An Island-by-island Guide to Traveling to the Caribbean Amid COVID-19
Because island vibes are all we want right now.
Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Last year, as the global pandemic raged, Caribbean travel was put on extended pause. But it's inching back in 2021, bolstered by strict entry protocols intended to ensure the safety of both travelers and residents.
The increased distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has also prompted many destinations to ease entry requirements, and some countries no longer require pre-travel testing if visitors can show proof of vaccination. Several resorts in the region have even made on-site testing available, enabling visitors to conveniently comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's requirement that international travelers test negative before returning to the U.S. In other words, it's now easier than at any time since the pandemic began to get away to the Caribbean and its beautiful beaches.
Below is an island-by-island guide for U.S. travelers with everything you need to know before planning a trip to the Caribbean.
Travelers, both vaccinated and not, are welcome to visit Anguilla starting May 25. All visitors must submit a negative PCR test three to five days before arriving and upon arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. Vaccinated travelers will only have to quarantine for seven days and do not need to provide proof of health insurance. Multigenerational families with a mix of both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers will be required to quarantine for 10 to 14 days.
Short-stay travelers must also apply to enter the country and pay $300 per person, $500 per couple, or $250 for each dependent to cover surveillance and two tests per person while on the island. Visitors must then stay at a Safe Environment Approved accommodation or private home for 10 to 14 days, where they can take advantage of a hotel's amenities like snorkeling or offshore cay excursions.
Starting July 1, all travelers eligible for a vaccine must have gotten the shot before entering Anguilla. They will still have to undergo a negative PCR test three to five days before arriving and present proof of vaccination.
Antigua and Barbuda
Travelers are welcome to visit Antigua and Barbuda. Those ages 12 and older are required to submit proof of a negative PCR test taken seven days before boarding, as well as complete a Traveler Accommodation form upon arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS.
Visitors must also stay at a certified property and will be monitored for COVID-19 for up to 14 days, according to Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority officials.Related: I Traveled to Antigua During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Here's What It Was Like
Aruba is open to Americans, but visitors must take a COVID-19 molecular test either up to 72 hours prior to arrival or upon arrival at the airport, according to the Aruba Tourism Authority. Travelers also have to complete an Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card and a personal health assessment.
Visitors will need to purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance in advance of travel as part of the online ED card process, too. Personal travel insurance may supplement, but cannot replace Aruba Visitors Insurance. Premiums are $30 for visitors 15 and over and $10 for those 14 and younger, for a maximum duration of 180 days.Aruba offers several testing facilities for travelers returning home to the U.S. The island has also teamed up with JetBlue to test travelers at home prior to their departure.
The Bahamas is welcoming U.S. visitors, and travelers who are fully vaccinated are now exempt from entry and inter-island testing requirements. Vaccinated travelers must still apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa and upload proof of vaccination, but are not required to provide proof of a negative PCR test prior to entry or submit to rapid-testing mandates during their stay, according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Unvaccinated travelers also have to apply for a Health Visa, provide proof of a negative test taken five days prior to arrival, and undergo rapid antigen testing if staying longer than four nights. All visitors must adhere to the Bahamas' health and safety protocols, including wearing a mask, social distancing, and frequent handwashing.
Effective May 8, Barbados travelers who provide proof of full vaccination and a negative PCR test taken within three days of travel will have a standard COVID-19 test done at Grantley Adams International Airport or their approved accommodations, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS.
Visitors will then quarantine at their approved accommodations for one to two days as they await their test results. Unvaccinated travelers from specified countries must provide a negative PCR test taken three days prior to arrival, quarantine in their rooms for five to seven days, and take a second test five days after arrival, according to the Barbados Ministry of Tourism.All incoming U.S. travelers over the age of five must complete an online immigration and customs form 24 hours prior to arrival. Barbados is also welcoming visitors to reside on the island for a year for the ultimate remote work experience.
Visitors are welcome to enter Bermuda, but must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival, according to Bermuda Tourism Authority guidelines. Children nine and younger are exempt.
Travelers are also required to complete a Bermuda Travel Authorization form online within 48 hours of departure and pay a $75 per person fee, which includes charges for testing on the island.
Visitors will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantine in their hotel room until results are obtained (usually six to eight hours). Vaccinated travelers must comply with all testing protocols, but are not required to quarantine after they receive negative test results.
Travelers must also wear traveler wristbands distributed during testing for the first 14 days of their stay. Finally, visitors will have to undergo COVID-19 tests on day four, eight, and 14 of their trip at any of the several pop-up testing centers.
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Bonaire is open to U.S. visitors, but with no direct flights, travelers must fly to Curaçao and follow the country’s entry protocols before continuing on to Bonaire.
