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Saturday, December 5, 2020

How the Caribbean is opening up to tourism, and where you can go

The world may feel rather small right now, and rather drizzly too. But across the Atlantic, there is a smattering of sun-kissed islands waiting for British holidaymakers to return.

The Caribbean is by far the most “open” of any of the regions around the world, with many of the islands simply requesting a negative PCR test certificate, taken before arrival. The UK has travel corridors with 13, and 16 are welcoming in British holidaymakers.

But there are still more travel corridors that could be added. As part of our Unlock Long Haul campaign, we are urging the Government to lift restrictions to more destinations with a lower Covid rate than the UK (that’s all of them, in the case of the Caribbean). We’ve had some early success, with eight new corridors announced on November 12 – including the Caribbean islands of Turks and Caicos.

So what are our options? There are five Caribbean countries that will allow you in, so long as you follow the testing or health screening procedures on arrival. In these destinations (shown as green on the map below) you won’t need to go into quarantine either on arrival nor on return to the UK.

Another seven Caribbean destinations (orange on the map) will let you in and you can avoid quarantine on your return, although you will face a quarantine on arrival (ranging from a couple of days to two weeks). The rest of the islands are “red” – either closed to UK travellers, or because we have not yet granted the island a travel corridor.

Note that flight routes to the Caribbean have been significantly scaled back, but major operators like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have some services between the UK and the Caribbean. If you are hankering for some winter sun, a good bet would be to book through a recognised Atol-protected tour operator, to ensure your money is safe in the instance of an unexpected Covid-related cancellation.

You can see which islands are open for business on the map below (use the zoom tool, to make sure you don’t miss the smaller islands). And beneath that, we list all of the essential travel requirements for every Caribbean island.

Where can I go? The CAribbean

Anguilla

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine on arrival)

Entry rules: Entry to Anguilla is subject to pre-approval. As part of the approval process you must provide evidence of a negative PCR test taken 3 to 5 days before your date of arrival in Anguilla. You will then be tested again on arrival, and spend 10–14 days in quarantine, regardless of your results.

How to get there: There are no direct flights from the UK to Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 3.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: All passengers must produce negative PCR test result taken no more than 7 days before arrival. Further health screening on arrival, with continued monitoring for first 14 days.

How to get there: Virgin Atlantic and British Airways operate non-stop flights from Heathrow to Saint John’s in Antigua.

The Bahamas

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 57.6 per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Negative PCR test taken no more than 5 days prior to arrival. Complete a Travel Health Visa Application prior to arrival. Additional health screening on arrival, and requirement to take a rapid antigen test if you stay for longer than 4 nights.

How to get there: There are currently no direct flights from The Bahamas to the UK. British Airways plan to resume flights in February 2021.

Barbados

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 2.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with short quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Arrivals must complete an immigration form 24 hours before arrival, and arrive with a negative PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival. On arrival, you will take another test 4–5 days after the first accepted negative test, and quarantine at a designated facility while waiting for the second result.

How to get there: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are operating flights from London Heathrow and Gatwick to Bridgetown in Barbados.

British Virgin Islands

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Entry rules: Borders are open only to returning British Virgin Islanders, as well as other specified groups. From December 1, tourists will be able to enter subject to having a negative Covid result, taken 5 days prior to arrival, a test on arrival, and a further test after another 4 days.

Cayman Islands

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 10.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Pre-approved arrivals may enter, subject to a mandatory 14-day  quarantine.

How to get there: Flights from the UK go via New York or Washington. See Delta, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Delta for options.

Cuba

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 2.56 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must complete a Health Declaration form and take a PCR test (US$30). Visitors on charter flights will be transferred to their hotel. Visitors on commercial flights have to self-isolate and take a further PCR test, before being allowed to leave isolation.

How to get there: Tour operators like Tui are running chartered flights into Cuba.

Dominica

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 7 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Complete online questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, with negative PCR test result taken up to 72 hours before travel. You must submit and show approval from the Dominican Ministry of Health to board a flight. Pinprick rapid test on arrival – if negative, self-isolate for five days for a final PCR test. After that another seven days of self-isolation.

How to get there: There are no non-stop flights currently available. Flights to Dominica require two changes.

Dominican Republic

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 33.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Random rapid covid test on arrival.

Grenada

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Obtain Pure Safe Travel Certificate, negative PCR test taken up to 7 days before travel. Second PCR test 4 days after arrival to leave hotel quarantine.

How to get there: British Airways flies from Gatwick to Grenada, with a stop-off in Saint Lucia.

Guadeloupe

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 28 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Undertake PCR test up to 72 hours before departure and present negative result before embarking. Required to fill document on arrival to confirm no Covid symptoms.

Haiti

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Temperature check on arrival, health declaration form filled in on flight. You may be asked to quarantine for 14 days in your own accommodation.

Jamaica

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 13.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Possible Covid test on arrival, and screenings at the airport. Mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.

Montserrat

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Entry rules: Visitors are not allowed to enter Montserrat at this time.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 0 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Complete entry form and submit negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of travel. Health screening at the airport, including temperature check and a health questionnaire. Arrivals must stay at approved hotel, and take further PCR tests on days 7 and 14.

How to get there: British Airways operates flights with a stop-off in Antigua.

Saint Lucia

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 21.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must complete pre-arrival form and take a PCR test 7 days before travel. Health checks on arrival. Arrivals can only stay at a certified property or Government operated facility.

How to get there: Tui is operating flights and holidays to St Lucia. British Airways is operating non-stop flights.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 1.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes (with quarantine restrictions)

Entry rules: Complete a pre-arrival form, arrive with a negative PCR test result, taken within 5 days of arrival. Re-test on arrival, and then enter a five-day quarantine at an approved hotel, with a further test between days 4 and 5 of quarantine. Then another 9–16 monitored days of quarantine.

How to get there: There are no direct flights from the UK to St Vincent and the Grenadines, but Virgin will launch flights from June 2021 (the first non-stop route from Europe to the Caribbean island).

Trinidad and Tobago

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 17.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists?  No

Entry rules: Trinidad and Tobago’s international borders are closed.

Turks and Caicos

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 16): 2.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Pre-travel authorisation. PCR test result taken less than five days prior to arrival. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: There are no non-stop flights from the UK. British Airways operates flights via Antigua.

Greg Dickinson

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