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  • International Locations Now Welcoming American Tourists - June 2020

     

     Americans now have some travel options this summer. So what are the travel restrictions for each location? 

     

    Antigua and Barbuda

    Antigua and Barbuda reopened to tourists on June 4. However, travelers will have to adhere to social distancing guidelines, including face masks in public. All snorkel and dive excursions are also banned, and guests can only participate in activities offered via their resorts. They cannot explore the islands. The islands reopening will conduct health screening, including temperature checks upon arrival, and require or encourage the use of face masks in public spaces.

    American Airlines resumed service to the Caribbean with flights to Antigua the last week of May, but it will be some time before things get back to normal.

    Antigua and Barbuda have had 26 confirmed COVID-19 cases and three deaths.

    Aruba

    Aruba is in the middle of phased reopening, with American visitors welcome on July 10. Visitors from Europe can start going to Aruba on July 1.

    Arrivals will face new screening measures including the possibility of PCR tests on arrival along with temperature checks and medical professionals available. Exact protocols are still being worked out, but so far it does not appear a quarantine will be required.

    The country has also placed temporary capacity limits on some tourist spots, especially in popular destinations.  Casinos will also reopen with new safety measures in place.

    Aruba closed its borders to tourists on March 29, although airline crew members have been exempt from the restrictions.

    The country has had 101 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths.

    Bahamas

    The Bahamas implemented an international travel ban on March 24, which will be lifted on July 1 when it officially reopens to tourists. All islands will be open to tourists on that date.

    All incoming travelers will be subject to temperature checks at airports and seaports. Social distancing will also be enforced and you must wear a mask in the terminal, during security checks, customer screenings, and baggage claims.

    You’ll need to keep your mask on during the ride to your hotel and you may notice fewer passengers in the shuttle van. Both shuttle and taxi drivers have been mandated to cut passenger capacity by 50%, in accordance with social distancing guidelines. You also won’t be able to sit in the passenger seat of taxis or shuttle vans.

    Hotels will be distributing hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes to guests, elevator capacity will be limited, and “unnecessary literature” in guest rooms will be removed. In other words, fewer magazines and less clutter all around. Unfortunately, buffets will not reopen for the time being and all meals will be single or prepackaged.

    Meanwhile, employees will be subject to frequent temperature checks and restaurant staff will be required to wear masks and gloves.

    The great news is that guests traveling to the Bahamas will be able to leave their resorts to go on excursions and shopping trips – with some precautions. In order to adhere to social distancing rules, there will be limits on the number of customers allowed in stores, and touching of merchandise is highly discouraged unless you’re ready to purchase.

    When it comes to excursions, travelers are encouraged to bring their own gear while tour operators will be required to cut capacity and clean everything on a set schedule.

     All of these resorts have flexible cancellation policies, so you can book with peace of mind, knowing you’ll receive a full refund if reopening plans don’t proceed as planned.

    The Bahamas has reported 103 COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths.

    Bermuda

    Bermuda is the latest country to reopen post-coronavirus and roll out the red carpet to Americans. In fact, tourists from many nations will be able to vacation in Bermuda again come July 1.

    The island will resume international commercial air service for visitors as part of its fourth phase of economic reopening after what it calls its “successful management of COVID-19 to date.” L.F. Wade International Airport (BDA) will reopen July 1 as well.

    Details are still being worked out, but visitors with a negative COVID-19 test within three days of their arrival in Bermuda will be given freedom of movement around the 21-square-mile island.

    Bermuda tourism says it is still finalizing a detailed plan for anyone who tests positive during their visit. There is still no word on when cruise ships will be allowed to return.

    As of June 11, Bermuda says it has marked 11 consecutive days of no new cases of COVID-19. The country has recorded only 141 cases and nine deaths from the outbreak.

    Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic’s borders have been closed by land, sea, and air since March, but the Dominican Republic announced in early June that the island would reopen July 1, although only approximately 30% of the hotels will open at that time. Social distancing guidelines will still be enforced, but not much else by way of specifics have been announced.

    The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism director Lucien Echavarria told the Caribbean Journal that 40-50% of the nation’s hotel inventory would open in July with the rest all opened by November at the latest.

    Punta Cana International Airport confirmed to Caribbean Journal it is restarting commercial operations on July 1.

    There will be temperature checks on arrival, but details remain otherwise vague 

    The DR has had more than 23,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 605 deaths.

    French Polynesia

     French Polynesia will officially reopen on July 15. The island nation implemented a 14-day quarantine period for international travelers back in March, a measure that appears to have been successful. No active COVID-19 cases have been reported since May 29, clearing the way for reopening.

    If you plan on traveling to French Polynesia in July, you need to submit to a COVID-19 (RT-PCR) test 72 hours before departure. This is pretty much par for the course nowadays.

    If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 three weeks prior to departure but have an immunity certificate from a doctor, you can bypass testing 

    Additionally, all incoming travelers (residents excluded) must provide proof of international travel insurance.

