Traveling to the Caribbean this winter is easier and more open than it was last year but there are still protocols to meet and hoops to jump through for visitors from other countries. Those who have been fully vaccinated will find entry into the island nations easier than those who are unvaccinated. For sailors in North America, the BVI is one of the most popular destinations and the country has set up some simple pre-travel forms to fill out to apply for a BVI travel certificate. Entry into the BVI is dependent on a negative covid test 48 hours before arrival and the purchase of approved travel insurance for each person. You can find the complete BVI Gateway protocols here.
Down Island, most of the island nations have strict requirements on testing, vaccinations and masking. Countries like Antigua and Barbuda rely on tourism and cruisers for a large part of their income and thus have mandated vaccinations for all service workers and officials. Plus, masks are required both indoors and outdoors. Yet, the word from friends in Antigua and other islands is that life is back to more or less normal, if you are vaccinated and wear a mask.
As we enter the height of winter in the north, and even in frigid Florida, the allure of the Caribbean is as strong as ever and the charter companies are ready, willing and able to provide memorable sailing vacations. If you’ve got the urge for going, it now is possible to go.
On January 10, Travel Weekly published a summery of the protocols for every country in the Caribbean that you can find here.