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TRAVEL

Headed to the Caribbean this winter? The COVID-19 restrictions are as varied as the islands themselves

If you want to play in the warm sand, you’ll need to do your homework first.

The beach at Little Water Cay, more popularly known as Iguana Cay, off South Caicos.Christopher Muther/Globe Staff

Entry guidelines for many Caribbean islands are constantly changing. Please check restrictions carefully before making plans.

Anguilla: Open to US travelers. All visitors, 18 years and older, must be fully vaccinated to enter. Pregnant women are exempt. Travelers must apply at www.ivisitanguilla.com no later than noon on the day before the day of arrival. The application for entry includes an arrival testing fee of $50 per person. All travelers must present proof of vaccination plus a negative COVID-19 test result (rapid or PCR) taken between two to five days prior to arrival. The laboratory that processes the pre-arrival test must be accredited. More information: www.ivisitanguilla.com.

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Antigua and Barbuda: Open to US travelers. Restrictions to enter Antigua and Barbuda have been imposed on people who have traveled to South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, and Hong Kong within 14 days of arrival. Beginning Dec. 15, all arriving passengers will be required to present documentation of full vaccination. Children below the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement. Fully vaccinated arriving passengers can present a negative PCR test 4 days or fewer from the date of testing, or a negative rapid test three days or fewer from the date of testing. All arriving passengers must complete a Health Declaration Form, which will be distributed on the plane and will be subjected to screening and temperature checks upon arrival. If a test is required, the cost is $100 and the passenger must quarantine at an approved government health facility. More information at visitantiguabarbuda.com.

Aruba: Open to US travelers. All travelers are required to fill out an embarkation/disembarkation card between 72 and 4 hours prior to travel. Vaccinated travelers are allowed to submit a rapid test, otherwise, all visitors age 15 and older must upload a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Children 14 and under are exempt from the test. Those not producing a negative test result prior to arrival must take a PCR test upon arrival and quarantine until test results are received, but those 14 and under are exempt from the test. All visitors must purchase and pay for the Aruba travel insurance within 72 hours prior to departure. They can use their existing medical insurance to supplement the Aruba policy, but it cannot replace the Aruba travel insurance, which is $15 for travelers age 15 and older and no charge for children 14 and younger. More information at aruba.com.

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Bahamas: Open to US visitors. Fully vaccinated travelers to the Bahamas are required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test (either a rapid or PCR test), taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. Unvaccinated travelers, ages 12 and older, must obtain a negative PCR test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. All travelers are required to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs. Fully vaccinated travelers are required to upload negative test results in addition to valid proof of vaccination confirming they have passed the 2-week immunity period (such as CDC or government issued vaccine record card). As part of the Bahamas Travel Health Visa application, travelers will be required to opt-in to COVID-19 health insurance that covers them for the duration of their stay. The cost of insurance is included in the Bahamas Travel Health Visa application fee. More information at bahamas.com.

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Barbados: Open to US visitors. Barbados is open to vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers, however testing and quarantine guidelines for unvaccinated tourists are more stringent. All visitors must complete the Immigration and Customs form 24 hours prior to arrival and must include the negative PCR test result taken no more than 3 days before arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers with a valid negative PCR do not need to take a second PCR test or quarantine. Health officials at the Grantley Adams airport may select fully vaccinated travelers at random for a rapid antigen arrival test on entry (free of charge). Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 5 days at a pre-approved accommodation, take a PCR test on day 5 at one of the approved labs or testing hotels across the island and continue to quarantine until test results are received. Unvaccinated travelers under the age of 18 are allowed to enter if accompanied by vaccinated parents/guardians; travelers under 5 are not subject to testing requirements. More information at visitbarbados.org.

Bermuda: Open to US visitors. All travelers must complete the online Bermuda travel authorization process within 1 to 3 days of arrival (cost is $75 and covers all on-island tests) and present proof of a negative PCR test taken within 4 days of arrival (this also applies to children 2 years and older). Vaccinated travelers must present proof of vaccination, be tested upon arrival and on days 4 and 10 of their stay. Unvaccinated children traveling with parents are subject to the same rules. Unvaccinated travelers must be tested upon arrival, must quarantine at their own expense for 14 days at one of seven approved hotels, and be retested at the end of their quarantine. More information: gotobermuda.com.

