Over the past few months I have traveled both internationally and domestically and I have been extremely impressed with the health and safety protocols that are in place in the various destinations I have visited.
The most recent endeavor, the Turks and Caicos Islands, wasn’t quite as straightforward as some of the others. I knew there were more people traveling to this Caribbean archipelago, but I didn’t let that stop me from visiting it – and I’m sure glad I didn’t because it really was paradise.
This was my fourth visit to the Turks and all I had to do before this visit was well worth it. If you are traveling to the Turks and Caicos Islands, or other islands in the Caribbean with similar protocols, I would recommend checking what you need to do at least a few weeks before you travel to make sure everything is ticked off. Better still, book with a trusted travel agent so you can rest assured that everything is taken care of for you.
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To gain access to the Turks and Caicos Islands, travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test within five days of the visit. Additionally, travelers will need proof of travel insurance that covers costs associated with COVID-19.
I scheduled my COVID-19 test early to make sure there was an opening and I had a travel agent book my trip to make sure I had the right plan.
As soon as these two requirements are met, they must be uploaded to the TCI Assured Portal for pre-authorization. Inquiring guests must create an account within a few days of departure, upload the correct information and fill out an online health screening questionnaire.
That might sound like an extensive checklist, but it’s really not that bad. If I need to take a COVID-19 test before re-entering the US, I prefer to take a test first before leaving.
The Delta Air Lines gate agent was helpful, checking that all passengers had the correct entry requirements before boarding the plane.
Navigating Providenciales International Airport was a breeze. It’s small at first but when I first arrived there weren’t many travelers there which left a lot of room for social distance. Travelers are given hand sanitizer; Temperatures are measured; Masks are worn; Floor markings encourage social distancing, and staff again make sure everyone has been pre-authorized.
The Turks and Caicos Islands offer a range of accommodations ideal for social distancing. From private villas like the Beach Enclave Resorts to all-inclusive hotels like Beaches Turks and Caicos, the accommodations allow visitors to rest and enjoy a relaxing vacation.
Kayak Eco Tour with Big Blue Collective in the Turks and Caicos Islands. (Photo by Codie Liermann)
In addition to spacious accommodations, the Turks and Caicos Islands offer outdoor activities that guests can safely participate in throughout their stay. Adventures include kayaking, snorkeling, jet skiing, kite surfing, and more.
There is currently a 6:00 p.m. curfew at this destination. However, the time varies and may be postponed later in the coming weeks. This leaves the whole day to enjoy the islands before heading to home base for a relaxing evening.
Travelers should check with their resort or villa, but most companies offer free COVID-19 testing for guests returning to countries where it is mandatory. If not, there are test sites nearby to visit.
Private tests in the villa. (Photo by Codie Liermann)
Taking a few extra measures to increase safety wasn’t enough to stop me from visiting one of my favorite Caribbean destinations. Strolling on stunning Grace Bay Beach, exploring Little Water Cay (aka Iguana Island), delicious local dishes, and a simple sunbathing was well worth the extra steps.
Check with your local travel advisor to learn more about visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands.