Unlocking the World

Travel to the Caribbean during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 15th November 2021
JAMAICA - JANUARY 31, 2020: People bathing in the Reach Falls near the city of Port Antonio. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases remain in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that travel increases your chances of getting and spreading the Covid-19 virus. Unless you're fully vaccinated, staying home is the best way to stem transmission. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, current as of November 14.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to the islands of the Caribbean, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The first thing to keep in mind is the Caribbean Sea region consists of 13 independent island nations. There are even more overseas territories. Each of them has its own rules, subject to frequent change.
Some of the islands opened back up to travel in the summer and fall of 2020. Others reopened more recently. Restrictions can vary.
Some islands require quarantines, even for vaccinated travelers, while others don't even request a Covid-19 test. Rules vary depending on your country of origin.
Here's a roundup of key highlights on nine popular Caribbean destinations, with the most recent updates in bold.
Follow the links provided so you can find out all the crucial details and check for updates before you book a trip. Rules might change between updates to this article:

Aruba

Aruba is known for its white beaches and colorful buildings in the capital city of Oranjestad.
Aruba is known for its white beaches and colorful buildings in the capital city of Oranjestad.
DPPA/Sipa USA/AP
What's on offer: Days are usually dry and sunny. Arikok National Park features caves, desert landscapes and giant lizards. Wide beaches bordering clear jade water are the big draw.
Who can go? Citizens of all countries can enter with the exception of Venezuela.
Entry requirements: All visitors 12 and older must have a negative result from a molecular Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival. Certain eligible travelers who are fully vaccinated can bypass the test. This list is on Aruba's tourism website and is subject to change.
Aruba visitors health insurance is mandatory. No quarantine is in place. Travelers who test positive for Covid-19 are required to stay in mandatory isolation, however.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 4: Very high. Avoid travel to Aruba.

The Bahamas

You'll find Bimini Big Game Club and Marina on North Bimini, which is off the coast from Miami, Florida.
You'll find Bimini Big Game Club and Marina on North Bimini, which is off the coast from Miami, Florida.
Francisco Blanco/Alamy
What's on offer: The chain has 700 islands -- from the hustle and funky beats of the capital city, Nassau, on New Providence, to the peaceful beaches on many less-visited islands. You can swim with pigs or dive with sharks.
Who can go? The Bahamas is open to all international travelers.
Entry requirements: All travelers must present a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than five days before arrival, even if you're fully vaccinated. Children younger than 2 are exempt. You must fill out a health visa application and opt in to the Bahamas' Covid-19 health insurance. Unvaccinated travelers staying longer than four nights and five days must also take a rapid antigen test on day five and fill out a daily health questionnaire. You must also test for travel between various islands within the Bahamas chain.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 4: Very high. Avoid travel to the Bahamas.

Barbados

Charles Fort was built in 1650 to protect Carlisle Bay on Barbados from pirates.
Charles Fort was built in 1650 to protect Carlisle Bay on Barbados from pirates.
Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/AP
What's on offer: Golf, history and architecture get visitors beyond the beach on the most easterly island in the Caribbean. Rum distilleries offer tours and the local cuisine -- a blend of African, Indian, Irish, British and Creole flavors -- will soak up the spirit.
Who can go? The island is welcoming visitors from around the world. Barbados has discontinued its Caribbean travel bubble.
Entry requirements: Both fully vaccinated travelers and the unvaccinated must present a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than three days before travel. You must upload results to the BIMSafe app.
Some vaccinated travelers may be selected at random for a rapid antigen test upon arrival but do not have to quarantine awaiting results. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for five days, take another PCR test and remain in quarantine until receiving results. You must book your room ahead of time at a government-approved accommodation (scroll down for list).
US CDC travel advisory: Level 4: Very high. Avoid travel to Barbados.

Curaçao

The Penha Building was built in 1708 in the Dutch colonial style and is now a department store in Willemstad, the capital of the island.
The Penha Building was built in 1708 in the Dutch colonial style and is now a department store in Willemstad, the capital of the island.
Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/AP
What's on offer: The island's coral reefs and sunken ships are accessible via scuba and snorkeling outings. Willemstad, the capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a don't-miss for history buffs. Nature lovers will find orchids and birds at Christoffelpark.
Who can go? Curaçao divides countries and territories -- and the travelers arriving from them -- into four categories: very low risk, low risk, high risk and very high risk. You need to check which category you're in as they may have varying requirements.
Entry requirements: All visitors except those coming from "very low risk" destinations or vaccinated travelers from low-risk EU nations must have negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test that's no more than 48 hours old before your flight to the island. There are no other exemptions for the fully vaccinated.
Further testing during your trip may be required. All travelers must fill out the passenger locator card 48 hours before arrival. No quarantines are in place unless you test positive for Covid-19 during your stay.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 4: Very high. Avoid travel to Curaçao.

