When Can We Travel to Mexico and the Caribbean Again? Here Are the Latest Rules

The latest updates on when Caribbean islands and Mexican resort areas plan to reopen—and what they’ll require of travelers upon arrival.

By Frommer’s Staff

LAST UPDATED JULY 8, 2020

The tourism-reliant islands of the Caribbean and the popular coastal areas of Mexico are eager to welcome international visitors again.

But as in every other part of the world, the importance of restarting the economy must be balanced with protecting the health of citizens—particularly in a region where the coronavirus infection rate has up to now been less severe than elsewhere. 

Below, we’ve compiled a roundup of known reopening info for several slices of paradise from this area of the map. We’ll update our report as destinations provide more details. 

Though not mentioned in our listings here, two more factors will play an outsize role in the redevelopment of travel to this region.

The first factor is ocean cruising—but then, there’s actually not much to consider at the moment since most sailings will be suspended for the majority of the summer. 

And the other factor? Hurricane season, the Caribbean’s perennial source of worry that typically starts around June 1 and hits its peak in early autumn.  

Antigua and Barbuda

Reopening date: American Airlines resumed daily service to V.C. Bird International Airport from Miami on June 4, signalling the return of tourism. Flights from New York City via JetBlue resume in early July. The Antigua Barbuda Hotels & Tourism Association maintains a list of hotel reopenings.  

Entry requirements: All arriving passengers must have negative results from Covid-19 tests taken no more than 48 hours before landing in Antigua. Visitors will be required to fill out a health declaration form and submit to a health screening

Health and safety restrictionsTransport vehicles such as taxis and shuttles must limit seating capacity to 50%. A 7pm curfew is in effect until July 31. Hotels must be certified in compliance with the government’s safety and cleaning protocols, which mandate contactless online check-in for guests, testing and masks for employees, and hygiene measures such as the elimination of buffets. Beaches are open from 6am–7pm until the curfew is lifted; masks are not required on beaches, but activities should be limited to 25 people.  

For more information: See the latest travel advisories for Antigua and Barbuda.

Aruba

Reopening dates: Aruba has opted for a staggered border reopening. Visitors from the nearby islands of Bonaire and Curaçao were welcomed back starting on June 15. Aruba’s borders reopened to Canada, Europe, and other Caribbean islands (except the Dominican Republic and Haiti) on July 1. And travelers from the U.S. can enter Aruba starting on July 10

Entry requirements/restrictions: All tourism-related businesses will need to be certified by the Department of Public Health to ensure that those businesses are upholding “stringent cleaning and hygiene” standards. The enhanced protocols apply to taxis, accommodations, restaurants, bars, casinos, retail shops, and tour operators. Among safety measures at the airport: temperature checks, onsite medical professionals, social distance markers, and mandatory PPE for staff members.

For more information: Visit aruba.com.

Bahamas

Reopening date: Commercial travel to the islands resumed on July 1. By the end of the month’s first week, Southwest, JetBlue, Delta, United, and American are all scheduled to resume service to the country. 

Entry requirements/restrictions: negative Covid-19 test result (no older than 10 days, as of July 9), temperature screenings, and a completed electronic health declaration card are required of all incoming visitors. Hotels must follow enhanced cleaning protocols and social distancing measures, such as limiting the number of people in elevators and banning buffets. In restaurants, seating will be spread out. Shops and tours will have limited capacity and touchless transactions. Masks are required in most public places. 

For more information: Visit bahamas.com.

Barbados

Reopening dateJuly 12. Flights into the country from the United States will begin July 25.

Entry requirements/restrictions: Visitors from high-risk countries (with more than 10,000 new cases in the prior seven days) are asked to take a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to departure. Those from low-risk countries will have up to one week to take tests before departure for Barbados.

For more information: Visit the website of the island’s Government Information Service.

Bermuda

Reopening date: Bermuda reopened to travelers on July 1

Entry requirements: Within 48 hours of departure for the island, visitors must complete an online travel authorization process, which includesa fee of $75 per traveler. You’ll need a negative Covid-19 test result (no older than five days upon arrival in Bermuda) and health insurance for entry. After getting to Bermuda, passengers must undergo another round of Covid-19 testing and remain quarantined at their hotels until results are delivered (usually in four to eight hours).

Health and safety restrictionsTwice-daily temperature checks (self-reported by tourists via online portal) and additional Covid-19 tests (on the third, seventh, and 14th days of your stay, depending on the length of your visit) as well as mask wearing and social distancing measures are all required. Group gatherings must be limited to 50 people. 

For more information: See the news alerts from the Bermuda Tourism Authority. 