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Bonaire: Open to US travelers. Fully vaccinated visitors must produce proof of a negative PCR test done within 72 hours of arrival. Unvaccinated visitors also must produce result of a negative antigen test taken within 24 hours of arrival as well as the negative PCR test. Bonaire has added the availability of rapid antigen testing at its Flamingo Airport to help travelers adhere to the current testing protocol. All travelers must complete a health questionnaire.

British Virgin Islands: Open to US travelers: Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travelers must begin their application on the BVI Gateway Portal no later than 48 hours before travel portal (bvigateway.bviaa.com). It must be 24 hours before travel. Failure to follow the guidelines could result in denied entry. Fully vaccinated travelers must produce proof of vaccination and a negative PCR or rapid antigen test taken no later than 48 hours prior to arrival, but they do not have to register on the entry portal or test for COVID-19 upon arrival. (If the test result is older than 48 hours, whether because of delays or overnight layovers, fully vaccinated travelers are required to register on the portal and take a rapid antigen test on the day of arrival). More information at bvitourism.com.

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Cayman Islands: Open to US travelers. Unvaccinated travelers are not allowed. The Cayman Islands now restricts entry to people who have traveled to southern Africa. People who travel to, from, or through these countries within the 21 days preceding their arrival in the Cayman Islands must undergo PCR testing within 24 hours of arrival and must also complete a quarantine period of not less than 14 days. Those who meet guidelines for entry to the island must apply to the Travel Cayman portal for an official Certificate to travel by requesting a Travel Declaration. Travelers must also take a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure with a negative result. No quarantine is required for verified vaccinated travelers, but they are required to take three tests during their stay, on days 2, 5, and 10. The Cayman Islands will administer these tests. Each test is approximately $30. More information at visitcaymanislands.com.

Curacao: Open to US travelers. All visitors from very high-risk countries (which includes the United States) must complete the digital immigration card online prior to departure, fill out the passenger locator card within 48 hours of departure, show proof and upload a negative PCR test result taken within 48 hours of departure, and take an antigen test at a local laboratory on the third day of the stay. The appointment must be made and paid for in advance. Children 12 and under who don’t show COVID-19 symptoms and whose parents/caretakers can show proof of a negative PCR test are not required to undergo a PCR test prior to arrival or the antigen test on day 3. Travelers must also be insured. More information at curacao.com.

Dominica: Open to US travelers. All travelers must submit a health questionnaire at least 24 hours prior to travel and upload a negative PCR test taken between 24 and 72 hours prior to arrival. Vaccinated visitors must upload a vaccination certificate, pay online for a rapid antigen test ($100 at the airport), and present notification of health clearance to travel to Dominica and receipt for antigen test.

If the antigen result is negative, there is no mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers who have been medically cleared. They must record temperature daily and report any symptoms, and must stay in Safe in Nature certified properties. Unvaccinated travelers will be transported to a mandatory quarantine at a government-operated facility or a Safe in Nature-certified property for five days, take a PCR test on day 5 and await results for up to 48 hours. Unvaccinated children under 18 traveling with a fully vaccinated family must follow same protocols as their vaccinated family members. Children age 5 and older will be tested on day 2; those 5 and younger do not need a PCR test. More information: godominica.com.

Dominican Republic: Open to US travelers. Visitors from the United States do not need to present a negative COVID-19 test. Airports and other ports of entry will perform a quick breath test to a random selection of visitors. Passengers under the age of 5 and crew members are exempt from this procedure. All travelers are required to fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit and international embarkation/disembarkation form 72 hours before departure from the United States, print or take a screenshot of a QR code, which is scanned upon arrival and departure. More information: godominicanrepublic.com.

Grenada: Open to US visitors. No longer open to unvaccinated travelers. Travelers are not be required to quarantine on arrival, they are not required to test on arrival unless deemed necessary by health officials during health screening, and may use personal or other types of transportation. More information at www.puregrenada.com.

Guadeloupe: Open to US visitors. There have been violent protests and riots against the island’s COVID-19 restrictions, which currently includes a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. lockdown. Less than half of the residents of Guadeloupe have been vaccinated. Vaccinated travelers must present a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival or an antigen test result taken 48 hours before arrival. Travelers under 12 are exempt from this requirement. Unvaccinated tourists must present the results of a negative PCR or antigen test upon departing and arriving in Guadeloupe. All non-vaccinated travelers will also need to present a compelling reason as to why they are traveling to the Guadeloupe and be subject to a mandatory 7-day quarantine. All travelers must present a completed health declaration form upon arrival. More information at www.guadeloupe-islands.com/reopening.

Jamaica: Open to US travelers. Jamaica has imposed restrictions on travelers from a number of African countries. All travelers must submit the travel authorization form within 7 days of arrival and must show the approval during the airline check-in process. All travelers over the age of 12 must submit proof of a negative PCR test or antigen test taken within 3 days of travel. Travelers staying in the Resilient Corridors along the north and south coasts of the island are free to move about the corridors and visit attractions that have been certified by the Tourist Board to be a COVID-19 Resilient Licensed tourist attraction. Fully vaccinated travelers staying outside the Resilient Corridors who meet the pre-arrival testing requirements are no longer required to quarantine on arrival. Unvaccinated travelers staying outside the Resilient Corridors still need to quarantine for 14 days. More information at visitjamaica.com.

Martinique: Much like Guadeloupe, the French island of Martinique has seen unrest and protests, primarily around mandatory vaccination mandates for health care workers. Open to US visitors. All visitors must be fully vaccinated and must present a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to arrival or an antigen test result taken 48 hours before arrival. Travelers under 12 are exempt from this requirement. All travelers must present a completed health declaration form upon arrival. There is no quarantine requirement. More information: meetmartinique.com.

Montserrat: Open to US visitors. All visitors must be fully vaccinated, show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 5 days prior to entry, complete and submit the online Access Declaration Form no later than 3 days prior to arrival, quarantine for 5 days and take a PCR or rapid antigen test on day 3 or 4. Children age 5 and older must also submit a negative PCR result. Children over 2 years of age must be tested on day 3 or 4 of quarantine. Visitors can stay up to 90 days or apply for the Remote Workers Stamp (fees required) for up to a year. More information at gov.ms/COVID-19

Puerto Rico: Open to US travelers. Fully vaccinated visitors are required to upload an official Vaccination Card through the Travel Declaration Form portal. Unvaccinated travelers are required to provide evidence of either a PCR test or rapid test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Those unvaccinated travelers arriving without a test must upload either a PCR or rapid test taken in Puerto Rico within 48 hours of arrival or receive a $300 fine. They must quarantine until results are received. More information at www.discoverpuertorico.com

Saba and St. Eustatius (Statia): Open to US travelers. Regulations for both islands require vaccinated visitors to fill out a health application form, provide results of a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or a rapid antigen test done 48 hours before travel and show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers must fill out the health form, show PCR test result done 72 hours before travel, quarantine for 5 days and take a PCR test on day 5. Day-trippers from St. Maarten have to apply for entry into Saba or Statia and fill out the health form prior to arrival in those islands. For details, visit the tourism websites of Saba and Statia.

St. Barts: Open to US visitors. All visitors over the age of 18 arriving from the United States must show proof of vaccination and present a negative rapid test taken within 48 hours of arrival or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival to enter. Unvaccinated visitors may only enter for a compelling reason (family, professional, medical) with pre-authorization. Visitors who travel through St. Martin need to pre-register to enter and must show results of the negative PCR test. US visitors traveling to St. Barts through San Juan must show results of the negative PCR test. More information: www.saintbarth.com.

