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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 entry requirements for visiting Caribbean islands and Mexican resort areas during the pandemic

LAST UPDATED JUNE 24, 2021

Below, you'll find a roundup of entry requirements and restrictions for visiting Caribbean islands and the popular coastal areas of Mexico, with information broken down by location.  

In addition to following the rules below, travelers returning to the United States must also comply with this CDC order: All passengers—including U.S. citizens—arriving from a foreign country must get tested (NAAT or antigen) no more than 3 days before their flights to the U.S. or present documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 within the last three months. 

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This means, in most cases, that American tourists will need to get negative Covid-19 test results before leaving the U.S. and then again before departing their vacation destination to return home. Onsite testing is available at many resorts; when planning your trip, check ahead with your hotel or the destination's tourism website for information about the area's testing options. Waiting until you leave the U.S. to make arrangements for your test to come back could add a stressful scramble to your vacation. 

Anguilla

Reopens May 25, following border closures in April due to a surge in Covid-19 cases

Entry requirements/restrictions: Fully vaccinated travelers (who are three weeks past their last recommended dose) must remain in quarantine for 7 days. Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine 10–14 days. Prospective visitors must apply for entry permission, produce negative results from a PCR test administered 3–5 days prior to arrival on the island, undergo another PCR test upon arrival, and pay an entry fee of $300 for an individual plus $200 for each additional member in the party.   

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For more information: Go to ivisitanguilla.com/escape

Antigua and Barbuda

Reopened June 4, 2020  

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%. Upon arrival in Antigua, each visitor should have proof of a booking at a certified property. Restaurants are open but bars are closed. A nightly curfew is in effect from 11pm to 5am

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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, 2020 

Entry requirements/restrictions: Fully vaccinated visitors are now exempt from the Covid-19 test requirement. All unvaccinated visitors over age 10 must have negative PCR test results no older than 5 days. Upload your vaccination record or test results when applying for the Travel Health Visa online. The visa requires a fee, depending on the length of stay; the fee includes the cost of mandatory health insurance. Each unvaccinated visitor must complete a daily health questionnaire. An unvaccinated visitor staying 5 days or longer must take a rapid antigen test on the fifth day. Vaccinated visitors are excused from the daily questionnaire and the rapid test on day 5. 

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

Barbados

Reopened July 12, 2020

Entry requirements: Each visitor must have negative results from a PCR Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival, must submit to a second PCR test upon arrival, and must complete a quarantine period. Fully vaccinated visitors must stay on the grounds of their accommodations for 1–2 days while awaiting test results. Unvaccinated visitors must quarantine in their hotel rooms and take a second PCR test after 5 days. Those guests must remain in their rooms or suites until receiving negative test results, for a full quarantine period of 7–8 days. Download the BIMSafe mobile app to complete necessary entry forms and upload test results and proof of vaccination. 

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Health and safety restrictions: Visitors must stay in government-approved accommodations and provide daily self-temperature checks via the BIMSafe app, phone call, or text. Don't forget to pack a thermometer. 

For more information: Go to VisitBarbados.org.  

Bermuda

Reopened July 1, 2020

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 3 days upon arrival. After getting to Bermuda, passengers must undergo another round of Covid-19 testing and remain quarantined at their hotels until results are delivered. Additional testing is required on days 4, 8, and 14 of your stay. Non-vaccinated visitors must remain in quarantine at their accommodations until receiving results from the test on day 4 and must wear health-monitoring wristbands for the first 14 days

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Health and safety restrictions: Twice-daily temperature checks (self-reported by tourists via online portal) as well as mask wearing and social distancing measures are all required. Group gatherings must be limited to 10 people. 

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

British Virgin Islands

Reopened December 1, 2020  

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each prospective visitor must apply for a travel authorization via the BVI Gateway online portal. You'll need to upload proof of vaccination (if you've been fully vaccinated) and a negative RT-PCR or antigen test result obtained within 5 days of arrival. Fully vaccinated travelers are not subject to testing or quarantine upon arrival. Unvaccinated visitors must take another Covid-19 test when they get to the Caribbean and must quarantine for 7 days regardless of test results. 

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For more information: Visit BVITourism.com.

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.

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

Cuba

Reopened July 1, 2020—but only for certain beach resorts in the north. The airport in Havana reopened November 8. On January 30, 2021, the island's aviation authorities announced they will reduce the number of flights from the United States, Mexico, Panama, and the Bahamas.     