Cayman Islands

Reopening date: All airports in the island chain are closed to nonessential international traffic until September 1according to the government website. But on May 19, Premier Alden McLaughlin told reporters that the prospect of reopening borders in early September “is not looking good” based on “what I and everybody else is seeing in the United States.”

Entry requirements/restrictions: No detailed tourism plan has been released yet. 

For more information: Visit the islands’ official Covid-19 FAQ page

Cuba

Reopening date: Cuban airspace reopened July 1. American Airlines will resume flights to Havana starting July 7, with Southwest and Air Canada selling tickets for nearby dates. 

Entry requirements/restrictionsAccording to news reports, Cuba is isolating foreigners entirely from the rest of the population by restricting tourists to five small islands offering all-inclusive stays. International arrivals will be tested for the virus before being sent directly to hotels along the northern coast—unless the test result is positive, in which case the government will either quarantine those travelers or send them home. During the all-inclusive vacations, visitors will not be permitted to leave the grounds of their hotels.  

Dominican Republic

Reopening date: The Dominican Republic reopened to tourism on July 1. The airport in Punta Cana has confirmed the resumption of flights from several carriers, including Spirit Airlines, Air Canada, and Frontier Airlines. About half of the country’s hotels are reopening in early July, with the rest to follow by November.    

Entry requirements/restrictionsTemperature checks for arriving passengers are reportedly among the procedures at airports. Hotels are required to adopt strict cleaning protocols, promote social distancing, and use contactless technology where possible. 

Guadeloupe

Reopening date: A ban on U.S. arrivals to the islands of this French overseas region remains in effect “until further notice due to the surge of Covid-19 in the U.S.,” according to an official travel advisory. Air traffic from the European Union and other countries resumed July 1. JetBlue will resume service from New York to Guadeloupe on November 7.  

Entry requirements/restrictions: Arriving passengers will need to present negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure for Guadeloupe. Anyone who doesn’t have a test result can take a test at the airport for a fee of €84 ($95). Results will be texted or emailed within 48 hours; you don’t have to self-quarantine during that time. Masks must be worn at the airport and in taxis. 

For more information: See the tourism website’s Covid-19 updates.  

Jamaica

Reopening date: The island’s borders reopened to international travelers on June 15

Entry requirements: All visitors must submit a travel authorization form online and receive approval for trips to Jamaica. Covid-19 testing via nasal swab is required at the airport. You must remain quarantined at your resort (up to 48 hours) until you receive test results. In the event of a positive result, travelers will be taken to a government facility and quarantined for 14 days at the traveler’s expense. Starting July 10, each visitor from areas designated as high-risk—including Arizona, Florida, New York, and Texas—will need to show a negative result for a test taken within seven days of arrival in Jamaica. 

Health and safety restrictions: Visitors are restricted to resorts in a “Resilient Corridor” between Negril and Portland in the island’s north. Precautions at hotels include online check-in, masks, and enhanced sanitation procedures. 

For more information: Visit Jamaica’s tourism website.  

Mexico

Reopening date: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the temporary closure of the land border with Mexico to July 21. But according to the U.S. Embassy, that restriction “does not apply to air, rail, or sea travel” (with the exception of commuter rail and ferries). So American tourists are allowed to go to Mexico before the official reopening—as long as they don’t plan to drive or walk across the border.

Quintana Roo

Reopening date: The home state of popular resort areas in Cancún and the Riviera Mayabegan welcoming tourists again on June 8

Entry requirements: Passengers will undergo temperature checks via thermal screening and will have to fill out a health questionnaire. Sanitation measures and social distancing markers are in place at airports.   

Health and safety restrictions: In the first phase, hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, and transportation must limit capacity at 30%. Hotels can open their beaches, but public beaches remain closed. Nightclubs and casinos are still closed as well. A sanitation certification program has been instituted to ensure that travel-related businesses meet enhanced health and safety protocols. 

Baja California Sur

Reopening date: This Pacific Coast state, which encompasses the popular Los Cabos resort area, began reopening to tourism on June 15. Daily flights have resumed from these U.S. airlines: Alaska, America, Delta, Southwest, and United, with Spirit following soon.    

Entry requirements/restrictions: A temperature check and completed health screening questionnaire are required upon arrival at the airport. Recreational activities can operate at 30% capacity only. Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses must limit capacity based on density and the size of the establishment, allowing no more than 1 person per 13 square feet. 

For more information: Visit the tourism website for Los Cabos.  

