These Caribbean Islands Are Making It Easier to Visit by Dropping COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Saint Lucia and several other Caribbean islands have eased pandemic-related protocols, making a warm-weather getaway as easy as booking a flight.
The Caribbean island eliminated all pre-arrival testing for vaccinated travelers over the weekend, only requiring people show proof of their inoculation to go, according to the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority. The island will still welcome unvaccinated travelers as well, but requires them to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival and requires them to stay in a COVID-19-certified accommodation for up to seven days.
All travelers heading to St. Lucia must fill out a Health Screening Form, which they have to download and print before travel.
The new rules come as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered St. Lucia — along with several other Caribbean islands — to a "Level 3" travel warning, recommending travelers are "up to date" with their COVID-19 vaccines before going. The CDC also lowered Belize and Grenada, each of which also recently eased pandemic-related border rules.
This week, Grenada removed all COVID-19-related entry restrictions, regardless of vaccination status, the Grenada Tourism Authority shared with Travel + Leisure. Going forward, travelers are not required to get tested, fill out any health declarations, or quarantine upon arrival.
For its part, Belize has dropped pre-arrival testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers as well as eliminated mask rules and capacity restrictions at restaurants, the Belize Tourism Board shared with T+L. However, all travelers must purchase an official travel insurance policy to visit.
Unvaccinated travelers must also show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their arrival or proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of their arrival, and undergo mandatory testing at the border.
The islands join several other destinations in rolling back travel rules, including Puerto Rico, which lifted all pandemic-related restrictions for domestic travelers from the United States.
However, the U.S. still requires all international travelers entering the country, including U.S. citizens, to get tested within one day of flying, regardless of their vaccination status. And Jeff Zients, the White House pandemic coordinator, said during a news briefing on Tuesday there were "no plans to change the international travel requirements at this point."
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.