Earlier this month the Caribbean Tourism Organization hosted a webinar on the Caribbean Road Map to Recovery Post Covid-19. It was reported that pre-Covid there was 4.4% growth in travel to the Caribbean, consequently creating earnings of 40.6 Billion USD. Round about June travel bubbles and gateways began opening up between European nations. Now the Caribbean is putting things in place to welcome visitors back to their shores. During the webinar some of the new requirements for visiting the islands were discussed. Additionally, journalists were encouraged to share their readers’ concerns; among them was lack of trust in providers. The event was sponsored by Pure Grenada, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic and Sunset Resorts, Jamaica. Each of the island sponsors presented what their ‘new’ normal looks like. Before you go, here are a few things you need to know before travelling to the Caribbean.
Where Can You Visit?
The UK government has drawn up an initial list of countries exempt from quarantine restrictions on return to the UK. On the list are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- The Bahamas
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- St. Barts
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos.
While this is welcome news for wanderlusters and expats, it’s important for travellers to check the terms of the country they wish to visit. Not all islands are have reopened their borders to international flights.
Open Island Borders
Some of the islands now open for visits include (but not exhaustive list):
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Dominica Republic
- Guadeloupe (except to USA visitors)
- The Bahamas
- Trinidad & Tobago (Domestic Travel only)
For the full list along with island specific terms and conditions CLICK HERE.
Safe Travels Stamp
In addition to the lists that every country has created for their travel bubbles, there is now a ‘Safe Travels’ stamp. The stamp is awarded by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). It ‘is the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp for travel and tourism designed specifically to address COVID-19 and similar outbreaks. It is awarded only to destinations with health protocols in sync with those of the WTTC – an international organisation that represents the global private sector of travel and tourism, with a mission to ensure the sector is seamless, secure, safe, inclusive and sustainable. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has also welcomed and endorsed the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, which places the safety and hygiene of travellers as top priority.’
Tobago was recently awarded the “Safe Travels” stamp and is one of only three Caribbean destinations granted the certification. Tobago joins other leading global destinations certified and authorised to use the “Safe Travels” logo including Jamaica, Aruba, Dubai, and Spain. Therefore, the “Tobago Beyond” logo will also be featured on WTTC’s website to identify and promote the island as an approved “Safe travels” destination to global audiences. Visit the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited Facebook page for further details.
FYI: Tobago is currently only open for domestic flights but you can still dream and plan in the meantime.
New Safety Procedures
Every country has its own safety policies regarding, managing Covid-19. Some of the new measures you can expect include;
- Cleaning and disinfecting of facilities
- Staff will wear PPE relevant to role
- COVID-19 tests for work personnel
- Limited of number diners per table
- Customers must wear a masks to enter establishments and on public transport inland
- All passengers will have their temperature taken prior to boarding any excursion transportation
- Social distancing required
You may find that the requirements are not is not much different from your home country.
Although some island borders are closed, it does’t stop you from dreaming, researching and planning. Visit their Instagram pages for inspiration. Whether your planning a staycataion or the once in a lifetime getaway be safe and don’t forget your face covering.
Feature Image Credit: Tobago Tourism Agency