These Caribbean Destinations Just Dropped the Pre-arrival Testing Requirement for Vaccinated Travelers
The U.S. Virgin Islands are making it easier to visit, becoming the latest destination to ease COVID-19 travel and testing restrictions.
The new rules, which went into effect this week, dropped pre-arrival testing for vaccinated domestic travelers, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. The decision put the island more in line with other U.S. states and territories that have recently dropped pandemic-era restrictions.
Previously, all travelers were required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of their arrival, regardless of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated domestic passengers will still have to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within five days of travel.
American travelers returning home after visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands are exempt from the testing requirement, because the U.S. Virgin Islands is an American territory.
All travelers will have to utilize the USVI Travel Screening Portal and get cleared to travel to the island, regardless of vaccination status. The screening portal form must be filled out for domestic travelers age 5 and older and international travelers age 2 and older.
Currently, the U.S. Virgin Islands has a 52.8 percent vaccination rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the island only has a seven-day test positivity rate of 0.98 percent, a decrease from its peak in January, according to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health.
In addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Caribbean island of Curaçao has also eliminated all pre-departure testing, according to the Curaçao Tourist Board. Travelers must still complete a digital immigration card online and fill out a Passenger Locator Card before their departure.
The easing of restrictions come as several other destinations have made similar decisions. Puerto Rico, for example, eliminated all pandemic-related border protocols for domestic travelers, allowing them to come without showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test and dropping the travel declaration form requirement.
Similarly, Hawaii plans to end its Safe Travels program for domestic visitors later this month for the first time since it implemented travel restrictions in October 2020.
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.