Bonaire allows U.S. travelers to enter with two negative COVID-19 tests: a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival and a rapid antigen test taken no more than 24 hours prior to boarding the flight, according to the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao.
All travelers must have health insurance covering medical costs while on Bonaire, including care related to COVID-19. Visitors must also complete an online health declaration form 48 to 72 hours before departure.
Saba is open to travelers from “high-risk” countries, including the U.S. Travelers must obtain EAHS approval online before arriving on the island. Fully vaccinated adults who provide proof of a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival are not required to quarantine, according to Saba Tourist Bureau officials.
Non-vaccinated travelers, however, must quarantine for five days and take a rapid antigen test on day five. Travelers connecting through St. Maarten prior to visiting Saba must follow St. Maarten's entry requirements in addition to those for Saba.As of May 9, visitors may enter Sint Eustatius, but must apply for permission in advance, and those who are not vaccinated will have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival.
The British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands welcomes tourists who submit a negative PCR test result five days before arrival, according to government officials. Visitors must also register on the BVI Gateway portal and submit a Public Health Declaration form 48 hours before arriving.
Arriving visitors will have to undergo a health screening and PCR test, as well as download a contact-tracing app. Travelers will then proceed to certified accommodations, where they will quarantine for four days, take another PCR test, and, if negative, may visit designated locations. Visitors will pay $175 per person for two PCR tests, a contact-tracing bracelet, and the COVID-19 monitoring app. If visitors need a test to exit the BVI, the government charges $70 per test.Effective May 15, fully vaccinated travelers will be tested on arrival and released from quarantine as soon as a negative result is received. Vaccinated visitors will pay a reduced fee of $105 for the BVI Gateway travel authorization certificate.
The Cayman Islands remains closed to U.S. visitors, according to government officials. The country has implemented a phased approach under which U.S. travelers will be required to obtain pre-travel approval via a Travel Cayman portal, among other measures, when permitted to enter.
Cuba welcomes travelers who can show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arriving in the country, according to the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. Travelers must also complete a health declaration card and undergo complimentary retesting upon arrival. Visitors will then have to quarantine at an approved hotel for five days and be retested at their own expense.
While U.S. citizens may not travel to Cuba for tourism, they are allowed to legally visit under 12 specific categories, including "Support for the Cuban People," the most popular form, which binds travelers to a "full-time schedule" of activities that "enhance contact with the Cuban people," among other requirements.
Curaçao welcomes U.S. travelers who can present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure, according to the Curaçao Tourist Board. Travelers must also fill out an online immigration card and Passenger Locator Card (PLC) within 48 hours of their flight, as well as have medical insurance to cover COVID-related costs while visiting.
Children six years old and younger who do not show symptoms, and whose parents present proof of a negative PCR test, are not required to get tested.
Dominica welcomes travelers from high-risk countries, including the U.S., who can show a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 24 to 72 hours before arrival, according to the Discover Dominica Authority. Approved travelers will receive an email notification with clearance to visit.
Travelers will then undergo rapid testing upon arrival; if negative, they will proceed to immigration and customs and be transferred to a “Safe in Nature” certified property, which is designated by Dominica’s Environmental Health Department. They will also have to quarantine for five days. A PCR test ($40) will be administered on day five; if negative, travelers will be free to move around the island.
Visitors arriving from high-risk destinations can book the “Safe in Nature” experience, enabling them to experience activities beyond their accommodations during the first five to seven days of their stay.
The Dominican Republic does not require American tourists to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test in line with the country's "Responsible Tourism Recovery Plan," according to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. Instead, officials at airports and ports of entry will perform breath tests on three to 15% of passengers.
Before arriving, however, travelers must fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit online as well as an electronic entry and exit form.
Grenada is open to U.S. travelers, who are required to provide proof of a negative PCR test obtained 72 hours prior to travel. All visitors also have to apply for a Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate prior to their trip. Fully vaccinated travelers entering Grenada must quarantine for 48 hours pending an on-arrival negative PCR test result, as well as book approved accommodations for a minimum of two nights, according to Grenada's Ministry of Health.
Unvaccinated travelers must also provide proof of a seven-day booking in approved accommodations and quarantine for the first five days of their visit. On day five, these travelers must take a second PCR test; if negative, they may move about the island. All travelers have to prepay for PCR tests in Grenada.
U.S. tourists are not allowed to enter Guadeloupe, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. The ban follows France's efforts to tighten its borders, including in its Caribbean territories.In the meantime, you can virtually dive into the sights and sounds of Guadeloupe through the tourism board's dreamy Instagram stories.
U.S. travelers are allowed to enter Haiti, but need a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours before traveling there, according to the U.S. Embassy in Haiti. Travelers who had COVID-19 and recovered can skip testing and instead show their previous positive test, along with a doctor's note explaining they recovered.
U.S. travelers are not required to quarantine. The departure terminal at Haiti's Toussaint Louverture International Airport offers rapid testing that meets CDC criteria.
Jamaica welcomes U.S. tourists who can present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days of arriving in Jamaica, according to the country's tourism board. Children under 12 years old are exempt. Travelers must also apply for a Travel Authorization within seven days of their trip and stay within a designated "Resilient Corridor." Tourists may leave their hotels to visit approved tourist attractions.
U.S. tourists are not allowed to enter Martinique, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. The ban follows France's efforts to tighten its borders, including in its Caribbean territories.
Montserrat only allows U.S. travelers who own a home on the island to visit, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. Those who are permitted are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within seven days of arriving, as well as submit an Access Declaration Form.
Travelers must then either self-quarantine at their home for 14 days or at a designated facility for six days.
Level 4: Do Not Travel
Travelers to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico are required to arrive with a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their trip and fill out a Travel Declaration Form online, according to Discover Puerto Rico.
Passengers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test result will be fined $300 and required to obtain a molecular PCR test within 48 hours of arrival. If negative, the fine will be dismissed. Visitors to Puerto Rico are not mandated to get tested before returning to the mainland, as the island is a U.S. territory. The island recently eased restrictions on popular attractions, including beaches.
Fully vaccinated travelers from the U.S. will no longer need to get tested for COVID-19 before visiting Puerto Rico, though international visitors and Americans who are not fully vaccinated will still have to follow testing requirements prior to arrival.
U.S. tourists are not allowed to enter St. Barts, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. The ban follows France's efforts to tighten its borders, including in its Caribbean territories.
St. Kitts and Nevis
U.S. tourists may visit St. Kitts and Nevis. Travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, according to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, as well as complete a Travel Authorization form prior to their trip.
Vaccinated travelers will proceed to an approved property upon arrival, where they must quarantine for nine days, though they may interact with guests and join hotel activities. If staying beyond nine days, vaccinated travelers must be tested on day nine. With a negative result, they are free to participate in tours, visit attractions, and enjoy restaurants, beach bars, and shopping.
Unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test on day seven. If negative, they may book select excursions through their hotel's tour desk. Those who stay beyond 14 days must take a test on day 14. If negative, they are free to move around the destination. If a traveler's trip is less than 14 days, they must be retested at least two days before leaving St. Kitts and Nevis.
St. Maarten is open to American travelers, and those who wish to visit must upload a completed health declaration before departing. Travelers are also required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival, or an FDA-approved rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of departure, according to St. Maarten government officials.
Travelers also must complete an online immigration card and purchase mandatory St. Maarten Visitors Protection Plan, which covers hospital and ICU costs, doctor consultations, COVID-19 tests, and medical evacuation, if necessary. Packages cost $30 for travelers ages 15 and older and $10 for visitors under 15.
U.S. citizens can visit the French St. Martin through its Dutch counterpart, St. Maarten. Travelers who plan to stay on the French side must have a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours, according to the St. Martin Tourist Office. While isolation is not mandatory, it is recommended for seven days, followed by a PCR test.
U.S travelers to St. Lucia are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test no more than five days before arriving, as well as complete a pre-arrival registration form, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS. Children under five are exempt from testing.
All visitors will be screened at the airport; symptomatic passengers will be tested and quarantined at their hotel until a result is received. Travelers to the island must also have a confirmed reservation at a COVID-19-certified property for the duration of their stay.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Argyle International Airport has reopened following its closure due to eruptions of La Soufrière volcano in April. Cleaning is ongoing as some ash fall persists, according to airport officials.
Under existing protocols, U.S. travelers may enter St. Vincent and the Grenadines with proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the OECS.Travelers must also complete an online pre-arrival form and a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a Tourism Authority/Ministry of Health, Wellness, and the Environment-approved hotel. Visitors will need to have a fully paid reservation in advance.
Trinidad and Tobago
U.S. tourists are not yet welcome to visit the islands, according to the U.S. Embassy in Trinidad & Tobago.
Turks and Caicos Islands
U.S. travelers wanting to visit Turks and Caicos must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival, according to Turks and Caicos Tourist Board officials. Travelers must also apply for a travel authorization and have insurance covering COVID-19 costs. Children under 10 years old are exempt from testing requirements.
United States Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands welcomes travelers from the mainland, but requires visitors ages five and older to receive certification and submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test via the USVI travel portal within five days of their trip, according to the USVI Department of Tourism.
Upon arrival, travelers must submit the original portal test result and travel certification. Travelers unable to produce the required test result will be subject to a 14-day self-quarantine in their booked accommodations or until they receive a negative test result.
Travelers heading back to the U.S. from the U.S. Virgin Islands are not required to get tested before departure, as the island is a U.S. territory.