Short of Canada and Mexico, the Caribbean Islands are some of our closest international neighbors. Some of them were also among the first foreign countries to reopen to visitors from the U.S., as early as June 2020 (although some eventually re-closed to us and virtually all of them have had ever-changing rules about entry.
Right now, the islands of the Caribbean have a hodgepodge of rules about U.S. citizens visiting.
Four of them – the Cayman Islands, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Monserrat and St. Barts – are still not open to U.S. citizens.
Most of the other countries allow vaccinated or unvaccinated visitors, but then each has (or doesn’t have…again, it depends on the island) their own rules about testing, quarantine, etc.
However there are currently two islands in the Caribbean that stand out from the rest. They allow U.S. citizens to visit, but only if they have proof of having received a COVID vaccine.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Effective May 29, 2021, the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton is only allowing those who have been fully vaccinated to visit. And you guys, they are NOT kidding around.
Visitors are required to complete a Travel Authorization Form and submit a copy of their official vaccination card, along with their arrival date and KN number generated on their completed travel form via email or WhatsApp. Once these documents are approved, travelers must upload their negative result of a PCR test that was taken within 72 hours before departure. Upon receipt, the traveler will receive an approval letter to enter the Federation. They must undergo a health screening (temperature check and health questionnaire) at the airport on arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers must “vacation in place” at one of seven Travel Approved hotels for nine days. Travelers staying beyond nine days must be tested on their 9th day (at the cost of $150). When a negative result is obtained, then they can participate in tours, visit attractions, restaurants, beach bars and go shopping. Families traveling with nonvaccinated children under 18 who are staying 10 days or more must vacation in place until the 14th day, when the child will be tested. If negative, they are free to move about the destination.
This one actually hasn’t gone into effect just yet. For now (since May 25), both vaccinated and unvaccinated U.S.travelers can travel to Anguilla. But effective July 1, only vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter. At that time, the currently-required quarantine and the testing upon arrival will be dropped (however a negative Covid-19 test three to five days before entry will still be required).
The Seattle Times recently reported that of King County’s recent COVID-19 cases, 97% had occurred in unvaccinated people. If that’s the case for anyplace else (and really, it would make sense it if did), I could see how and why St. Kitts and Nevis, and Anguilla will only allow those who have gotten their COVID vaccines to enter. I wouldn’t be surprised if other places require the same thing.
Feature photo: Fshoq
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary