PCR test, and be taken into mandatory quarantine at a government-approved facility or hotel at their expense until results are available. If the follow-up test result is positive, the traveler may be quarantined until released by an authorized health professional.
Dominican Republic: Open, spot checks upon arrival
The Dominican Republic is open to travelers and is among the few Caribbean destinations not requiring a PCR test prior to arrival. Instead, there are mandatory temperature checks upon arrival and quick aleatory breath tests being performed on some passengers.
There is an island-wide curfew in place from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. each day (5 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).
You will be required to fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit and an Electronic Entry Ticket to declare you haven’t felt any COVID-19-related symptoms in the past 72 hours.
Grenada: Open, negative test and quarantine required
Grenada reopened to tourists on Aug. 1, 2020, but there are a number of restrictions in place.
Here are the requirements before traveling:
- Pure Safe Travel Certificate
- Negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival (children under five are exempt)
- Fill out online health forms
- Obtain travel insurance valid in Grenada
- Download the RonaTrac contact tracing app (iPhone users are currently exempt)
But you’ll also need to show a confirmed reservation for no fewer than seven nights at a Pure Safe Travel accommodation. You’ll quarantine there until you take a second PCR test on day five — which will cost $150 USD. You can check out a full list of travel requirements here.
Haiti: Open, negative test required
Haiti is reopened for tourists so long as visitors have a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to traveling.
However, the United States has a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” notice up for Haiti due to “crime, civil unrest, kidnapping, and COVID-19.” So even though the country is technically open for visitors, make sure to assess the non-pandemic risks of traveling there at present.
Jamaica: Open, negative test required
Jamaica is currently open for tourists when you have a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test. Beginning March 10, 2021, your negative test must be taken within three days of travel (previously within 10 days).
You do have to submit an online Travel Authorization form between two and five days before your arrival in Jamaica and show your certificate showing completion of this step during the airline check-in process.
Travelers must stay in an approved accommodation and all non-Jamaican passport holders must participate in the Jamaica Cares program (which costs $40 per person).
According to the U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, foreigners are required to complete an Attestation de déplacement dérogatoire to certify their reason for travel. Air France is running flights twice a week to Paris (CDG), but the U.S. Consulate for the Eastern Caribbean, states Americans are not welcome at present.
Airline flight crew and support staff needed are exempt from travel restrictions, although overnight stays should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
All arrivals over the age of 11 who are permitted must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure for the island and must quarantine until taking another test on the seventh day after arrival.
Puerto Rico: Open, negative test required
Although Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, it merits a separate entry as one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Discover Puerto Rico has put together a handy guide for what to expect if you travel to the island in the age of coronavirus.
Here’s what you’ll need to do before arriving:
- Complete an online Travel Declaration Form. You can also fill this out at the airport, but filling it out ahead of time will save you time once you land.
- You need to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test (a nasal or throat swab) taken within 72 hours of travel.
- When you upload your PCT test results to the online portal, you’ll get an Airport Exit Confirmation number and QR Code, which you’ll need upon arrival to Puerto Rico.
All passenger flights are currently being diverted to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, where travelers will undergo an enhanced health screening. You’ll be pre-screened with thermographic cameras to monitor your temperature.
If you do not have a negative test upon entry, you can pay $110 USD for a PCR test done at the airport.
St. Barths: Closed to U.S. travelers
St. Barths was one of the first Caribbean destinations to reopen last year, but the French government has now closed the borders as of Feb. 2, 2021, halting inbound tourism until further notice.
U.S. citizens currently on St. Barths will be able to depart, but as of Jan. 26, everyone aged two and older traveling to the U.S. from St. Barths must show a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights; documented proof from a licensed healthcare provider of recovery from the virus within the past 90 days will also be accepted.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: Open, negative test and quarantine required
St. Kitts and Nevis began a phased reopening back in October 2020. U.S. travelers will be required to complete the following:
- Complete an online immigration and customs form
- Submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test (rapid tests not accepted) taken within 72 hours prior to arrival
- Show confirmation of a hotel reservation at a certified hotel
- Undergo a health screening at the airport
- Download the SKN COVID-19 contact tracing mobile app
Additionally, there is a stringent quarantine process for all travelers:
- Days 1-7: You are required to quarantine at your hotel. You can move about the hotel property, interact with guests and partake in hotel activities. Visitors staying seven nights or less are required to take a PCR-test ($100) two days prior to departure at their hotel, at the nurse’s station, per a directive from the Ministry of Health. If positive before departure, the traveler will be required to stay in isolation at their cost at their respective hotel. If negative, travelers will proceed with departure on their respective dates.
- Days 8-14: On day seven, you’ll take a PCR test (costing $100 USD). If negative, you’ll be able to book select excursions and access select destination sites through your hotel’s tour desk.
- Day 14 and onward: If your stay is longer than 14 days, you’ll take another PCR test (costing $100 USD) on day 14. If you test negative, you’ll be able to move about freely in the St. Kitts and Nevis community.
You can check out the St. Kitts and Nevis Tourism website for more information.
Saint Lucia: Open, negative test and quarantine required
Saint Lucia reopened the island’s tourism sector back in June 2020. All visitors from outside St. Lucia’s designated Travel Bubble over the age of four are required to submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of their flight to Hewanorra International Airport (UVF). You’ll also be required to complete the online Travel Registration Form prior to arrival.
