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When Can We Travel to Mexico and the Caribbean Again? Here Are the Latest Rules | Frommer's Dennis van de Water / Shutterstock

When Can We Travel to Mexico and the Caribbean Again? Here Are the Latest Rules

The latest updates on when Caribbean islands and Mexican resort areas plan to reopen—and what they'll require of travelers upon arrival.

LAST UPDATED NOVEMBER 20, 2020

The tourism-reliant islands of the Caribbean and the popular coastal areas of Mexico are eager to welcome international visitors again.

But as in every other part of the world, the importance of restarting the economy must be balanced with protecting the health of citizens.

Below, we've compiled a roundup of reopening dates and travel restrictions for several slices of paradise from this area of the map. We'll update our report as destinations provide more details.   

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Anguilla

Reopening date: The island began accepting online applications for entry from international travelers on August 21

Entry requirements: Prospective visitors must register at Anguilla's official tourism website. Each applicant will need to submit negative results from a PCR test taken within 3 to 5 days prior to arrival as well as show proof of medical insurance that will cover treatment for Covid-19. Another PCR test will be administered upon arrival in Anguilla, followed by yet another test on your 10th day on the island. During those first 10 days, you'll be confined to the grounds of your hotel or villa. To cover the costs of tests, monitoring, and other public health measures, all visitors must pay entry fees, with amounts depending on length of stay and the number of people in your party. Visit the tourism website for details on the entry-free structure.   

Health and safety restrictions: Visitors must stay at government-approved hotels and villas. Masks are not currently required on the island, except at the airport and while in transit to accommodations. Practice social distancing and wash your hands frequently.    

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For more information: Go to ivisitanguilla.com/escape

Antigua and Barbuda

Reopened June 4  

Entry requirements: All arriving passengers must have negative results from Covid-19 tests taken no more than 7 days before travel. Visitors will be required to fill out a health declaration form and submit to a health screening

Health and safety restrictions: Transport vehicles such as taxis and shuttles must limit seating capacity to 50%. Hotels must be certified in compliance with the government's safety and cleaning protocols, which mandate contactless check-in, heightened sanitation measures, and masks in public areas; upon arrival in Antigua, each visitor should have proof of a booking at a certified property. Most restaurants have been certified for limited, socially distanced dine-in service. An 11pm curfew is in effect until December 31. Beaches are open from 6am to 7pm only. Masks are not required on beaches, but keep your distance from others. 

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For more information: See the latest travel advisory.

Aruba

Reopened July 10

Entry requirements: All visitors must complete Aruba's online Embarkation/Disembarkation Card process and receive approval to enter the island. Entry to the country requires negative Covid-19 PCR test results and purchase of Aruba Visitors Insurance ($30 for adults, $10 for kids ages 14 and younger). This coverage is mandatory, even if you have separate travel insurance. Covid-19 tests can be taken either within 72 hours before traveling or upon arrival for a fee of $75 (and you must self-quarantine while awaiting results, which usually arrive within 24 hours). JetBlue passengers can opt for pre-travel, at-home testing for an extra fee.   

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Health and safety restrictions: All businesses must close each night by 11pm. Beaches are closed each day from midnight–5am. Bars and nightclubs are closed. Visitors must wear masks in all indoor public spaces. 

For more information: Visit aruba.com.

Bahamas

Reopened July 1. For a brief time, Americans were not allowed to take commercial flights to the country, but that policy has been reversed.

Entry requirements: A previous quarantine requirement for new arrivals to the Bahamas has been dropped. Instead, to enter the islands all visitors (except kids under 10) must have negative PCR test results no older than 5 days; upload results when applying for the Travel Health Card online. This visa requires a fee, depending on the length of stay; the fee includes the cost of mandatory health insurance. In addition to uploading test results, visitors must present results upon arrival in the Bahamas. Each visitor staying 5 days or longer must take another Covid-19 test (a rapid version this time) on the fifth day.

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Health and safety restrictions: Visitors are free to explore the islands beyond the grounds of their accommodations, but masks must be worn in taxis, while in line for attractions, before being seated at restaurants, during check-in at hotels, and in other public places. Wear a mask while entering or leaving a beach, but you don't have to wear one on the sand. Some locations may be following stricter rules with regard to curfews and service reductions, so check with your destination before travel. 

For more information: See the latest travel updates from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. 

Barbados

Reopened July 12

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Entry requirements/restrictions: Each visitor must have negative results from a Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Barbados. (For an extra fee, you can opt for at-home, pre-travel testing from Stage Zero Life Sciences.) Test results must be uploaded to the online Immigration and Customs Form, and you should bring your test results to the airport as well. You will be retested 4–5 days after your first test (or 2–3 days after arrival on the island). You must stay on the grounds of your pre-approved accommodation until getting the results of your second test. For stays of 7 days or fewer, the island's public health team will check in with you via phone call or text in order to record daily self-temperature checks. Other safety measures include physical distancing and required masks in public places. 

For more information: Visit the Covid-19 section of the island's official tourism website. 

Bermuda

Reopened July 1 

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Entry requirements: Within 48 hours of departure for the island, visitors must complete an online travel authorization process, which includes a fee of $75 per traveler. You'll need a negative Covid-19 test result (no older than five days upon arrival in Bermuda) and health insurance for entry. After getting to Bermuda, passengers must undergo another round of Covid-19 testing and remain quarantined at their hotels until results are delivered (usually in four to eight hours).

Health and safety restrictions: Twice-daily temperature checks (self-reported by tourists via online portal) and additional Covid-19 tests (on the third, seventh, and 14th days of your stay, depending on the length of your visit) as well as mask wearing and social distancing measures are all required. Group gatherings must be limited to 50 people. 

For more information: See the news alerts from the Bermuda Tourism Authority. 

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British Virgin Islands

Reopening date: December 1  

Entry requirements/restrictions: Health and safety protocols for incoming travelers haven't been announced yet.     

Cayman Islands

Reopening date: The island chain began accepting a limited number of approved visitors—not tourists, but homeowners, students, relatives of residents, and those with work permits—on October 1.   

Entry requirements/restrictions: No detailed tourism plan has been released yet. Approved visitors must undergo Covid-19 testing and a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

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For more information: Visit the islands' official Covid-19 FAQ page

Cuba

Reopened July 1—but only for certain beach resorts in the north. In mid-October, 13 of the island's 16 provinces reopened for tourism, according to Prime Minister Manuel Marrero. The airport in Havana reopened November 8.   

Entry requirements/restrictions: All incoming tourists will face mandatory testing and "epidemiological monitoring" while on the island, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. State Department's travel advisory categorizes Cuba under Level 4: "Do Not Travel," and the Trump administration has tightened travel restrictions for Americans so that visiting the island—not easy to begin with—has become even harder.    

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Curaçao

Reopened to low-risk countries in July. In October, the country reopened borders to travelers from four U.S. states: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida.

Entry requirements/restrictions: Visitors from approved states must have negative results from PCR tests taken no more than 72 hours before travel. Upload results to the online entry portal and complete the Digital Immigration Card process. You'll also need state-issued idenitification to prove you're a resident of one of the approved states. Public health monitoring during your stay on the island will include phone check-ins from government officials. 

For more information: Visit Curacao.com or download the Dushi Stay mobile app.   

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Dominica

Reopened August 7

Entry requirements: At least 24 hours prior to travel, visitors must complete an online health questionnaire. You also need to submit a negative PCR test result recorded no more than 72 hours before arrival. You'll receive a notification via email that you've been approved for travel to Dominica. You'll need to show these documents in order to board the plane. Upon arrival in the Caribbean, passengers will undergo temperature checks and rapid Covid-19 tests

Health and safety restrictions: Taxis must be certified safe and require masks on passengers and drivers. In order to operate, hotels must also be certified by the government. Restaurants and attractions are open with stringent sanitizing and social distancing measures. Water sports vessels will limit passenger capacity at 70%. 

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For more information: See Dominica's latest travel advisory

Dominican Republic

Reopened July 1    

Entry requirements: In place of a previous testing requirement for all visitors, authorities are now randomly administering rapid tests to a small percentage (between 3% and 10%) of incoming arrivals. Until the end of December, all hotel guests will be given a complimentary "travel assistance plan" covering emergencies, telemedicine, lodging for prolonged stays, and costs for changing flights in the event of an infection. Arriving visitors will also be required to fill out a Traveler's Health Affidavit. 

