If you’ve been dreaming of getting away, consider the Caribbean, where islands are re-opening to tourism and offering special programs to entice visitors back, plus new procedures designed to keep everybody safe and healthy.
Here’s what’s happening on six popular island destinations, alphabetically, because that’s the only fair way, with information from the Caribbean Tourism Organization:
Anguilla is now officially categorized by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) as having “no cases” of COVID19.
The island’s borders remain closed to commercial international traffic through June 30 and scheduled to re-open to tourism after that.
Visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board, www.IvisitAnguilla.com for the latest information on hotels and restaurants.
Antigua and Barbuda
The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is launching an advertising and marketing campaign, ‘Your Space in the Sun’, to speak to the new desires and needs of travelers ready to book their first holiday after being trapped indoors for months. The campaign focuses on all the spaces we need to restore ourselves – space to move, space to think, space to be you.
“After months of confinement, travelers seeking a well-deserved respite will find no better place than Antigua and Barbuda,” stated Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “With 365 beaches, an expanse of blue sea, secluded harbours, boutique properties, private villas and one-of-a-kind attractions, Antigua and Barbuda is the perfect place to escape, broaden your horizons and enjoy all the space you need, ” said Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority.
The campaign will utilize a blend of professional as well as user generated content, featuring a series of iconic locations with an open invitation to find “Your Space in the Sun”, focusing on romance, wellness, heritage and yachting.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, allows for international travel to resume on July 1, with the exception of visitors from China, Italny and France.
Visitors must follow these procedures:
All incoming visitors must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old.
Select individuals will be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of two, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents and homeowners returning from English speaking CARICOM countries.
All travellers will be required to complete an electronic Health Visa.
No quarantine will be required upon arrival, however, travellers who show symptoms of COVID-19 may be transferred to an area away from other passengers for further testing and evaluation.
All inter-island travellers must complete an electronic Domestic Travel form at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion. All travellers must have their confirmation on hand upon arrival to their destination. This is a crucial step for contact tracing purposes.
At airports and seaports, healthcare personnel will conduct temperature screenings for all incoming visitors.
Travellers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim.
Hotel and Airline News
Hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnb and HomeAway will open to guests.
Domestic and International airlines are permitted to resume service, and many are beginning to announce plans for their return to The Bahamas:
- Delta Airlines will be resuming its twice daily Atlanta to Nassau service July 2
- United Airlines announced its daily Houston to Nassau service will resume July 6 and the Saturday-only Denver to Nassau service will resume July 11.
- American Airlines will resume flights to Nassau and Exuma on July 7.
- Air Canada is scheduled to resume flights from Toronto to Nassau on July 3, 2020
Additional airlift resumptions are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Travellers should check with airlines directly for details on recommencement of service and any protocols for travel.
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Barbados’ air space is set to reopen to commercial flights within the first two weeks of July.
New rules allow for the return of sporting activity without spectators, and social events with up to 250 attendees.
All restrictions have also been removed from public parks and beaches. However, residents remain under curfew on weekends, from Friday to Sunday, between 10pm and 5am, except for work.
Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley said the government has launched a series of initiatives to spruce up Barbados and ensure the country is ready to welcome visitors to a pristine island.
“If we want to welcome people back here, whether it is family or friend or business associate or visitor, we have to welcome them to a pristine looking island. We have to return the ‘wow factor’ to our beaches. We have to also make sure that driving around Barbados will cause people to say ‘what a beautiful countryside,’” she said in a statement.
More updates on Barbados’ response to COVID-19 can be found at https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/covid-19/.
Plans are underway to re-open country’s borders in July.
Protocols are being put in place for the reopening of the borders and advice is being sought from regional and international agencies such as United Nations Development Programme, Caribbean Public Health Agency, World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization on utilizing a phased approach for reopening the borders.
For COVID related information on Dominica please visit the Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com