We are three months into the lockdown due to COVID-19 and everybody including myself is wondering when can we travel again? Several Caribbean island nations and Latin America are prepared to reopen their borders starting June 1st 2020.
We are all desperate and asking when is it safe to fly again? What will travel be like? Will you feel safe traveling? What are countries doing to ensure the safety of visitors?
The travel industry contributes 10% to the world’s GDP and sustains 1 in 12 of all global jobs. Everyone is asking when is it safe to fly again and when will be able to travel to those sunny Caribbean Islands.
The Caribbean Islands had relatively low virus numbers and with that being said many islands are preparing to reopen their borders for international tourist starting the first week of June.
These Islands include Aruba, Antigua, St. Lucia, and several more Caribbean Islands and Latin American Countries.
The local governments of these islands are working closely with public health officials and tourism boards to ensure hotels, airports, restaurants, and beaches are practicing social-distancing measures.
What can you expect if you decide to travel to one of the Caribbean Islands that are opening over the next few weeks?
Mexico is currently trying to decide when they will lift restrictions on domestic travel. Once Mexico decides to lift the travel restrictions , Cancun and Los Cabos will be one of the first towns to accept international travelers.
Cancun will be launching new travel campaigns later this month to attract international tourism.
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When Can We Travel Again?
If you plan on visiting Mexico you can expect to have your temperature checked by thermographic cameras and if you test positive you will either be returned home or asked to quarantine in Mexico for 10 days.
It is expected that 62% of the hotel inventory will resume normal operations and international airlines like American Airlines, Southwest, and Delta have already begun gearing up for flights to both Mexico and the Caribbean.
Mexico plans to reopen June 1st but please be aware there has been a spike in COVID-19 cases and Mexican health authorities have urged residents to stay at home during this time.
Mexico’s secretary of tourism released new sanitary guidelines for the hospitality industry which includes thoroughly cleaning surfaces, walls, windows, doors and handles regularly with detergent and chlorinated solution.
The Quintana Roo Tourism hopes international tourism will pick up once travel restrictions are lifted.
Argentina will not reopen its borders until September 1. The U.S. Embassy said while it is talking to the Argentine government, it cannot guarantee future availability of special flights and does not anticipate arranging repatriation flights in Argentina.
Bonaire along with Sint Eustatius and Saba is set to reopen June 15th. Bonaire has since announced a tentative opening of the Flamingo International Airport for after June 15.
Brazil closed all land borders as of March 19. With the exception of residents and immediate family members of Brazilians, the airport is still closed to foreigners .
Brazil was the first country in South America to register a case of the coronavirus.
Chile: Chile has 65,393 confirmed cases and although the death toll has increased to 673 as of May 23 Chile has resumed commercial flights between Santiago and the U.S.
Costa Rica -On May 11, Quesada’s government unveiled a four-stage plan to gradually reopen. From May 16 to May 31, some national parks can open at 50 percent capacity.
Non-contact sports can reopen and high-level contact sports can do so without spectators, hotels with a maximum of 20 rooms can open at 50 percent capacity and during the week, beaches can open from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
From June 1 to June 20, the remaining national parks and hotels, as well as all restaurants and museums will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
The partial border shutdown that began March 19 will remain in effect until June 15, but may be extended. Only Costa Rican citizens and residents, minor children of Costa Rican citizens and foreign diplomats will be able to enter Costa Rica.
British Virgin Islands: The U.S. Virgin Islands has finally ended 28 days of 24-hour lockdown and has relaxed restrictions but with caveats such as respecting social distancing and the wearing of masks.
Effective May 10, a new curfew runs from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly for 14 days. Beaches opened for exercise and therapy from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily as of May 10.
The Caribbean is starting to reopen St. Lucia, Antigua and Aruba because people are getting anxious and are ready to travel again.
St. Lucia will be the first Caribbean Island to reopen starting June 4 with updated sanitation protocols and allowing only tourists from the United States.
