The Latest Details
The Caribbean is very much open to travelers this summer, with several destinations receiving Level 1 travel advisories from the U.S. State Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicating that they are safe to visit in the time of COVID-19. Here’s a look at the latest expert advice for some of the region’s top islands and destinations as well as entry requirements travelers can expect in 2021.
Antigua and Barbuda
U.S. travelers age 12 and older to the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda must have a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) test result that was taken within seven days of their flight. Fully vaccinated visitors will have more options in terms of accommodations and quarantine restrictions, but getting vaccinated is not a requirement to visit. Antigua and Barbuda has reported just three COVID-19 cases over the two-week period from June 29 to July 12, prompting the State Department to issue a Level 1 travel advisory (exercise normal precautions) and the CDC to issue a Level 1 Travel Health Notice, indicating a low level of coronavirus on the islands.
The State Department is advising Americans to reconsider travel to Aruba due to COVID-related conditions this summer, pointing out that the CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the island, indicating a high level of COVID-19. Nonetheless, Aruba reported just 37 total cases for the two-week period of June 29-July 12. Visiting Aruba will soon become easier for many as some U.S. residents who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 may be exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements starting on Wednesday, July 14. Travelers will still need to complete the online Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED Card) process, which includes purchasing mandatory COVID-19 health insurance prior to travel.
The eastern Caribbean island of Barbados has received both the State Department’s and CDC’s lowest travel advisories, reporting fewer than 4,200 cases since the pandemic was first declared. Visitors must complete an Online Immigration/Customs form and submit it 24 hours prior to travel and provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within three days of departure, regardless of vaccination status.
British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands continues to be one of the safest overseas destinations this summer, with the State Department advising travelers to exercise normal precautions (Level 1) and the CDC indicating a low level of COVID-19 in the islands. Visitors must register to travel on the BVI Gateway App 48 hours prior to their trip and secure a negative RT-PCR test or an approved rapid antigen test taken within five days of arrival. Travelers are also required to download contract tracing software to their mobile phones.
The Dominican Republic remains open to international travelers without proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination against the virus. However, authorities continue to conduct rapid tests on randomly selected arrivals as well as temperature checks. As of June 16, the State Department advises Americans to reconsider travel to the DR due to COVID-19, with the CDC issuing a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for the destination, indicating a high level of coronavirus in the country.