Turks and Caicos Islands is preparing to reopen to visitors effective on July 22, 2020 with a specific mandate that they will have to meet.
In a media announcement released by the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board, international travelers planning to come to this archipelago will be required to be certified by TCI Assured, a quality assurance portal that will become available on the board’s website shortly.
Upon arrival by air, visitors are expected to present their TCI Assured certifications to local authorities, all of whom will be wearing personal protective equipment, before proceeding through immigration where temperature checks will also take place.
According to the new policy, the certification sticker will be provided only after visitors have provided proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test results from an accredited facility at least 72 hours prior to their arrival to the destination, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire. A 14-day quarantine period will not be required for visitors once they have tested negative for the virus.
In a media release, Honorable Ralph Higgs, minister of tourism, stated that the TCI Assured certifications and other COVID-19 related procedures will confidently and safety the reopening of Turks and Caicos’ borders.
“These measures will protect against the pandemic as travel resumes and allow guests to focus on enjoying the exceptional vacation experience afforded by the destination, our picturesque beaches, and our world-class hospitality partners,” said Higgs.
Airports, hotels, restaurants and other public and private services relating to tourism will also follow new operational protocols. These new measures will incorporate health screenings, physical distancing, mandatory use of face coverings in public, recommended use of face coverings on the beach, and social gatherings limited to 25 people or less.
Hotel and restaurant employees will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. At beaches and pools, mandates require that umbrellas and chairs must be at least six feet apart to allow for physical distancing. Restaurants must reduce seating capacity to 70 percent, eliminate self-service buffets, and make hand sanitizer available at the entrances.
The announcement of the reopening from Turks and Caicos Islands tourism board also include news relating to airline partners, including American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta Airlines, and Air Canada. They will resume flight services from within the United States and Canada as of July 22. Private jet terminals will open on July 22 as well in conjunction with the reopening of Providenciales International Airport.
The Grand Turk Cruise Center, a complex and cruise port with gift shops and restaurants that is also the launch point for cruise ship shore excursions, will remain closed until August 31, subject to guidance from relevant health authorities.