Dominican Republic

Tourists take pictures of flamingoes in Bayahibe, La Altagracia province.
Tourists take pictures of flamingoes in Bayahibe, La Altagracia province.
Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images
What's on offer: Top-notch beaches and a range of resorts await visitors. Diverse geography, including lush forests and mountains and semi-arid areas, contrasts with Santo Domingo's historic Cuidad Colonial -- a lively and romantic spot to explore.
Who can go? Travelers around the world may enter, but depending on where you're coming from, entry requirements will differ.
Entry requirements: Travelers from many nations -- including the United States, Canada, Mexico and France, among others -- do not need a Covid-19 test to enter. The DR has set up a list of nations from which you do need a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. Nations on that list include Brazil, Ireland and the United Kingdom, among others. No quarantines are in place.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 3: High. Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to the Dominican Republic.

Jamaica

Reach Falls, near the city of Port Antonio, is a popular destination in Jamaica.
Reach Falls, near the city of Port Antonio, is a popular destination in Jamaica.
Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty Images
What's on offer: Jamaica's reggae and dancehall music and laid-back vibe are perennial draws. Tropical beaches, waterfalls and delicious jerk cuisine also lure visitors.
Who can go? There are no current restrictions on arrivals from any nation.
Entry requirements: Travelers 12 and older must have a negative result from a Covid-19 molecular (PCR, NAA, RNA) or antigen test performed taken within three days of the travel date. You must fill out a travel authorization form.
Visitors are allowed to go only to "Resilient Corridors" designed specifically for tourists along with other licensed accommodations that meet Covid-19 safety standards. If you require a Covid test upon arrival, you must quarantine in your hotel or resort until you get a negative result.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 3: High. Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Rico

Paddleboarders enjoy themselves near a beach in the Condado neighborhood of San Juan.
Paddleboarders enjoy themselves near a beach in the Condado neighborhood of San Juan.
Xavier Garcia/Bloomberg/Getty Images
What's on offer: Charming and historic Old San Juan is ripe for exploration. The island's casinos and El Yunque rainforest are also top attractions that stretch beyond the water activities at the island's many beaches.
Who can go? As a US territory, Puerto Rico is following the new guidelines that allow only fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter. US citizens do not have to be vaccinated to visit.
Entry requirements: Fully vaccinated travelers on domestic flights must upload their vaccination card to the island's online portal, which will generate a QR code. Nonvaccinated travelers on domestic flights must have a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
Fully vaccinated foreign visitors still must present a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of arrival.
People who arrive without a test must take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and go into quarantine awaiting results. Failure to comply could result in a $300 fine.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 3: High. Get fully vaccinated before traveling to Puerto Rico.

Turks and Caicos

Colonial houses line the waterfront in Cockburn town, Grand Turk.
Colonial houses line the waterfront in Cockburn town, Grand Turk.
Alamy
What's on offer: This British overseas territory -- northeast of Cuba and southeast of the Bahamas -- is known for it coral reefs, ripsaw music and a low-key vibe. Whale watching, snorkeling and a range of other outdoor activities pair well with the islands' natural aquatic beauty.
Who can go? Visitors from around the world are welcomed to vacation here.
Entry requirements: You must be fully vaccinated if you're 16 or older to visit. All travelers 10 and older need a negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than three days before arrival to enter. There's no quarantine on arrival. You must fill out a travel authorization form, and Covid-19 travel insurance is required as well.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 3: Moderate. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

US Virgin Islands

St. Thomas saw a lot of cruise ship activity before the pandemic.
St. Thomas saw a lot of cruise ship activity before the pandemic.
Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post/Getty Images
What's on offer: From fine dining, scuba diving and golfing on St. Croix to the pristine shores of unspoiled and undeveloped St. John, these islands have a lot to offer. In lively St. Thomas, boating and duty-free shopping are big draws.
Who can go? As a US territory, the USVI is following the new guidelines that allow only fully vaccinated foreign tourists to enter. US citizens do not have to be vaccinated to visit.
Entry requirements: Domestic travelers 5 or older who enter by air or sea are required to use the USVI Travel Screening Portal. Foreign travelers 2 or older must use the portal.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated domestic travelers must present a negative result of a Covid-19 test taken within five days of arrival unless they have been vaccinated in the USVI.
Fully vaccinated foreign visitors still must present a negative Covid-19 test taken within three days of arrival.
US CDC travel advisory: Level 4: Very high. Get fully vaccinated before traveling to the US Virgin Islands.