Caribbean COVID entry requirements change from island to island and are updated as the virus ebbs and flows. To provide an overview of what may be entailed for group meetings and incentive travelers, here’s a snapshot of protocols in place as of Dec. 17, 2021, at of few of the more popular Caribbean meetings and incentive destinations.
The Caribbean region is a popular meetings and incentive destination for the same obvious reasons that make it a tourism mecca — a plethora of luxurious resorts, gorgeous weather, pristine beaches, lots of outdoor recreational options, and great shopping, restaurant and nightlife for every taste. But the 13 island nations and multiple overseas territories that make up the region were, like most tourism-reliant regions, hit especially hard by COVID-19. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, COVID caused a $42 billion loss in gross domestic product and 1.9 million jobs in 2020 alone. Fortunately, business also is rebounding quickly, with advanced hotel bookings and airline ticketing for 2022 expected to help the area get back to 70% of its pre-pandemic travel and tourism business levels, though omicron may hinder Caribbean COVID recovery progress.
In-person meetings and incentives are expected to be a big part of that happy Caribbean COVID comeback story. But, as eager as the islands are to welcome your group, that doesn’t mean the region will be a slam dunk for meeting planners. With each island nation and territory subject to their own specific government’s regulations, it can be dizzyingly difficult to navigate through the various Caribbean COVID requirements, especially if your group plans to island-hop from one country to the next. As soon as you figure out which island requires a quarantine, which will allow entry for the fully vaccinated, and which require a COVID test (and which type, and within what window of time prior to arrival), a new variant like omicron crops up and everything changes. Again.
While it’s unclear what, if any, effect omicron will have on the Caribbean region’s ability to bounce back to full meetings mode, what is clear is that meeting professionals need to stay up to date on the latest COVID-related entry and exit requirements and protocols for their specific Caribbean destination.
Here’s a snapshot of Caribbean COVID protocols in place as of Dec. 17, 2021, at of few of the more popular island meetings and incentive destinations.
Caribbean COVID Entry Requirements
Testing: Visitors must take a COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of arrival or upon arrival at the airport.
Masking: Masks must be worn in indoor public spaces.
Other requirements: Travelers must fill out an online Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card; part of the ED card process includes a mandatory purchase of Aruba Visitors Insurance.
Website: Aruba Tourism Authority
Testing/vaccination: Fully vaccinated travelers must upload their vaccination cards and show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within five days of arrival; inter-island travelers will also need to provide a negative COVID test. Unvaccinated adults must be able to provide a negative PCR test taken within five days of arrival, take a rapid antigen test on their fifth day in the Bahamas, and fill out a daily health questionnaire.
Other requirements: All visitors must obtain a Bahamas Travel Health Visa and COVID-19 health insurance.
Website: Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
Testing/vaccination: Visitors must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of arrival. Those who are fully vaccinated also must take a rapid PCR test when they arrive at the airport and quarantine until they get their results. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for at least five days and then take a second PCR test.
Masking: Masks are required in public spaces.
Other requirements: Visitors must complete an immigration form and download the BIMSafe app.
Website: Barbados Tourism
Testing: Visitors must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within four days of arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers must take another test upon arrival, and on days four and 10 of their stay. Unvaccinated visitors have to quarantine for two weeks.
Other requirements: Visitors must complete a Bermuda Travel Authorization form online and pay a $75 per-person fee.
Open to Americans: Yes
Testing: Visitors must upload negative results of a COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of departure and also take a rapid antigen test on the third day of their trip.
Other requirements: Visitors must fill out an online immigration card and Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of their flight, and obtain medical insurance sufficient to cover any COVID-related costs they may incur during their stay.
Website: Curaçao Tourist Board
Testing/vaccination: Americans are not required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to enter. Airport and other port-of-entry officials do perform random breath tests on passengers, but those who have either proof of vaccination or a negative result of a PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours of arrival are exempted.
Other requirements: Visitors must fill out a Traveler’s Health Affidavit prior to entry.
Testing: Visitors must be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days of arrival. Also, due to the omicron variant, non-Jamaican citizens who have been in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa or Zimbabwe within 14 days of their intended date of entry will not be allowed entry.
Other requirements: Travelers must apply for a Travel Authorization within seven days of their trip and stay in a “Resilient Corridor” or at a JTB licensed accommodation that is certified as COVID-19 protocol-compliant.
Website: Jamaican Tourism Board
Testing/vaccination: U.S. citizens going to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, must be able to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of their arrival. Other international visitors and all unvaccinated persons who land without a negative test must get tested locally and upload their results within 48 hours or face a $300 fine.
Masking: Masks are required in all indoor public spaces.
Other requirements: All visitors must complete a Travel Declaration Form online. All hotel and short-term rental guests, and anyone who wants to eat indoors, also must be able to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result.
Website: Discover Puerto Rico
Turks and Caicos
Testing/vaccination: U.S. visitors older than 16 must be fully vaccinated to enter, and all visitors must be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test taken within three days of arrival and have purchased insurance to cover any COVID-19-related medical costs.
Other requirements: Everyone visiting the islands must fill out a health screening questionnaire and Travel Authorization Form.
Website: Turks and Caicos Tourist Board
U.S. Virgin Islands
Testing/vaccination: Adult visitors to this U.S. territory must upload proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within five days of arrival to the USVI travel portal and receive clearance before traveling.
Website: USVI Department of Tourism