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Health and safety restrictions: A nightly curfew is in effect in some locations, including Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata; see a full list of cities under curfew orders at the country's tourism website. Hotels are required to adopt strict cleaning protocols, promote social distancing, and use contactless technology where possible. Bars, clubs, and casinos are closed, and all public events are suspended. Social distancing and masks are required in all public places. 

For more information: See the coronavirus updates at GoDominicanRepublic.com.

Grenada

Reopened August 1. Commercial air traffic from the United States resumed in October.

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Entry requirements: All visitors (except kids ages 5 and younger) from outside the Caribbean must have negative PCR test results acquired within 7 days prior to travel. Results must be uploaded to an online travel form, along with proof of reservations at government-approved lodgings. Before travel, visitors are also required to download the government's contact tracing app.   

Health and safety restrictions: Guests must stay on the grounds of their accommodations for the first 4 days of their visits. After that, you can take another PCR test, and if the results are negative you may experience attractions and activities that are certified by the Pure Safe Travel program

For more information: See the travel advisory on Grenada's official tourism website. 

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Guadeloupe

Reopening date: A ban on U.S. arrivals to the islands of this French overseas region remains in effect "until further notice due to the surge of Covid-19 in the U.S.," according to an official travel advisory. Air traffic from the European Union and other countries resumed July 1. 

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each arriving passenger will need to present negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure for Guadeloupe. Masks must be worn at the airport and in taxis. 

For more information: See the tourism website's Covid-19 updates.  

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Jamaica

Reopened June 15

Entry requirements: Prior to your trip, submit a travel authorization form online. Authorization requires that each incoming passenger from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Panama have a negative result for a Covid-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 10 days before arrival in Jamaica. A health screening at the airport may involve another test, even if you arrive with negative results.   

Health and safety restrictions: While on the island, visitors must stay at government-approved accommodations and remain within one of two "Resilient Corridors": 1.) from Negril to Port Antonio on the North Coast or 2.) from Negril to Milk River on the South Coast. Precautions at hotels include online check-in, masks, and enhanced sanitation procedures. 

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For more information: Visit Jamaica's tourism website.  

Mexico

Reopening date: The U.S. and Mexican governments have extended the temporary closure of the land border to December 21, Reuters reports. But according to the U.S. Embassy, that restriction "does not apply to air, rail, or sea travel" (with the exception of commuter rail and ferries). So American tourists are allowed to go to Mexico before the official reopening—as long as they don't plan to drive or walk across the border.

Entry requirements/restrictions: As in the U.S., health and safety regulations are not mandated on a federal level and therefore vary by state; Mexican states with popular resort areas are listed below. Instead of requiring testing and quarantine requirements, most destinations ask incoming visitors to fill out a health declaration form and submit to temperature screenings.   

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Quintana Roo

Reopening date: The home state of popular resort areas in Cancún and the Riviera Maya began welcoming tourists again on June 1

Entry requirements: Arriving passengers must undergo temperature checks via thermal imaging and fill out a health questionnaire. Sanitation measures and social distancing markers are in place at airports.   

Health and safety restrictions: Hotels, restaurants, attractions, and beaches must limit capacity at 60%. A sanitation certification program has been instituted to ensure that travel-related businesses meet enhanced health and safety protocols. 

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For more information: Visit MexicanCaribbean.travel.

Baja California Sur

Reopening date: This Pacific Coast state, which encompasses the popular Los Cabos resort area, began reopening to tourism on June 15

Entry requirements/restrictions: A temperature check and completed health screening questionnaire are required upon arrival at the airport. Temperature checks and capacity limits are in place at many businesses. Restaurants and recreational activities must limit capacity at 50%.  

For more information: Visit the tourism website for Los Cabos.  

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Jalisco/Nayarit

Reopening date: These western states, encompassing Puerto Vallarta, TequilaGuadalajara, and the Riviera Nayarit, reopened tourism on June 15

Entry requirements/restrictions: A partial lockdown imposed in Jalisco at the end of October to combat surging Covid-19 infections was eased mid-November, according to news reports. Stores and restaurants may now stay open until 11pm. At the airport in Puerto Vallarta, masks are required and social distancing measures are in place.  

Puerto Rico

Reopened September 12 

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Entry requirements: Each visitor must complete the online Travel Declaration Form and receive negative results from a molecular Covid-19 test (nasal or throat swab) taken no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the island. When you upload your negative results to the Travel Declaration Form via the online portal, you'll receive an airport exit confirmation number and QR code, which you'll need to present upon arrival. 

Health and safety restrictions: An island-wide curfew is in effect from 10pm to 5am. Beaches and nature reserves are open, but you must practice social distancing and wear a mask when you're not in the water. Restaurants and museums are operating at 50% capacity. Casinos and theaters are open, but bars remain closed. Hotel pools are open at 25% capacity. 

For more information: See Puerto Rico's travel advisory

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St. Barths

Reopened June 22

Entry requirements: Visitors have two options. Flyers can either present negative Covid-19 test results at the airport before leaving for the Caribbean (tests must be taken no more than 72 hours before the flight). Or travelers can opt to take a test upon arrival and promise to quarantine until they get the results. Those who test positive will be expected to remain in quarantine. Those staying longer than a week will be asked to retake the test after seven days.

Health and safety restrictions: Hotels and villas have adopted enhanced cleaning procedures. Some properties are limiting access to restaurants, allowing hotel guests only. The island's beaches, restaurants, bars, and lounges are all open. 

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St. Kitts and Nevis

Reopening date: October 31

Entry requirements: Each international visitor must complete the online entry form and submit proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. You'll also need to download the dual island nation's mobile app for contact tracing.

Health and safety restrictions: Visitors staying 7 days or fewer must remain on the grounds of their government-approved accommodations; see the tourism website for an updated list of certified properties. For longer stays, you can take another PCR test (for $150) after 7 days to go on select tours and visit approved attractions. A negative result from yet another PCR test ($150) on day 14 will set you free to explore at will. Any visitor staying less than 7 days must take a PCR test ($150) on the hotel property 72 hours before departure. Those who test positive must remain in isolation at their hotels—and at their own cost. 

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For more information: Consult the government travel advisory.  

St. Lucia

Reopened June 4. Commercial flights from the U.S. resumed on July 9.

Entry requirements: Flyers from countries (including the U.S.) outside St. Lucia's travel bubble must present a negative Covid-19 test result at the airport before leaving for the Caribbean; the test must have been taken within seven days of travel to St. Lucia. Before travel, each passenger must complete a pre-arrival registration form available online. Your temperature will be checked once you arrive on the island.

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Health and safety restrictions: Hotels are certified for complying with hygiene and safety rules, and tourists must have proof that their accommodations are government-approved. You must remain at your hotel for the duration of your time in St. Lucia, except for when participating in approved tours and activities—check with your hotel for what's available.

For more information: Visit StLucia.org/covid-19.

St. Martin/Sint Maarten

Reopening date: Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of this divided island (and where the international airport is), reopened to U.S. travelers on August 1. The French side, St. Martin, followed in September. 

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Entry requirements/restrictions: International arrivals will need negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test, received no more than 120 hours (5 days) before arrival on the island. Show up with a completed health declaration form and proof of health insurance, too. Passengers must undergo temperature screening when they get to the island. Starting at the airport, wear a mask in all public areas.

For more information: See the official travel requirements checklist

Turks and Caicos

Reopened July 22

Entry requirements: Visitors must be certified by TCI Assured, a portal accessible via the Turks and Caicos tourism website. Requirements for that certification: proof of negative Covid-19 test results at least 5 days prior to travel, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire.

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Health and safety restrictions: New measures to expect at airports, hotels, restaurants, and elsewhere include health screenings, physical distancing, mandatory use of face coverings in public (though masks are only "recommended" on beaches), and capacity limits in public areas.

For more information: See the Turks and Caicos official tourism website.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Reopening date: After reopening to tourists on June 1, the islands in this U.S. territory abruptly closed again on August 19. The islands resumed welcoming travelers on September 19. Many hotels and resorts are planning to reopen in October.  

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Entry requirements/restrictions: All incoming visitors must submit negative Covid-19 test results (received no more than 5 days before travel) using an online travel screening portal. Upon arrival in the USVI, you must present your test result and travel certification from the portal. You will have your temperature checked at the airport. While on the islands, wear masks and practice social distancing in public areas. 

For more information: See the official USVI web page for Covid-19 updates

Pictured at top: Condado Beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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