The Caribbean is open. Nicely, virtually

Here’s the story: Many Caribbean islands are open, but with many restrictions. Be prepared to have your nose wiped in both the US and the islands. Multiple tests are a must. It is also likely that once you arrive at a hotel or resort, you will need to be quarantined before the test results come back. In some cases you have to carry a tracking device (!). Unfortunately there is no one-size-fits-all policy. Each island sets its own course. Here is just a small sample of what some of the islands do. Make sure you research all the requirements carefully if you are traveling to the Caribbean this winter. The rules are also constantly changing as the virus hits record numbers in the US.


As with many islands, Anguilla requires travelers to complete and submit a health screening questionnaire prior to their arrival. The island then issues a pre-authorization. Without pre-authorization, you may be refused entry into the country upon arrival. You must also present a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed within three to five days of your arrival date. All visitors are required to provide proof of insurance that covers the medical expenses of COVID-19 and full hospitalization, doctor visits, prescriptions and ambulance.

Once you arrive in Anguilla, you will need to provide a copy of your negative COVID-19 PCR test result to a port health officer, undergo a mandatory COVID-19 PCR test and health screening, and be quarantined at your approved location Have regular health surveillance for at least 10 days and receive a negative PCR-COVID-19 test to be released from quarantine.


Prior to landing, all visitors must receive a negative COVID-19 PCR test result and proof of travel insurance that includes comprehensive health insurance within five days of arrival. All travelers must apply for a BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate within five days of traveling to the BVI and complete the application at least 48 hours prior to their arrival by uploading the PCR COVID-19 test result.

At the airport, travelers will be directed to the BVI Welcome Center for an additional COVID-19 PCR test. Visitors are also required to activate a contact tracking system on their phones (which requires either data or Wi-Fi connectivity) and also wear a government-issued wrist monitor (the cost of the testing and monitoring device is $ 175) on day four an appointment for another test during their stay. If this test is negative on day four, travelers can be released from quarantine and move freely around the BVI while continuing to follow social distancing and safety measures. Anyone who tests positive must be quarantined at their location for at least 14 days.

The view of a distant boat from Bight Beach in the Turks and Caicos Islands.Christopher Muther


All travelers must obtain authorization via the TCI Assured portal prior to travel. You cannot board a flight to Turks and Caicos Islands without a permit. In addition to a completed health questionnaire, a negative COVID-19-PCR is required, which is carried out in an accredited test center within five days of departure. Children under the age of 10 are exempt. Insurance that covers the medical costs of COVID-19 and full hospitalization, doctor visits, prescriptions, and ambulance is also required. Ask? Email to [email protected]


Visitors must complete a health questionnaire within 72 hours of arrival. To enter the country, you must receive a negative COVID-19 test result at an accredited or certified facility within three days of your arrival. Test results must be submitted via and travelers must bring a copy of the results. The test is checked for validity. You can be refused entry without a negative test. All arriving travelers are required to undergo a health assessment, which may include a temperature check and a brief interview. On the island, vacationers have restricted mobility in a designated holding hotel or an approved villa at their own expense for the first four to five days. After a second test, conducted four to five days after arrival, travelers can move around the island without restriction, although they are monitored for seven days after arrival.

The basilica in Higuey, Dominican Republic. Christopher Muther / Globe Staff


If you’re looking for a Caribbean getaway with few restrictions, the Dominican Republic should be your destination. A negative COVID-19 test is not required, and only between 3 and 10 percent of people arriving at the airport will be tested for coronavirus at random. En route, passengers must complete and submit a traveler affidavit by December 31st. Passengers use this form to declare that they have not had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 72 hours and provide contact details for the next 30 days. All international tourists arriving on commercial flights and staying in a hotel are granted a temporary, free health insurance plan that covers emergencies in the event of a domestic infection or exposure to COVID-19. Coverage includes specialist medical care, medical referrals, relatives’ transfers, flight change penalty and long-stay accommodation, and more. This insurance is provided free of charge to visitors arriving on or before December 31st and is fully paid for by the Dominican government.

Playa La Boca in Barceloneta on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico.Playa La Boca in Barceloneta on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico.Christopher Muther


A negative COVID test performed 72 hours prior to arrival is required. Travelers must complete a travel declaration form via the Puerto Rico Department of Health online portal at and receive an airport exit confirmation number and QR code, which travelers will automatically receive when they include proof of their COVID negative result in the Portal. Without the test result, incoming visitors have to quarantine 14 days in their accommodation or the length of the stay, whichever is shorter or until negative test results are available.


Incoming passengers must complete and submit the online travel authorization two to five days prior to their scheduled arrival in Jamaica. Once approved, travelers will receive a certificate that must be submitted to the airline upon check-in. In addition, all travelers from the United States must receive a negative COVID-19 or antigen test in a laboratory approved by the World Health Organization no later than 10 days before departure and present the test results when checking in at the departure airport. On the island, visitors must stay in the Resilient Corridors on the north and south coasts and stay in COVID-19 Protocol Compliant Approved accommodations, which are listed on the website The Jamaica Cares program, which provides travel protection and emergency services to travelers, is now in effect. It is mandatory for all non-Jamaican passport holders and costs $ 40 per person, payable at the time the travel authorization is approved.

The mountains of St. Lucia are beautiful against the sea.The mountains of St. Lucia are beautiful against the sea.Christopher Muther / Globe Staff / File


Travelers must have a negative COVID test taken within seven days of travel and fill out a registration form prior to arrival. You will also need to specify which COVID-19 certified hotel you will be staying at. All passengers are screened at the airport. Symptomatic passengers will be tested and then quarantined at their hotel until the result is received. If this is positive they will be isolated in one of two hospitals. Wearing masks is mandatory in public spaces.

In the Cayman Crystal Caves.In the Cayman Crystal Caves.Christopher Muther / Globe staff


Unlike many surrounding islands, the Cayman Islands are not yet open to tourists, and this is likely to be the case as COVID-19 cases continue to increase worldwide. However, the Cayman Islands have launched their Global Concierge program for those looking to fight the white-sand beach epidemic in the long term. The island invites remote workers who want a change in the landscape to live and work there for up to two years. There are multiple catches, however. Perhaps the biggest challenge is that your income must be at least $ 100,000 per year to qualify. If you’re traveling with a companion, that number is $ 150,000. In addition to quarantine on arrival, travelers must present a valid passport, a notarized bank reference letter, proof of health insurance, and a criminal record. That is not all. A certificate fee of USD 1,469 per year (for two people) will be charged upon submission of the application. Addicts cost an additional $ 500 each. If US visitors are allowed, they must register through to get pre-travel approval. Visitors must provide proof of COVID insurance. They will undergo a 14-day quarantine in pre-approved residential and government facilities and another PCR test at the end of the 14 days.

While many have opened to US travelers with restrictions, some have not. The French areas of Martinique and Guadeloupe have yet to be reopened to US tourism. Bonaire and Montserrat will also remain closed to US travelers.

Christopher Muther can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther.