Anguilla is now taking applications for entry; here are the details
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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 next year.
Coronavirus has us all frozen in place and dreaming of when we can start booking again. We’ve been doing a lot of stories at The Points Guy about our dream trips and when we can realistically book those trips. While much of Europe remains off-limits to American travelers, many countries in the Caribbean are accessible.
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Anguilla announced on Aug. 13 that it was entering Phase One of its reopening plans and will begin accepting applications on Aug. 21 for entry from visitors wishing to travel to the island. Phase One will last from Aug. 21 through the end of October. Most tourists will be allowed to return after Nov. 1.
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“Anguilla is currently COVID-19 free, so our objective has always been to reopen in a prudent way, taking every precaution to protect the health and safety of our residents and our guests,” said Hon. Quincia Gumbs-Marie, Anguilla’s Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism on Thursday. Anguilla has reported three cases of the novel coronavirus and no deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Want to visit? Here’s what you need to know before applying.
What you need to visit Anguilla
- Fill out application prior to arrival with quarantine requirements
- Must take a COVID-19 PCR test three to five days before arriving in Anguilla
- Confirm you have health insurance
- Wear face masks when traveling to the departure airport
- Wear face masks and practice physical distancing at the departure airport
On the plane
- Wear a face mask while on the plane
- Practice social distancing to the extent possible
- Undergo a second PCR COVID-19 test
- Show negative coronavirus test results
- Show electronic certificate authorizing travel
- Undergo a third coronavirus test on day 10 in the country
Visitors wishing to enter Anguilla can pre-registration process online at the Anguilla Tourist Board’s website. Applicants must submit a negative PCR test taken within three to five days before arrival. Travelers also must have a health insurance policy that will cover any medical expenses incurred in relation to COVID-19 treatment.
That’s not all.
Travelers will be given a PCR test on arrival, with a second test administered on day 10 of their trip. During this period between the first and second tests, travelers can “enjoy all the facilities and amenities” at their villa or hotel. That means effectively a full quarantine at your hotel or resort. And only approved accommodations will be allowed for self-quarantine.
Travelers who test negative a second time will be free to explore the island. Anguilla says that travelers are prohibited from using a rental until a negative test is received on day 10. Note that Anguilla isn’t imposing a minimum stay and says that travelers can visit for shorter periods as well.
Originally, the country had hoped to reopen its borders by July 14. However, a July press release from the office of the governor stated that the border would remain closed to “regular passenger movements” through Oct. 31 with a few exceptions.
What is open in Anguilla
Anguilla’s Tourism Board says workers who interact with tourists are in the middle of a training on safety. Most hotels and resorts will reopen by November 1. Wearing a mask is not mandatory; however, guests are expected to observe social distancing and follow stringent hygiene practices. Most businesses are beginning to reopen.
How to get to Anguilla
Anguilla’s a little off the beaten path, but there are still options to getting there from the U.S. Cash flights from cities like New York (JFK), Miami (MIA) start at around $330 round-trip for November dates. Booking points tickets through American, Delta, United and British Airways all resulted in error messages.
You could book directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards. I’m seeing round-trip flights from New York starting at under 35,000 points.
Where to stay in Anguilla
In Anguilla, there are some options for using hotel points, but not a lot.
You can stay at the intimate Zemi beach house using Hilton points, but the luxury resort is closed until at least October 22. Rates start at 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Zemi Beach House is an existing boutique property on Anguilla that’s made a name for itself by providing personalized, friendly service. It just joined Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts group. (The only other LXR properties are the Habtoor Palace Dubai and The Biltmore, Mayfair in London.)
You can book a garden view room with a balcony and two queen beds for 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night. TPG values Hilton Honors points at 0.6 cents each so 95,000 points are worth $570. The Honors discount cash price for members is $1,440 per night so that makes using points a pretty sweet option.
Hyatt fans can stay at The Reef by CuisinArt, a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property. It’s a category 6 Hyatt property going for $750 or 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
If you don’t already have World of Hyatt points, it’s easy to get them. The program is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards; you can instantly transfer those points to Hyatt at a 1:1 ratio. If you open a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which is currently offering 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. Plus earn a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening. You’ll have enough points for two nights at the Park Hyatt after completing the minimum spending requirements.
World of Hyatt also allows you to use points to book or upgrade to suites.
If you wan to splurge there’s also the Four Seasons Anguilla set to reopen November 1. Here’s where you can maximize Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits if you have either the The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee, see rates and fees) or The Business Platinum Card® from American Express ($595 annual fee, see rates and fees). Booking through FHR brought with it a full suite of additional perks, including complimentary breakfast, an upgrade subject to availability, guaranteed 4 p.m. late checkout and a $100 property credit. That’s fine, but rooms start at about $900 a night!
Hopefully, the United States will get the spread of coronavirus under control soon, and the quarantine order will be lifted. It may not yet be time to plan a trip to Anguilla considering the quarantine requirements, but we’ll need to wait to see what the final rules are for tourism. It’s a good sign they are at least beginning the reopening process.
Related: A guide to Caribbean re-openings
Additional reporting by Zach Griff, Clint Henderson and Andrea Rotondo.
Featured photo of Park Hyatt St. Kitts courtesy the hotel.
Featured photo courtesy of Cavan Images / Getty Images
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