    Travelers are also required to have a medical certificate, with the specifics to be communicated by the tourism board.

    Four days after arrival, you may be subject to another COVID-19 test. The Ministry of Health and Prevention will be conducting these tests on a random basis, so keep that in mind. In addition to that, guests may also get visits from medical staff, authorized by the Department of Health to supervise.

    All travelers are advised to wear a mask throughout their stay and abide by specific sanitary measures. If you do exhibit symptoms during your stay, you must self-report and self-isolate in your room until further instruction from local emergency operators.

    If you’re itching to travel to French Polynesia when the border reopens on July 15, there are lots of options for getting there.

    The following airlines will be resuming flights:

    Air France

    Air New Zealand

    Air Tahiti

    Air Tahiti Nui

    French Bee

    Hawaiian Airlines

    LATAM

    United

    Jamaica

    Jamaica has officially reopened for tourism beginning June 15, but anyone who is hoping to plan a summer vacation here will have to overcome major hurdles. Arriving travelers have to submit a pre-travel health authorization registration with a customs and immigration form, and the government will issue a travel approval document based on those details. Travelers may be denied permission to visit depending on their risk for COVID-19 transmission.

    All incoming travelers should expect thermal temperature checks upon arrival, and anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms or feels ill upon arrival will be quarantined. Even after all those procedures, travelers are expected to adhere to social distancing and face mask policies in public.

    Phase One of reopening falls between June 15 and 30 and will be limited to a “resilient corridor” of coastline destinations between Negril and Port Antonio. Only licensed tourism businesses and transportation companies that have been assessed by the tourism board can operate in this region during this time.

    Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still spreading in Jamaica, so keep that in mind. Still, the country has only reported 615 confirmed cases and 10 deaths.

    Greece

    Greece may be the one country Americans can go to this summer at some point. The information has been conflicting, to say the least, but it appears Greece may let Americans in sometime after July 1. An announcement will hopefully come soon.

    The Greek government had said until June 30, travelers from what the E.U. considers “high-risk” countries (including the U.S.) were allowed and would be tested for coronavirus upon arrival at the international airports in Athens and Thessaloniki. According to published reports, only those coming from 23 U.S. states were to get COVID-19 tests on arrival. Those states include California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York.

    But in an update on June 16, the U.S. embassy now says Americans will not be allowed in June after all.

    Tourists from some countries are now welcome, but the list is limited to European nations.

    All visitors will need to self-isolate until test results come back (expected within 24 hours). It appears you can self-isolate at your final destination. If you test negative, you’ll have to isolate for another 7 days. If you test positive, you will be required to undergo supervised quarantine for 14 days. 

    In fact, once the borders are reopened, all passengers flying in from airports in the EASA affected area list will be subject to tests on arrival, while those coming from outside these areas will only be randomly tested.

    There are no direct flights to Greece until July 1 from the U.S., and we should have better guidance on the new regulations in the next few weeks.

    As of July 1, international flights will be allowed into all of the country’s airports. Visitors will be randomly tested, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes that additional restrictions regarding certain countries will be announced at a later time. So, it’s impossible to say what restrictions or quarantine policies, if any, will be placed on tourists arriving from the U.S. on or after July 1.

    Meantime, if you are planning a trip keep in mind this notice from the U.S. embassy, “Travelers should be prepared for the possibility that additional travel restrictions could be implemented by the Greek government with little or no advance notice.”

    Greece has had 3,134 confirmed cases and 184 deaths.

    The Maldives

     The Maldives has announced one of the most liberal opening policies in the world. Come July 1 all are welcome with no testing or quarantine required.

    Details are scarce, with the Tourism Ministry saying they’ll have more details soon, but a spokesperson did confirm that all tourists will be welcome sometime in July, without specifying a date.

    TPG’s Zach Honig wrote about the risky reopening plan and points out the country only has two hospitals and 97 ventilators, so if you were to get sick there, it would be dangerous.

    The Maldives has had more than 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and eight deaths.

    Mexico

     Mexico is in the middle of reopening some of its popular beach destinations, with Cancun already accepting international flights and visitors from the United States.

     Mexico delayed reopening only the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun, to June 8-10.

     Indeed, some hotels have reopened, but so far only a trickle of tourists have been showing up. Hotels are only allowed to have 30% of capacity in June, but that will rise to 50% capacity in July.

     Grand Residences Riviera Cancun told The Points Guy it is reopening July 4. They are offering up to 44% off. In a press release, Daniela Trava Albarran, General Manager at Grand Residences Riviera Cancun said:

     A rebound in tourism will depend on the reopening of the region’s air hubs in Cancun, Cozumel, and Chetumal, and tourists are advised that enhanced screening and cleaning procedures are in effect. Cancun’s International airport (CUN) has reopened to domestic and international flights.

     The Los Cabos Tourism Board recently announced its reopening plans and is eyeing a five-phase plan starting on June 1 that extends through the first quarter of 2021.