Local hotels will have to apply for a COVID-19 certificate from the government that shows they’ve met the criteria for sanitization protocols and social distancing.
Visitors from the U.S. must also present certified proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of boarding their flights when arriving on the island.
Health authorities at ports will be conducting random temperature checks upon arrival. Visitors must also continue wearing face masks and practicing social distancing while on the island and will find new safety measures in taxis to separate drivers and passengers.
Hand sanitizer will also be readily found on the island.
Antigua will reopen to visitors from the U.S. starting June 4. To be allowed into the country, travelers will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport.
New safety protocols will include hotel employees will also need to live on property once hotels reopen to limit potential spead and tourists will be discouraged from mingling with locals.
Aruba is scheduled to reopen between June 15 and July 2020. Aruba just like the other Caribbean will also implement new health protocols to keep both tourists and residents safe.
Upon arrival at the airport in Aruba, U.S. travelers can expect to undergo new screening measures including temperature checks.
The Bahamas has said it will reopen July 1 and the Cayman Islands is scheduled to reopen around mid-September
When Will Sandals Resorts Reopen?
Sandals Resorts is planning to reopen most of its Caribbean resorts in June 4, 2020 with the exception of the Bahamas resorts.
The following Sandals and Beaches resorts are scheduled to reopen June 4th.
- Saint Lucia
- Turks and Caicos
The Sandals Resort in the Bahamas (in Nassau and Exuma), are both scheduled to reopen July 1, 2020.
What to Expect at Hotels While Traveling
Every chain hotel, boutique hotels and villas has consulted with local governmental, health organizations and remediation companies on what measures that need to be take in both the front of house and back of house.
Hotels are beginning reopen for the summer travel season and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) introduced its Safe Stay guidelines developed under the guidance of an advisory council that includes Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriot International, Omni Hotels & Resorts and Walt Disney.
Sandals Resorts identified 18 key touch points — or points of high contact — for extra cleaning, starting with airport lounges and vehicle transfers.
Sandals Resorts are increasing the frequency of airport transfers to reduce the number of passengers in each vehicle that is traveling to and from the airport.
How To Stay Safe While Traveling To The Caribbean & Latin America
Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes most people are concerned about is it safe to fly because of how most viruses and other germs spread.
Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, try to avoid contact with sick passengers, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Learn more about Exposure Risk During Travel
If You Travel
Protect yourself and others during your trip:
- Clean your hands often.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating.
- If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with others.
- Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
- Wear a cloth face covering in public.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores.
Anticipate Travel Needs
- Bring enough of your medicine to last you for the entire trip.
- Pack enough alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) and keep it within easy to reach.
- Bring a cloth face covering to wear in public places.
- Prepare food and water for your trip. Pack non-perishable food in case restaurants and stores are closed.
- If you are considering cleaning your travel lodgings, see CDC’s guidance on how to clean and disinfect.
Conclusion of When the Caribbean and Latin America Will Reopen
Tourism is the lifeline of the Caribbean Islands but the coronavirus pandemic has haulted all travel to the Caribbean Islands.
Now that the curve has flatened the Islands are ready to reopen for U.S. travelers. U.S. visitors will start arriving on the Caribbean Islands the first of June.
The islands are expected to have an increase in tourism in July and August. If you are planning visit the Caribbean Islands late summer or early fall I suggest practicing social distance to keep you and your family safe.
DO YOU NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE WHEN TRAVELING THIS FALL?
YES! Travel Insurance is important no matter where you are traveling to because accidents happen and you should always travel with insurance.
I got extremely sick in the Czech Republic and that was the one time I decided to forego travel insurance and I racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills and they wanted their money before I would even be seen by the ER Doctors.
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If you have been wondering when we can travel again I hope my list of countries that are reopening due to COVID-19 will help you plan your next vacation. Have you been wondering when the Caribbean Islands will reopen along with Latin America?
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