Upon arrival, you’ll undergo a health check where your temperature will be taken. All international travelers from outside of the Travel Bubble (this includes all U.S. travelers) are required to stay at their COVID-19-certified property and only participate in certified tours and activities for the duration of their stay.
After 14 days, you can move around the island freely. Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.
For further details, visit the International Arrivals page on the St. Lucia Tourism website.
Sint Maarten: Open, negative test, insurance and self-reporting required
St. Maarten reopened to American tourists on August 1.
As of February 17, entry requirements for the U.S., which is currently classified as “high risk”, states all travelers older than 10 years of age arriving by air must complete a health pre-authorization, purchase COVID-19 insurance and provide negative PCR test results received within 120 prior to departure. Alternatively, antigen tests can be used if taken within 48 hours prior to departure. Results from home covid-19 collection test kits will also not be accepted.
Incoming passengers will be subjected to a temperature check and other screening protocols and may be subjected to mandatory testing at the traveler’s own expense.
Travelers will also be required to “self-monitor” for 14 days and will be required to provide health updates collected via email on a daily basis. Accommodations are providing temperature measuring assistance.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Open, negative test and quarantine required
The local government began a phased reopening on July 1, 2020.
As of February 2021, entry requirements are broken down by country risk level. Currently, the U.S. falls under the “High Risk” category, meaning travelers must arrive with a negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. There’s a mandatory quarantine for 14 days in an approved quarantine hotel at travelers’ own expense where you’ll be retested between day 4 and day 7 of quarantine.
Travelers who have been fully vaccinated at least 4 weeks prior to travel can reduce their quarantine by presenting vaccination documentation and arriving with a negative COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. You’ll need to be retested upon arrival but can quarantine for half as long in an approved hotel. Vaccinated travelers will be retested on day 5 of quarantine.
Trinidad and Tobago: Closed
The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago issued a stay-at-home order in late March 2020, banning all tourists. The reopening plan includes reopening its borders at its sixth phase, but Prime Minister Keith Rowley said that the nation’s borders will remain closed until the government is confident the virus is contained.
Trinidad and Tobago’s borders remain closed as of March 2021 and there are no commercial flight options available for travel to or from the country at this time.
Turks and Caicos: Open, negative test and insurance required
Turks and Caicos reopened on July 22.
Previously, all international flights had been suspended until June 1, and cruise ships had been banned through June 30.
All travelers must complete a TCI Assured Travel Authorization before boarding their flight. As part of the authorization, a negative COVID-19 PCR test must be taken and results received within 5 days prior for travelers ages 10 and older. You’ll also need to purchase insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs as well as to complete an online health screening questionnaire.
There is an 11 p.m. curfew on all islands until March 17 and masks are required in all public places until March 31. Restaurants and bars are open but restricted to 30% normal capacity.
Resorts and hotels have different opening dates; the government suggests reaching out to your specific property for information. Many hotels are also offering COVID-19 testing for guests.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Open, negative test required
The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix, was under a state of emergency until July 11 but began welcoming back tourists as of June 1 with restrictions. It is currently in its “Safer at Home” phase, which requires facial coverings upon arrival and while in the Territory and that travelers comply with social distancing requirements.
As of Feb. 27, all travelers aged five and older are required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal and submit a COVID-19 test result prior to travel.
Accepted tests include a COVID-19 molecular test from a nasal or throat or saliva swab, a COVID-19 antigen (rapid) test from a nasal or throat swab, or a COVID-19 antibody finger stick or blood test taken and positive result received (both within four months of commencement of travel to the Territory). For the first two, the test must be taken and results received within five days of arrival.
There are routine temperature checks and health screenings at the ports of entry and public places, with no quarantine required if travelers are healthy.
Masks are mandatory when going into businesses and attractions, while beaches are open but social distancing is required. Hotels, guesthouses, villas, timeshares and Airbnb accommodations are all accepting bookings. COVID-19 guidelines are in place for retail businesses and attractions; taxi vans, safari and limo services.
Although many Caribbean countries have now reopened to tourism, most require a negative PCR test at a minimum and some also have insurance and quarantine protocols in place as well.
While a Caribbean spring break might be on your 2021 wishlist, it’s important to consider whether a trip is really worth it right now. Will you be able to experience the destination to its fullest? What additional costs are associated with traveling right now? Are you prepared in case of a positive test and the subsequent quarantine (likely at your own expense)?
Additionally, keep in mind that all travelers coming into the U.S. are required to have a negative viral COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of departure before being allowed to board their flights. And the CDC and U.S. State Department have issued high-risk advisories to many Caribbean destinations due to COVID-19.
You’ll have to jump through a lot of hoops — whether you’re vaccinated or not — in order to travel to the Caribbean right now. But if you’re planning ahead and researching all of the associated risks, it is possible to make a trip to many of these popular island destinations.
Additional reporting contributed by Jane Frye and Katherine Fan.
Featured photo by Westend61/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: Up to 100,000 bonus miles
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,040
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X miles on United® purchases
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80K bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20K bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
- $250 Annual Fee
- Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
- Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
- Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
- Earn 2X miles on all other travel
- Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
- Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.