Jalisco

Reopening date: The western state where Puerto VallartaTequila, and Guadalajara are located reopened tourism on June 15. As of early July, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines are all offering daily flights to Puerto Vallarta from the United States. Puerto Vallarta’s tourism website maintains a schedule of hotel reopenings

Entry requirements/restrictions: Thermal video imaging and social distancing measures are in place at the airport. Only beaches located directly in front of resorts are open. Hotels must limit capacity at 25%, while restaurants and cafes can operate at 50% capacity. Still closed: spas, tours, bars, nightclubs, and shopping malls.

For more information: Visit the Covid-19 info page on Puerto Vallarta’s official tourism website.   

Puerto Rico

Reopening date: You can already travel to this U.S. island territory.

Entry requirements: As of July 15, arriving passengers must have negative results from a Covid-19 test taken within the last 72 hours. Otherwise, you’ll be given a rapid test at the airport and ordered to self-quarantine at your own expense. Other airport procedures involve filling out a travel declaration form and undergoing a health screening with a temperature check.

Health and safety restrictions: An island-wide curfew is in effect from 10pm to 5am through July 22.Public beaches are open but group gatherings must be limited to those in the same household. Restaurants, spas, museums, theaters, and casinos are open and operating at 75% capacity. Masks are mandatory in public; violators are subject to fines. 

For more information: See Puerto Rico’s travel advisory

St. Barths

Reopening date: As of June 22, all visitors, including those from the United States, are welcome back, according to Bruno Magras, president of the island’s territorial council. 

Entry requirements: Visitors have two options. Flyers can either present negative Covid-19 test results at the airport before leaving for the Caribbean (tests must be taken no more than 72 hours before the flight). Or travelers can opt to take a test upon arrival and promise to quarantine until they get the results. Those who test positive will be expected to remain in quarantine. Those staying longer than a week will be asked to retake the test after seven days.

Health and safety restrictionsHotels and villas have adopted enhanced cleaning procedures. Some properties are limiting access to restaurants, allowing hotel guests only. The island’s beaches, restaurants, bars, and lounges are all open. 

St. Lucia

Reopening date: As of June 9, tourists from the United States and Canada are welcome to return, according to government ministers.

Entry requirements: Flyers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test result at the airport before they leave for the Caribbean, and tests must have been taken within seven days of travel to St. Lucia. All passengers must arrive with a completed pre-arrival registration form available on the St. Lucia tourism site (because the form must be printed, it should be filled out before leaving home). Your temperature will be checked once you arrive.

Health and safety restrictions: Hotels will be certified for complying with hygiene and safety rules, and arrivals must have proof that their chosen accommodation is government-approved. Tourist attractions and car rentals are unavailable (though authorized taxis will be running). Some shops will be open, but capacity will be limited. Restaurants will not be open for sit-down meals—you’ll have to settle for takeout or delivery only. Restrictions are scheduled to loosen further on August 1

St. Martin/St. Maarten

Reopening date: The divided island reopened to Canadians and Europeans on July 1, but flights from the United States will be barred until July 15. American, JetBlue, and Spirit have all announced flights for the second half of July.    

Entry requirements/restrictions: International arrivals will need negative results from a Covid-19 PCR test, taken no more than 72 hours before the day of travel. Show up with a completed health declaration form and proof of health insurance, too. Passengers must undergo temperature screening when they get to the island; anybody exhibiting symptoms will have to take another test onsite. Starting at the airport, wear a mask in all public areas.

For more information: Visit stmaartenupdates.com.

Turks and Caicos

Reopening date: International arrivalsresume at Providenciales International Airport on July 22, with service fromAmerican Airlines, JetBlue, Delta Air Lines, and Air Canada. The Grand Turk Cruise Center will remain closed until August 31.

Entry requirements: Visitors must be certified by TCI Assured, a portal accessible via the Turks and Caicos tourism website. Requirements for that certification: proof of negative Covid-19 test results at least 72 hours prior to arrival in the Caribbean, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire.

Health and safety restrictions: New measures to expect at airports, hotels, restaurants, and elsewhere include health screenings, physical distancing, mandatory use of face coverings in public (though masks are only “recommended” on beaches), and social gatherings limited to 25 people. Restaurant seating is limited at 70% capacity. 

For more information: See the Turks and Caicos official tourism website.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Reopening date: The islands in this U.S. territory began welcoming visitors back on June 1

Entry requirements: Incoming passengers must complete a health screening that includes a temperature check. “Symptomatic guests will be referred to the Department of Health,” according to the official guidelines.  

Health and safety restrictionsTaxis, bars, and restaurants are all operating, but must limit capacity to 50%Beaches are open with social distancing requirements. Retail shops (excluding grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations) can’t let in more than 10 people at a time. Casinos are closed. Masks are required “in all commercial entities,” and gatherings are capped at 10 people. 

For more information: See the official USVI web page for Covid-19 updates.

Source: Frommer’s
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