St. Lucia is reopening to US travelers — here’s what you need to know

May 20, 2020

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If you’re ready to venture outside the U.S., the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia is ready to welcome you, beginning on June 4.

Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee announced on Monday a phased approach to reopening the country for tourism. During Phase One, St. Lucia will only accept visitors from the United States from June 4 through July 31. If all goes as planned, Phase Two will begin August 1. The details of Phase Two will be disclosed in coming weeks.

“Our new protocols have been carefully crafted,” Fedee said, “and will build confidence among travelers and our citizens. The Government of Saint Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jump-starts its economy.”

Local hotels are preparing to reopen about 1,500 rooms in early June. To reopen, the hotels must get certification under a new COVID-19 process, which calls for them to meet a dozen or more criteria for sanitization, social distancing and other protocols.

Visiting St. Lucia soon won’t be your typical spontaneous weekend getaway to the Caribbean, however. Here’s what to expect:

Infographic on COVID-19 safety protocols courtesy of St. Lucia Tourism.
(Graphic courtesy of the Government of St. Lucia)
  • During Phase One, travelers can only enter the nation via Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) and must undergo rigorous screening and temperature checks by local health authorities before proceeding to other destinations.
  • Travelers will have to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test dated within 48 hours of flight departure.
  • Face masks and social distancing protocols are required for visitors throughout their stay.
  • Guests must submit to temperature checks over meal times at their hotel
  • Taxis will implement additional safety precautions to separate drivers from guests.
  • Travelers will be able to access local health information via signs with QR codes that link to a landing page with more information.

Related: A country-by-country reopening guide to the Caribbean

The full list of details from the infographic is as follows:

1. At the check-in airport, travelers can expect:

  • Communication and education about the disease and safety protocols
  • Must provide certified proof of COVID-19 negativity
  • Must wear face masks
  • Must commit to maintaining social distance throughout the trip
  • Temperature screening
  • All surfaces will be regularly sanitized
  • Must participate in hand washing and sanitization

2. On the flight:

  • Travelers and crew members all wear face masks
  • Physical distancing in practice
  • Minimal contact with cabin crew, including packed meals

3. At the arrival airport:

  • Masks
  • Physical distancing
  • Handwashing and sanitization
  • Regular sanitization of surfaces
  • Luggage sanitized on arrival
  • Temperature screening (symptomatic travelers will be isolated)
  • Luggage handlers in masks
  • Authorized taxi only

4. At the hotel:

  • Hotel will book all taxis, which must be authorized to operate with COVID-19 safety protocols in place: PPE, sanitization and social distance cashless transactions
  • Hotel COVID-19 certification of operational protocols
  • Limited contact check in and check out
  • Guest’s temperatures checked at each meal time
  • Nurse’s station on site
  • Quarantine facilities
  • Daily temperature checks for staff at the beginning and end of each shift
  • Physical distancing
  • Limited guest activities and attractions

5: At departure airport:

  • Masks
  • Physical distancing
  • Temperature screening
  • Handwashing and hand sanitization
  • Departure lounge rearranged to allow for social distancing
  • Passport bio-page and departing flight details on hand
  • Only departing guests will be allowed into terminal building

St. Lucia closed its borders to foreign travelers on March 23 and adopted shelter-in-place guidelines and other safety protocols. The country has only had 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and all patients have made a full recovery. 

Nonetheless, the tourism-dependent country is still vulnerable to coronavirus exposure from outsiders as travel is one of the biggest factors in spreading COVID-19 disease. TPG recommends you speak to your doctor about the risks to yourself and others around you, and research destinations before you plan nonessential travel.

Expect to plan ahead for reservations and bookings, and check out our global country-by-country guide for guidance.

Featured photo by Getty Images.

 

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