Islands reopen in the Caribbean, but restrictions apply. Grand Bahama Island is set to welcome visitors on Oct. 15, while Curacao will reopen the first week of November to residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
All U.S. residents will be able to travel to Grand Bahama Island, although they’ll be asked to Vacation in Place (VIP). The 14-day (or length of stay) Vacation in Place means that guests must remain on the hotel property, where all amenities, including hotel spas, gyms, bars and more will be accessible.
On Nov. 1, The Bahamas will remove the mandatory VIP requirement for all visitors, returning citizens and residents. Attractions, excursions and tours are also set to reopen on Nov.1 as part of The Bahamas’ Phase 3 plan.
The Bahamian government’s new entry requirements for visitors, which came into effect on Sept. 1. 2020, include negative COVID-19 PCR test results no more than seven days prior to travel to The Bahamas; upon receipt of your COVID-19 test results, travelers must submit them at travel.gov.bs/international in order to receive a Bahamas Travel Health Visa, which will be issued shortly after the submission of test results; valid passport; Bahamas Travel Health Visa – the cost will be determined by the length of stay; and the only applicants who are not required to provide a COVID-19 test are children under the age of 10.
Curacao, meanwhile, is slowly reopening to U.S. travelers, allowing only Tri-state residents. Prior to arrival, all visitors must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of traveling. To streamline the entry process, visitors will complete a Digital Immigration Card at dicardcuracao.com, upload their negative results to the portal, and fill out a Passenger Locator Card (PLC) online within 48 hours prior to departure. In addition, residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must present a valid state-issued ID as proof of residence.
Non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will resume on Nov. 7 with weekly service offered on United. The following month, JetBlue will offer twice weekly flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) beginning Dec. 9.
In an effort to keep the global and local community safe, earlier this year Curacao implemented a set of health and safety protocols, branded A Dushi Stay, the Healthy Way — dushi meaning “sweet” in Papiamentu. The comprehensive program includes everything from personnel training and new social distancing practices to hygiene and sanitation guidelines. Additionally, to easily consolidate all pertinent information, the tourist board developed a mobile application called Dushi Stay, which gives travelers access to entry requirements, new island-wide protocols, emergency contact numbers and health tips, as well as open restaurants, attractions, beaches, etc., all at their fingertips.