FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Travelers will be Required to Take a COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen Test Within Three Days of Travel
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS (July 22, 2021) – The Turks and Caicos Islands announces an update to travel requirements to the destination as a part of TCI Assured, a quality assurance pre-travel program and portal, which will require all travelers to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen test result from a test taken within three days of travel, effective on July 28, 2021.
The date of the sample collection must be within three days (72 hours) of the travel date, which was reduced from the previous requirement of a test to be taken within five days of arrival, and a Test Date Calculator on the TCI Assured portal will assist travelers in determining when to take the test. Approved amendments to the Arriving Passengers Health Clearance Regulations also in effect on July 28 include the acceptance of professionally administered Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests (RT-PCR); Nucleic Acid Amplification tests (NAA); RNA or molecular tests; and Antigen tests for entry to the Turks and Caicos Islands. The test must be conducted by a medical laboratory with either of the following credentials: accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP); registered by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA); ISO 15189 certification. Previously, the destination was only accepting RT-PCR tests. Antibody tests and results from home-based test kits will not be accepted.
“We are proud to have safely welcomed travelers to our beautiful Turks and Caicos Islands over the past year and are updating travel requirements to ensure ongoing vigilance and in consideration of the efficacy and turnaround of available COVID-19 tests,” said Honorable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands. “More than 60 percent of the adult population in the Turks and Caicos Islands is fully vaccinated, making us one of the most inoculated countries in the world; combined with our updated TCI Assured program, we are confident in the overall wellbeing of our communities and visitors as travel to the destination continues to flourish.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands has remained vigilant and consistent regarding its international traveler requirements, which are the same for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers. Because of this, the destination has received an Alert Level 1 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This represents a major milestone in the Turks and Caicos Islands’ vaccine campaign, which began in January 2021 and has resulted in more than 60 percent of the adult population being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine—making it one of the most inoculated countries in the world.
The Turks and Caicos Islands—home to the “World’s Best Beach”—is a coveted five-star luxury vacation destination for leisure, business, and notable guests from around the globe. With nine main islands and about 40 small islands and uninhabited cays, the destination is inherently safe for travel in this new paradigm of physical distancing, given its expansiveness, stunning outdoor environment, privacy, spacious resort accommodations, and unique portfolio of extraordinary private villas and private islands vacations. An extensive list of COVID-19 testing facilities across all Sister Islands can be found on the Tourist Board’s official website www.turksandcaicostourism.com.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board encourages travelers to consider the CDC’s Travel Health Notices and the WTTC’s Safe Travels vacation destinations for 2020 and 2021. The Islands’ award-winning hotels and resorts, private villas, restaurants and bars, and tour operators are open and / or are accepting bookings.