Popular vacation spot Turks and Caicos will reopen to visitors on July 22, officials shared with Travel + Leisure.
The British overseas territory, which is made up of more than 40 small islands and cays, plans to reopen with new protocols for things like personal protective equipment and training, which the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board said would be detailed in the coming weeks.
“We are eager and excited to reopen our borders and safely welcome travelers back to the picturesque Turks and Caicos Islands later this summer,” Pamela Ewing, the director of tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, said in a statement to T+L. “In the meantime, we are taking every precaution to ensure the Islands are safe and to enhance the exceptional experience and care afforded by the destination and our world-class hospitality partners. Our intention is to cautiously reboot the tourism sector, laying the foundation for short- and long-term recovery.”
According to the tourism board, airlines have confirmed flight services will resume from the U.S., Canada, and Europe by the time the islands open. The Grand Turk Cruise Center, however, will remain closed until August 31.Turks and Caicos has recorded only 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University, which tracks the spread of the virus. The islands initially closed its border in March, shutting the airport to both regional and international flights and closing seaports, according to the government there. On May 22, the islands announced it would start allowing residents to return by international air travel. The islands currently have a nightly curfew in place and require masks to be worn in public places. On June 5, the island will allow retail businesses to reopen, according to the government, with the opening of restaurants planned for July 6. Turks and Caicos isn’t alone in looking ahead to welcoming tourists back to the Caribbean. St. Lucia will begin a phased reopening on June 4, requiring visitors to have a negative coronavirus test; and the U.S. Virgin Islands reopened for tourism on June 1.