LAST UPDATED OCTOBER 21, 2020
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.
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. Application approval is not guaranteed—the government will favor travelers from countries considered low-risk, such as Canada, over those from high-risk places such as the United States. 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.
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.
For more information: Go to ivisitanguilla.com/escape.
Antigua and Barbuda
Reopened June 4. The Antigua Barbuda Hotels & Tourism Association maintains a list of hotel reopenings.
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. Some restaurants have been certified for limited, socially distanced dine-in service. An 11pm curfew is in effect until October 31. Masks are not required on beaches, but keep your distance from others.
For more information: See the latest travel advisories for Antigua and Barbuda.
Reopened July 10
Entry requirements: No more than 72 hours prior to arrival, all visitors must complete Aruba's online Embarkation/Disembarkation Card process and receive approval to enter the island. Entry to the country requires proof of negative Covid-19 PCR test results and purchase of Aruba Visitors Insurance, starting at $10 per day (prices vary by age group and length of stay). 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—unless you're from a U.S. location considered high risk, in which case you will need to submit test results before travel, and you may be subject to additional testing; see Aruba's full testing requirements for a list of which states require enhanced testing. Other safety measures at the airport include a health screening and mandatory masks.
Health and safety restrictions: All tourism-related businesses must be certified by the Department of Public Health to ensure that those businesses are upholding stringent cleaning and hygiene standards. The enhanced protocols apply to taxis, accommodations, restaurants, bars, casinos, retail shops, and tour operators. Visitors must wear masks in indoor public areas.
For more information: Visit aruba.com.
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: Until October 31, visitors must arrive with a negative Covid-19 test no older than 7 days, submit to temperature screening, and complete electronic health declaration cards. The form should be completed at least 3 days before arrival. Most important, all visitors are required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense in a government-approved hotel, although they will not necessarily be confined to their rooms. Travelers will need to take another Covid-19 test (again at their own expense) at the end of the quarantine period.
The rules change on November 1: The quarantine requirement will be dropped. To enter the Bahamas, all visitors (except kids under 10) must have negative PCR test results no older than 7 days; upload results when applying for the Travel Health Card online (this visa requires a fee, depending on the length of stay). Visitors must undergo rapid antigen testing upon arrival in the Bahamas, and again after 4 days (96 hours) if they're staying in the country longer than 5 days. Many hotels are helping to administer this last round of testing.
Health and safety restrictions: A nightly curfew is in effect from 10pm to 5am. During those hours, you must remain on the grounds of your accommodations. Masks must be worn in taxis, while in line for attractions, before being seated at a restaurant, 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.
For more information: See the latest travel updates from the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.
Reopened July 12
Entry requirements/restrictions: Each visitor from a high-risk country (such as the U.S.) must have negative results from a Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Barbados. 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.
Reopened July 1
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.
British Virgin Islands
Reopening date: December 1
Entry requirements/restrictions: Health and safety protocols for incoming travelers haven't been announced yet.
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.
For more information: Visit the islands' official Covid-19 FAQ page.
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. But capital city Havana remains closed. American Airlines plans to resume daily service to Cuba from the United States on November 4.
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—is even harder.
Reopened to low-risk countries in July. On November 7, borders will reopen to travelers from three U.S. states: New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
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 New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut. Public health monitoring during your stay on the island will include phone calls from government officials.
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%.
For more information: See Dominica's latest travel advisory.
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.
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.
Reopened August 1. Commercial air traffic from the United States resumed in early October with the return of service from JetBlue and American Airlines. Major resorts plan to reopen in October and November.
Entry requirements: All visitors 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.
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. JetBlue will resume service from New York to Guadeloupe on November 7.
Entry requirements/restrictions: Arriving passengers will need to present negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure for Guadeloupe. Anyone who doesn't have a test result can take a test at the airport for a fee of €84 ($95). Results will be texted or emailed within 48 hours; you don't have to self-quarantine during that time. Masks must be worn at the airport and in taxis.
For more information: See the tourism website's Covid-19 updates.
Reopened June 15
Entry requirements: Prior to your trip, submit a travel authorization form online. Authorization requires that each incoming passenger from areas designated as high-risk—including the United States, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Panama—have a negative result for a Covid-19 test taken no more than 10 days before arrival in Jamaica. According to the Jamaica government, "Tests must be performed at a lab accredited by national health authorities such as the World Health Organization, the Food & Drug Administration or the Pan American Health Organization. Only swab COVID-19 PCR or Antigen tests are acceptable." A health screening at the airport may involve another test, even if you arrive with negative results.
Health and safety restrictions: Visitors must remain either on the grounds of their hotels or in a "Resilient Corridor" between Negril and Portland in the island's north. Precautions at hotels include online check-in, masks, and enhanced sanitation procedures.
For more information: Visit Jamaica's tourism website.
Reopening date: The U.S. and Mexican governments have extended the temporary closure of the land border through October 21. 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.
Reopening date: The home state of popular resort areas in Cancún and the Riviera Maya began welcoming tourists again on June 8.
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: In the first phase, hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and transportation must limit capacity at 30%. Hotels can open their beaches, but public beaches remain closed. Nightclubs and casinos are still closed as well. A sanitation certification program has been instituted to ensure that travel-related businesses meet enhanced health and safety protocols.
Baja California Sur
Reopening date: This Pacific Coast state, which encompasses the popular Los Cabos resort area, began reopening to tourism on June 15. Daily flights have resumed from U.S. airlines including Alaska, American, Delta, and United.
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 beaches. Hotels and restaurants must limit capacity at 30%. Bars that don't serve food are closed.
For more information: Visit the tourism website for Los Cabos.
Entry requirements/restrictions: At the airport in Puerto Vallarta, masks are required and social distancing measures are in place. Hotels are operating at limited capacity—50% in Jalisco (home of Puerto Vallarta) and 30% on the Riviera Nayarit. Bars, nightclubs, and restaurants are open but must operate at 50% capacity. Public and private beaches are both accessible. Museums must limit capacity at 25%.
For more information: Visit the Covid-19 info page on Puerto Vallarta's official tourism website.
Reopened September 12
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.
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.
St. Kitts and Nevis
Reopening date: October 31
Entry requirements/restrictions: Each international visitor from outside the Caribbean bubble must complete the entry form on the government's website 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. 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 after 7 days to go on select tours and visit approved attractions. A negative result from yet another PCR test on day 14 will set you free to explore at will.
For more information: Consult the government travel advisory.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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