Tempted to Travel to the Caribbean? Know the Covid Rules – The Wall Street Journal

Posted: March 16, 2021 at 2:51 am

IN MID-FEBRUARY, when a cold snap set in across much of America, Tami Irons, a system administrator at a hospital network in Painesville, Ohio, chased the sun to St. John, the smallest and lushest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She and her husband have been vacationing on St. John annually since 2005, and not even the continuing pandemic was going to stop them. Getting out of the snow and the cold always makes us breathe a little better, said Ms. Irons.

But this year, even though she booked a private villa that could be canceled anytime, the weeks leading up to the flight proved unnerving. St. Johnas well as neighboring St. Thomas and St. Croixrequire all arrivals to show proof of a negative result from a PCR test taken within five days of landing. The couple made appointments at a medical clinic, then waited nervously for the all-clear. Reports of other islands implementing curfews or, in the case of St. Barts, suddenly banning visitors triggered even more unease. I did not stop worrying about the trip until I was on that plane, said Ms. Irons. Anything could have happened.

To pandemic-beleaguered sunseekers craving sand, sea and warmth this spring, the Caribbean might seem like the promised land. And, indeed, most Caribbean islands welcome American tourists, but the many entry requirements vary widely and are constantly in flux. Anybody traveling has to realize that this is fluid, said Michele Rishty, a travel consultant in Bedminster, N.J., who frequently books Caribbean vacations. Every day it changes.

Until it changes again, heres a snapshot of the hurdles youre likely to face, and guidance on which islands are the easiestor most challengingto visit.

In most of the regions countries and dependent territories, youll need to show proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test even before you set your sandaled foot on the tarmac. How soon before your trip you must take the Covid-19 test varies by country. If youre going to the U.S. Virgin Islands, you only need to take that one test. But if youre heading to any other islandsoutside the U.S.youll need proof of a negative viral test to get back to the mainland. Many of the hotel resorts are starting to offer on-site testing for that express purpose.

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Tempted to Travel to the Caribbean? Know the Covid Rules - The Wall Street Journal

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