St. Kitts and Nevis: Open to US travelers. Only fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to enter (unvaccinated children must be accompanied by a vaccinated adult). Visitors must complete a travel authorization form and include proof of vaccination. Once verified, travelers will receive authorization of their vaccination card and a KN number. They must then upload results of a negative PCR test done 72 hours prior to departure and proof of booking at one of the travel-approved accommodations. The Vacation In Place quarantine has been reduced from 4 days to 24 hours, after which travelers are tested ($150). Following a negative test result, travelers are free to make use of restaurants, beach bars, attractions, craft markets, tours, and water sports. Unvaccinated children under age 18 are subject to the 24-hour test and stay-in-place requirement. More information: www.stkittstourism.kn/travel-advisory-update and www.nevisisland.com.

St. Lucia: Open to US travelers. All travelers 18 and older must submit an online travel registration. Travelers age 5 and older must submit a negative PCR test result taken within 5 days of arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers must submit proof of vaccination and do not have to quarantine; they will be issued a wristband that must be worn at all times. Unvaccinated children ages 5 to 17 traveling with vaccinated adults must be retested upon arrival at the airport (the traveler pays the cost of the test) and they must remain in quarantine until the test result is received, usually within 24 to 48 hours. If negative, they are no longer required to quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers must be transferred by certified taxi to an approved COVID-19 accommodation and remain on property for 14 days or the duration of their stay except to transfer to another COVID-certified property to continue their stay or to participate in certified activities, tours, and excursions (listed on stlucia.org). More information at www.stlucia.org/COVID-19.

St. Maarten/St. Martin: Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to take a COVID-19 test to enter St. Martin. This is applicable for travelers who are fully vaccinated with the approved vaccines. All visitors must complete the health pre-authorization application through the Electronic Health Authorization System, submit proof of a negative COVID test 72 hours before arrival or antigen test done 48 hours before arrival. Once authorization is approved, travelers receive a pre-authorization e-mail which contains a QR code showing vaccination status and COVID test result.

The St. Maarten SXM Protection Plan is mandatory health coverage for all visitors. The plan covers hospital costs, ICU costs, doctor consultations, COVID-19 tests and, if necessary, medical evacuation. For those ages 15 and up, the cost is $15 for visits up to 180 days; it is $10 for those under 15 years of age. Travelers from a high-risk country (the United States is considered high-risk), will receive an automated daily e-mail alert with a link to submit body temperature and any symptoms during first five days of their stay. More information at sintmaartengov.org.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Open to US travelers. All visitors must complete the pre-arrival form, show results of a negative PCR test done 72 hours before arrival and arrive with a fully paid reservation. They will be retested upon arrival. Fully vaccinated visitors must show proof of vaccination, quarantine for 48 hours and can then move to a “bubble protocol” hotel (three in Canouan, one in Bequia, one in Mustique and Petit St. Vincent Island & Resort). Unvaccinated visitors must quarantine for 14 days in a tourism-approved hotel at their own cost and be retested between day 4 and day 7 of quarantine. More information: discoversvg.com and www.gov.vc.

Turks and Caicos: Open to US travelers. All visitors ages 16 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter. Travelers are required to show proof of vaccination through the TCI Assured pre-travel program and portal prior to entering the country. Proof of vaccination in the form of a digital copy or paper copy, inclusive of vaccine cards issued by the CDC, will be accepted. The vaccination requirement is in addition to a negative PCR or rapid test done within 3 days of travel as well as medical/travel insurance that covers medical evacuation, a completed health screening questionnaire and certification that the traveler has read and agreed to the private policy document. All these requirements must be uploaded to the portal in advance of arrival. More information: Turks & Caicos tourism.

Trinidad and Tobago: Open to US visitors. All visitors, including those 16 and older, must be fully vaccinated and each must apply for entry through the Travel Pass application, upload result of a negative PCR test taken within 3 days of arrival, proof of vaccination and evidence of fully paid accommodations. More information: https://ttravelpass.gov.tt

US Virgin Islands: Every US traveler 5 years and older must apply through the USVI travel portal and submit a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 5 days of travel. This applies to vaccinated as well as unvaccinated travelers. Upon arrival, travelers must submit the test result and travel authorization received from the portal. Travelers unable to produce the required test result are subject to a 10-day quarantine with testing until a negative result is achieved. More information: www.usvitravelportal.com


Christopher Muther can be reached at christopher.muther@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.