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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 APRIL 19, 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, effective January 26: 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

Reopened August 21, 2020 

Entry requirements: Prospective visitors must register at Anguilla's official tourism website. The application fee for stays under 90 days is $300 for the first person, $200 for each additional person. Each applicant will need to submit negative results from a PCR test taken within 3 to 5 days prior to arrival. Another PCR test will be administered upon arrival in Anguilla, followed by yet another test at the end of the quarantine period, the length of which depends on vaccination status—7 days for vaccinated visitors, 14 days for unvaccinated travelers

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Health and safety restrictions: For stays lasting two weeks or less, visitors must stick to government-approved hotels and villas, restaurants, activities, and excursions.

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. 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, 2020

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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. As of May 8, visitors who arrive with proof of vaccination (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson only) 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 5–7 days. Children under 18 who are traveling with fully vaccinated guardians will be allowed to adhere to the fully vaccinated traveler guidelines. Download the BIMSafe mobile app to complete necessary entry forms and upload test results and proof of vaccination. 

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.  

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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 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 under 24 hours). Additional testing is required on days 4, 8, and 14 of your stay. Each non-vaccinated visitor must wear a monitoring wristband for the first 14 days in Bermuda. 

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. 

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

British Virgin Islands

Reopened December 1  

Entry requirements: Each prospective visitor must apply for a travel authorization via the BVI Gateway online portal. You'll need to upload a negative RT-PCR test result obtained within 5 days of arrival and complete the Public Health Declaration form 48 hours before arrival. Proof of travel insurance with comprehensive medical coverage is also required. If approved, you'll receive a Travel Certificate. Once you get to the Caribbean, you'll be tested again for Covid-19 and will be issued a wristband monitoring device. You'll need to install the government's contact tracing app on your phone as well.  

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Health and safety restrictions: For the first four days, travelers must remain in quarantine at their government-approved accommodations. After receiving negative results from another Covid-19 test on day 4, travelers are free to leave the grounds of their resorts.  

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.   

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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 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. 

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

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: In place of a previous testing requirement for all visitors, authorities are now randomly administering rapid tests to a small percentage (between 3% and 15%) of incoming arrivals. Each traveler must also complete electronic entry and exit forms (including a health affidavit and customs declaration) accessible via online portal. Through March 31, international visitors 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.

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Health and safety restrictions: A nightly curfew is in effect from 7pm to 5am on weekdays and from 5pm 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

Due to renewed fears of the coronavirus and the emergence of more contagious strains, the French government has closed the borders of its overseas territories in the Caribbean and French Polynesia indefinitelyaccording to news reports.

In addition to Guadeloupe, the border closure affects Martinique, St. Barts, and the French side of St. Martin.

Jamaica

Reopened June 15, 2020

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.   

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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. 

For more information: Visit Jamaica's tourism website.  

Martinique

Due to renewed fears of the coronavirus and the emergence of more contagious strains, the French government has closed the borders of its overseas territories in the Caribbean and French Polynesia indefinitelyaccording to news reports.

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In addition to Martinique, the border closure affects Guadeloupe, St. Barts, and the French side of St. Martin.

Mexico

Reopening date: The U.S. and Mexican governments have extended the temporary closure of the land border through April 21. But U.S. Embassy rules state 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, Mexico asks incoming visitors to fill out a health declaration form and provide contact info only.   

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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, 2020

Entry requirements/restrictions: Arriving passengers must complete a health declaration formHotels, restaurants, attractions, and beaches must limit capacity at 60%. Masks must be worn in public places and social distancing measures should be followed. 

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, 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/restrictions: Hotels are operating at reduced capacity. Beaches are open but hours may be limited; masks are required at entrances and exits but not on the sand. Restaurants and tours must limit capacity at 50%. Restaurants must close by 10pm; bars and casinos are closed altogether.

For more information: Go to VisitPuertoVallarta.com.

Puerto Rico

Reopened September 12, 2020   

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. 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 restrictions: An island-wide curfew is in effect each day from midnight to 5amBeaches and nature reserves are open with social distancing measures and a ban on alcohol. Restaurants, casinos, museums, and hotel pools are open at 50% capacity. Bars remain closed.  

For more information: See Puerto Rico's travel advisory

St. Barts

Reopened June 22, 2020—but closed again on February 2, 2021. Due to renewed fears of the coronavirus and the emergence of more contagious strains, the French government has closed the borders of its overseas territories in the Caribbean and French Polynesia indefinitely, according to news reports.

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In addition to St. Barts, the border closure affects Guadeloupe, Martinique, and the French side of St. Martin.  

St. Kitts and Nevis

Reopened October 31, 2020

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 48–72 hours before departure.

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For more information: Consult the government travel advisory.  

St. Lucia

Reopened June 4, 2020. Commercial flights from the U.S. resumed July 9, 2020.

Entry requirements: Each visitor must present a negative Covid-19 test result at the airport before leaving for the Caribbean; the test must have been taken within five 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: Tourists must stay at government-approved hotels, can only visit certified restaurants, and can only participate in government-approved excursions. Visit St. Lucia's official tourism site for a directory of where you can stay and what you can do

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 (St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Barts) as well as French Polynesia over fears of new coronavirus strains. 

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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. 

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, 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: 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, 2020, the islands in this U.S. territory abruptly closed again in August, then resumed welcoming travelers on September 19, 2020

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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. 

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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