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Entry requirements/restrictions: In addition to fulfilling the already stringent entry requirements for American travelers, all incoming tourists must complete a health declaration form and provide proof of travel insurance that covers Covid-19 medical costs. As of February 6, all incoming visitors will be given PCR tests upon arrival and will then be sent to hotels, where guests must remain in isolation at their own expense while awaiting results. Those should arrive on the fifth day, according to the Associated Press.

Curaçao

Reopened June 2020 

Entry requirements: Each vaccinated and unvaccinated visitor must complete the online digital immigration card and passenger locator card within 48 hours of arrival (carry a printed copy of the latter with you to the airport). Using the online portal, submit proof of negative PCR test results taken no more than 72 hours before travel or negative antigen test results taken no more than 24 hours before travel. On your third day on the island, you'll need to take an antigen test at a local lab.

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Health and safety restrictions: Due to Curaçao's very low infection rate, a nightly curfew has been lifted and outdoor restaurants and bars are operating at full capacity.  

For more information: Visit Curacao.com.   

Dominica

Reopened August 7, 2020

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

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Health and safety restrictions: Travelers must stay at certified "Safe in Nature" accommodations and must remain onsite for five to seven days, except during approved activities. Another PCR test will be administered on day 5 of your stay to clear you for greater freedom of movement.   

For more information: See Dominica's latest travel advisory

Dominican Republic

Reopened July 1, 2020    

Entry requirements: The Dominican Republic no longer requires Covid-19 testing for entry, and proof of vaccination isn't required, either. Instead, authorities at airports and other points of entry randomly administer breath tests to between 3% and 15% of incoming arrivals and to anyone exhibiting symptoms. Each visitor must complete electronic entry and exit forms (including a health affidavit and customs declaration) accessible via online portal. International travelers arriving on commercial flights and staying at hotels will be granted a temporary, free health care plan that provides coverage for emergencies in the event of an infection or exposure to Covid-19 while in the Dominican Republic. Antigen and PCR testing is being offered at select hotels for free or for a small charge. 

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Health and safety restrictions: A nightly curfew is in effect from 10pm to 5am on weekdays and from 9pm to 5am on weekends; though hotel guests don't have to stay in their rooms during curfew hours, they do have to stay on the grounds of their resorts. Restaurants must limit capacity at 60%. Social distancing and masks are required in all public places. 

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

Grenada

Reopened August 1, 2020. 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

Reopened June 11

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each traveler must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel or a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before travel. Fully vaccinated visitors must show proof of vaccination. In addition to meeting the testing requirements, unvaccinated visitors must self-quarantine for 7 days upon reaching Guadeloupe.

For more information: Visit Guadeloupe's official tourism website.  

Jamaica

Reopened June 15, 2020

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Entry requirements: Prior to your trip, submit a travel authorization form online. Authorization requires that each incoming visitor age 12 and over have a negative result for a Covid-19 PCR or antigen test taken no more than 3 days before arrival in Jamaica. 

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. For American travelers who need negative Covid-19 tests for re-entry to the U.S., many hotels, resorts, and private labs offer testing for free or a small charge. 

For more information: Visit Jamaica's tourism website.  

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Martinique

Reopened June 18

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each traveler must show proof of a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel or a negative antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before travel. Fully vaccinated visitors must show proof of vaccination. Unvaccinated visitors will be required to self-quarantine for 7 days upon reaching the island. 

Mexico

Reopening date: The U.S. and Mexican governments have extended the temporary closure of the land border through at least July 21U.S. Embassy rules state that the restriction does not apply to air travelers.

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Entry requirements: Neither Covid-19 tests nor quarantines are required for visiting Mexico. Instead, each traveler must fill out an online health questionnaire before arrival. That's it. 

Health and safety restrictions: The country has established a color-coded traffic-light system for Covid-19 restrictions, with red (don't go outside) being the most severe and green (resume normal activities) being the loosest. The government maintains an interactive map showing the current color designation for each of Mexico's 32 states. Restrictions in Mexican states with popular resort areas are listed below.   

Quintana Roo

Reopening date: The home state of popular resort areas in Cancún and the Riviera Maya began welcoming tourists again on June 1, 2020

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Entry requirements/restrictions: Amid one of the country's worst Covid-19 outbreaks, Quintana Roo is currently designated orange—the second-highest threat level—in Mexico's traffic-light warning system. According to the official rules, that means hotels, restaurants, historical sites, and parks should limit capacity at 50%. Beaches, casinos, and shops should operate at 30% capacity. And bars and nightclubs are supposed to be closed

For more information: Consult the state's weekly epidemiological assessment

Baja California Sur

Reopening date: This Pacific Coast state, which encompasses the popular Los Cabos resort area, began reopening to tourism on June 15, 2020

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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.  

