A series of three tests and a full four-day quarantine are required before enjoying these Caribbean islands.

By Rachel Chang
December 07, 2020
Advertisement
Credit: alexeys/Getty

With their naturally socially distanced borders, the Caribbean islands have each been carefully rolling out their reopening plans to ensure that welcoming tourists doesn’t also mean allowing the coronavirus to enter their countries. 

The British Virgin Islands — a group of 60 islands east of Puerto Rico and west of Anguilla — is one of the latest, having reopened its borders to travelers on Dec. 1, albeit with strict restrictions in place, including multiple tests and a full four-day quarantine.

“The government of the Virgin Islands has taken a brief hiatus to ensure that we implement health and safety protocols,” BVI’s Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew A. Fahie said on Nov. 30, ahead of the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport reopening the next day. He explained that high-traffic spaces now have “contactless services, hands-free automated doors, protection barriers, and more,” and that the airport’s new welcome center features swabbing stations, isolation rooms, and touchless restroom facilities. 

To visit the island, tourists need to register on the BVI Gateway portal at least seven days before their travel date. Then, a certified negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within five days of arrival must be uploaded. If staying at one of the island’s approved travel accommodations, proof of payment for the required four-day quarantine (the arrival date doesn’t count as it’s a travel day) must also be provided.

Proof of medical travel insurance covering COVID-19 must also be uploaded, on top of consenting to additional declarations. If all those items are checked off, then a $175 payment for a COVID-19 entry fee will be required, according to the site.

Once those items are approved, visitors will receive a Travel Authorization Certificate. 

On the island, another PCR test will be conducted at the airport, and guests will be required to activate contact tracing on their phones, as well as wear a wristband monitoring device, according to TravelPulse. On the fourth full day of quarantine, another PCR test must come back negative before travelers can explore the islands freely.

While it may sound like a lot of hoops, the island vacation experience that the British Virgin Islands has long been known for is still as alluring. “Even though the entry process has changed, our product remains the same,” Fahie added. “The British Virgin Islands still boasts cobalt blue waters, white sandy beaches, luscious green hills, and trade winds that are unmatched throughout the world.”

While some Caribbean islands started reopening as early as June, many restricted the travels to residents returning home. But in recent months, tourists are also being welcomed back, with Barbados opening to visitors on July 12, St. Kitts & Nevis on Oct. 31, and Anguilla on Nov. 1.