    In June, officials will be focusing on health and safety standards, and travel will be limited. But come July, the international terminal at Los Cabos International (SJD) will open, and international visitors will be permitted to enter. From August to September, Cabo is planning to “slowly recover” national and international arrivals, especially those postponed in March and April.

    Mexico has had more than 150,000 confirmed cases and 17,500 deaths from coronavirus.

    Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico will officially reopen to all international travelers on July 15, but don’t expect everything to be back to normal.

    Upon arrival, travelers will be subject to health screenings, including COVID-19 testing. You could be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, regardless of symptoms.

    Hotels will limit capacity at pools to 50%. Fitness centers and spas, which are currently closed, will reopen and operate at 50% capacity sometime later this summer.

     Public beaches and water activities are allowed with appropriate social distancing.

     As is now the norm in the age of COVID-19, buffets will not reopen and restaurant staff will serve meals wearing gloves and masks.

    Shopping malls will be open but accessible via appointment only. No plans have been announced regarding casinos and playgrounds reopening.

    The Seychelles

     Beginning this June, foreign tourists are allowed to vacation in the Seychelles, but the government’s tourism ministry is only looking for “high-end” visitors for now, according to Seychelles Nation.

    “Only visitors traveling on private jets and chartered flights, and who will be heading off directly to remote island resorts, will be allowed in,” the outlet reported.

    Visitors will not be allowed to leave their island resorts during their stay this month.

    Commercial flights will begin again in July, but the government said it expects visitor numbers to be limited for a while even once they resume.

    Tourists will be required to be tested for COVID-19 48 hours before they arrive and will have to present proof of their lodging arrangements before being granted entry.

    Visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures, and the tourism department is planning to introduce an app that will track tourists’ movements to facilitate contact tracing. 

    St. Lucia

    On May 18, the government of Saint Lucia announced a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible manner beginning June 4. 

    Good news for Americans, as Phase One of the reopening, includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only.

    Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flights to UVF. Once they arrive, they will undergo health checks and temperatures will be taken.

    Masks and social distancing will be required for the duration of the stay.

    The country shut its borders on March 23. St Lucia has only had 18 confirmed cases and zero deaths.

    Phase Two begins August 1, with details to be revealed in the next few weeks.

    St. Barts 

    St. Barthelemy is set to reopen beginning June 22, but there are lots of caveats.

    If you want to visit the Caribbean vacation spot, you’ll need to prove that you have tested negative for COVID-19 72 hours or less before you arrive.

     Those unable to provide such documentation will be tested on arrival and will need to isolate at their lodging until results become available.

     Visitors who test positive for the virus will be moved into quarantine on the island.

     For those staying longer than seven days, a second COVID-19 test will be required.

     You’ll need to plan carefully. There are no direct flights from the U.S. so make sure the country you are arriving from is allowing American tourists.

    St Barths has reported only six cases of coronavirus and zero deaths.

     

    Turks and Caicos

    More good news on reopening from the Caribbean. Turks and Caicos, a group of 40 low-lying coral islands popular with tourists in the Caribbean, is reopening for international visitors beginning July 22. The Providenciales Airport was previously scheduled to open June 1. The new opening date is July 22.

    This British Overseas Territory includes the island of Providenciales, also known as Provo. Details on the reopening remain sparse, but international flights are resuming. The islands have seen 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

    All international flights to the country were suspended until June 1, and cruise ships banned through June 30, but a slow reopening is underway.

    Through June 22, real estate offices and retailers are reopening, and on that same date, inter-island travel begins and church services can resume. Beginning July 6, hotels and restaurants will begin reopening. On July 22, the borders will reopen and flights will be permitted to land at Providenciales International Airport (PLS). We don’t know yet what testing, screening, or quarantine procedures will be in place, but we should have details in the next few weeks.

    Going to the beach, grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, and other open-air businesses is currently permitted. Restaurants are also reopening, with restrictions. Grace Bay Beach in Provo is home to luxury resorts, shops, and restaurants. There is a 14-mile barrier reef on Provo’s north shore that’s great for scuba diving, plus another famous scuba spot on Grand Turk Island. In fact, we first learned about the reopening from the water adventure company Big Blue Collective. They wrote in a press release, “Time for all of us to get our island game on and for you to think about getting back down here. Our boats, kayaks, paddleboards and kites will be ready.”

    U.S. Virgin Islands

    The U.S. Virgin Islands is becoming the latest to announce it will welcome tourists again. There will be no quarantine required for health visitors and people will be free to leave their hotel or resort and explore.

    The U.S. Virgin Islands, which includes St. Thomas and St. Croix, is under a state of emergency until July 11, but it welcomed back tourists as of June 1 with restrictions.

    Flights are resuming, but there are some things to know if you decide to book. A spokeswoman for the USVI tourism board told TPG, “There are routine temperature checks and health screenings at the ports of entry and public places. There is no quarantine required if travelers are healthy. Testing, quarantine, and isolation protocols are in place for suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 and also for contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.”