Jalisco/Nayarit

Reopening date: These western states, encompassing Puerto Vallarta, TequilaGuadalajara, and the Riviera Nayarit, reopened tourism on June 15, 2020

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Entry requirements/restrictionsHotels are operating at 66% capacity. Beaches, hotel pools, spas, and restaurants are all open. Restaurants must close at midnight. Bars and clubs are open at 33% capacity and must close at 3am. Casinos are open at 40% capacity. Masks and social distancing are required in public places.

For more information: Go to VisitPuertoVallarta.com.

Puerto Rico

Reopened September 12, 2020   

Entry requirements: Fully vaccinated visitors who upload proof of vaccination to Puerto Rico's online portal don't have to provide Covid-19 test results (provided those travelers are arriving from the U.S. mainland). Unvaccinated visitors and international passengers must complete the online Travel Declaration Form and upload negative results from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. If you're supposed to upload test results before your trip and fail to do so, you could get slapped with a $300 fine. Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, visitors to the island are exempt from the CDC requirement to provide a negative Covid-19 test result before returning to the mainland.  

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Health and safety restrictionsBeaches and nature reserves are open with social distancing measures. Restaurants, casinos, museums, and hotel pools are open at 75% capacity. Bars are open, with capacity limited at 50% indoors; outdoor bars have no capacity limits but a distance of 6 feet must be maintained between people who aren't in the same family. Some businesses and attractions may require proof of vaccination or negative Covid-19 test results for entry.

For more information: See Puerto Rico's travel advisory

Saba

Reopened May 1

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Entry requirements/restrictions: Apply to enter the smallest of the Dutch Caribbean islands via online portal. Each visitor must provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival or an antigen test taken within 48 hours. Fully vaccinated travelers do not have to quarantine. Each unvaccinated traveler must quarantine for 5 days and take a rapid antigen test on day 5.

For more information: Visit SabaTourism.com

St. Barts

Reopened June 9 

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each fully vaccinated adult visitor must show proof of vaccination and provide a negative result from a PCR test taken within 3 days of travel or a rapid antigen test taken within 48 hours of travel. Travelers ages 18 and under don't have to be vaccinated; kids ages 10 and under don't have to have test results. Unvaccinated adults may not enter the island. Hotels, restaurants, beaches, shops, and attractions have resumed normal operations.  

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St. Kitts and Nevis

Reopened October 31, 2020

Entry requirements: Only fully vaccinated travelers may enter St. Kitts and Nevis (though the rule does not apply to unvaccinated kids ages 18 and younger, provided they are traveling with fully vaccinated adults). International visitors must complete the online entry form, upload copies of their vaccination cards, and submit proof of negative PCR tests taken within 72 hours of travel.

Health and safety restrictions: Those staying 9 days or fewer must remain on the grounds of their government-approved accommodations; see the tourism website for an updated list of certified properties. Negative results from a PCR test taken on day 9 (for $150) will set you free to explore at will. (For families traveling with unvaccinated kids, the length of time they must stay on the grounds of their resorts before testing is 14 days rather than 9.) A nightly curfew is in effect from 11pm to 5am.  

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For more information: Consult the government travel advisory.  

St. Lucia

Reopened June 4, 2020

Entry requirements/restrictions: Each visitor must have a negative result from a Covid-19 test taken within 5 days of travel and must complete a pre-arrival registration form available online. Tourists must stay at government-approved hotels, can only visit certified restaurants, and can only participate in government-approved excursions. There are more on-island options for vaccinated travelers. Visit St. Lucia's official tourism site for a directory of where you can stay and what you can do

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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, 2020. The French side, St. Martin, is closed. In early February 2021, the French government closed the borders of its overseas territories in the Caribbean as well as French Polynesia over fears of new coronavirus strains. 

Entry requirements/restrictions: International arrivals to the Duch side will need negative results from Covid-19 PCR tests, received no more than 72 hours before arrival on the island. Show up with a completed health declaration form and proof of health insurance, too. 

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For more information: See the official travel requirements checklist

Turks and Caicos

Reopened July 22, 2020

Entry requirements: Visitors must be certified by TCI Assured using an online portal. Requirements for that certification: proof of negative PCR test results at least 5 days prior to travel, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire.

Health and safety restrictions: Measures to expect at airports, hotels, restaurants, and elsewhere include health screenings, physical distancing, masks, and capacity limits. The tourism website maintains a list of available accommodations

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

U.S. Virgin Islands

Reopened September 19, 2020

Entry requirements/restrictions: All incoming visitors must submit negative molecular or antigen 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 a mask and practice social distancing in public areas. 

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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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