Grenada is reopening on August 1 — with lots of hurdles
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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.
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Grenada reopening on August 1
Like its Caribbean neighbors, Grenada is finally beginning to reopen to foreign tourists on August 1 — with many health conditions attached. Unfortunately it’s not going to be easy for Americans to visit.
The local government decided there will be different health protocols for different countries. Freedome of movement and rules will be based on a region’s transmission levels and epidemiological data. There are three tiers of countries in this reopening plan: low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk countries.
According to Travel Agent Central, the United States will fall into the high-risk category..
No matter where you come from there are several action items that all travelers must agree to do before being allowed to visit:
- Visitors must agree to the requirements pertaining to their country of origin, such as quarantining and testing.
- Everyone needs to complete, sign and submit a Health Declaration Form as well as downloading and registering on Grenada’s Contact Tracing App (both can be found on www.covid19.gov.gd).
- Any costs related to traveling to Grenada — flights, potential quarantine reservation, costs of testing — must be paid for by the visitor.
- All non-nationals must have travel insurance that covers coronavirus-related incidents (like treatment and isolation) — or must declare that they will bear those costs.
- Any possible quarantine accommodation must be approved by the Ministry of Health and paid for by the tourist.
Failure to uphold any part of this agreement may prevent the tourist from entering the country or they may be subjected to hefty fines (if it is violated after arrival). For example, failure to download and adhere to the requirements of the app will face a fine of $1000 or one year in prison.
Low and medium-risk countries
Tourists from low and medium-risk countries, which are defined as countries and regions where there is “no known community transmission” (low) or “active, but manageable transmission” (medium), have the greatest amount of flexibility in Grenada.
As examples, the government lists Canada, UK and other EU countries as examples of medium-risk countries. CARICOM countires are considered as low-risk.
The rules for these two groups are similar. Upon arrival, everyone needs to undergo rapid testing at the airport. If negative results are shown, travelers will be able to proceed to their accommodations and enjoy either “limited” (medium-risk) or complete (low-risk) freedom of movement.
Any positive results will require of the tourist an extra PCR testing and quarantine at an approved accommodation for 2-4 days. The traveler can exit the quarantine if the PCR test is negative, but positive tests will force them to remain in quarantine up to 14 days.
One exception separates those from medium-risk countries. Specifically, anyone in that category must hold a certified copy of a negative PCR test, which is dated no more than 7 days prior to departure.
Travel is supposed to be extremely difficult for “high-risk” tourists since only chartered flights are allowed from these countries.
Anyone traveling to Grenada from a high-risk country will find a 14-day mandatory quarantine period awaiting upon arrival. Additionally, tourists from “Red Zones” will have to undergo quarantining at an approved state facility for the same period — subject to the discretion of local officials.
Additionally, requirements of low and middle-risk countries still apply. A negative PCR test result, dated at most 7 days prior to entry, is needed — and rapid testing upon arrival will still take place. Tourists may have to stay 2-4 days at a government-approved accommodation while awaiting PCR results and be able to resume quarantine elsewhere (as long as they are not from the “Red Zones”).
Related: Bermuda opening to Americans July 1
Costs of coronavirus-related expense
The local government has detailed potential costs that visitors may have to incur during their stay:
- First mandatory rapid and/or PCR: free
- Additional rapid test: USD $30
- Additional PCR test: USD $150
- State-approved quarantine (does not include meals, and is subject to availability): USD $50
At the moment, Grenada has not clarified whether the $50 fee applies only to state facilities or if this extends to state-approved accommodation that is used when travelers undergo 2-4 days of quarantine after getting positive results from rapid testing.
How to get there
Google Flights is showing that American is one of the first U.S.-based carrier to relaunch services to Grenada. The Dallas-based airline will resume services from Miami (MIA) to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) on August 20.
At the moment, a 7-day roundtrip from that first flight costs $292 in the main cabin and $690 for business class. Anyone hoping to redeem AAdvantage miles will find that (roundtrip costs) main cabin will cost 30,000 miles and business class will go for 50,000 — plus $77 in taxes and fees.
Even if American’s flights end up being approved, travelers should remember that American recently removed its flight capacity limits — meaning social distancing in the air will not be possible. The airline said it will continue allowing passengers to move to less-crowded flights for no fee when such options are available, and that it will alert passengers when their flights are full.
JetBlue is also offering nonstop services from New York (JFK), but booking portals do not show that the airline will offer its Mint business-class product at the moment. It very may well return in wintertime, but this depends on how demand becomes impacted as the pandemic is still impacting international travel.
Roundtrip flights will cost roughly $401 or 30,100 TrueBlue points and about $77 in taxes and fees.
Caribbean Airlines and Air Canada are planning to resume their services as well. For visitors coming from Europe, Virgin Atlantic is hoping to launch its services beginning November 2 from London Heathrow (LHR) after formerly serving this destination from its once-bustling Gatwick (LGW) base. No word has been released yet as to whether British Airways will resume its own route.
Where to stay
Grenada usually has a lot of traditional homestays and independently-owned hotels, with a lot of hotels clustered in the southern part of the island near Grand Anse Beach.
The 21-suite-and-villa Mount Cinnamon hotel — one of TPG’s favorites — runs down the hillside leading to Grand Anse Beach and features a fully outfitted beach club with massage cabanas and a five-star PADI dive center, Dive Grenada. Unfortunately, it is only taking reservations beginning in November.
Anyone trying to use points for a stay at Grenada can book a stay at the 229-room Radisson Grenada Beach Resort, which is also along Grand Anse. Rates would normally start at about $277, but have dropped to $163 per night. Booking with points will cost 75,000 per night.
Meanwhile, TPG has a country-by-country Caribbean guide for anyone trying to check to see if any other destinations offer more favorable reopening plans to welcome guests.
Featured photo by Flavio Vallenari/Getty Images
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