Caribbean Travel In A Post-COVID World
Winter has finally arrived in the United States. In any other normal year, this would trigger your itch to travel to a warmer climate to avoid shoveling snow or just being cold. This year, is... well... different, to say the least. With a pandemic still gripping the world, we are finding ways to cope with major life changes and finding ways to be safe.
Many countries have implemented travel restrictions which have made your international (and domestic) travel more difficult than other years. Odyssey Airways is always staying up to speed on the ever-changing travel restrictions and requirements to enter different countries. As of the writing of this article (December 2nd), we are providing you with a list of places you can travel to this winter. As we compiled our list of warm-weather destinations, we classified each destination with the following designators:
- 1 - Least restrictive travel restrictions for U.S. travelers. These countries require no COVID-19 test or quarantine. There are not many on this list, currently.
- 2 - Restrictive, but not prohibitive. These countries do require COVID-19 testing prior to or upon arrival, however, do not require quarantine with a negative result and symptom-free.
- 3 - Very restrictive, but not prohibitive. These countries require COVID-19 testing AND some type of mandatory quarantine.
- 4 - Prohibitive. These countries do not allow U.S. travel, at this time.
Let's begin with the least restrictive places that you can travel to.
Destinations That Do Not Require A COVID-19 Test
The purpose of this article is to only provide warm-weather destinations to avoid the cold. The following short list includes places the do not require any COVID-19 test or mandatory quarantine.
Florida (United States)
This may not seem like that exotic of a destination to many, however, Florida has long been a popular winter destination and COVID has not changed that. Odyssey Airways has been offering an increased amount of private aircraft charters to and from Florida in 2020.
Many people will escape the cold, snowy winters of the North by escaping to Southwest Florida and enjoy a relaxing beach condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Fort Myers Beach or Naples. If they are looking for something even more quiet, they migrate further south to Marco Island.
For those looking for warm weather shopping, dining, and resorts, you can still travel freely to Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, the art deco district of Miami, and Ocean Drive in South Beach. Finally, for some nightlife that is safely and carefully re-opening, travel to the Florida Keys is still popular this time of year. Whether you prefer to watch the sunset at Mallory Square in Key West, retreat to the very private and exclusive Ocean Reef Club, or go fishing off the coast of Marathon, the Keys have all that you can want.
Mexico is one of the few countries that has not restricted travel much during this pandemic. From experience, I can tell you that they still take the safety and health protocols very seriously. However, they also value their tourism and have found a way to provide a safe balance. Many of our clients have sought a post-COVID international travel experience by flying private with us to visit Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, and Merida.
Like Mexico, the Dominican Republic has not imposed any testing or quarantine requirements. Private flights to and from Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, or Puerto Plata are still about as easy as it was before the pandemic begin. All that is required is a simple health questionairre upon arrival.
Countries That Require A COVID-19 Test
The following countries will require a COVID-19 test prior to arrival, however, they do not require a mandatory quarantine period. Caribbean travel to the following countries are mildly restrictive, in our most current research.
The Bahamas has gone back-and-forth over the summer about their re-opening to tourists. With so many beautiful islands in the Bahamas, their government is being extremely careful to ensure they keep their residents safe. This country would have ended up with our "3" designation prior to November of this year, however, they have eliminated their mandatory quarantine period.
Currently, they only are requiring a negative COVID-19 test within 5 days of arrival and the issuance of a simple health visa. December will see the re-opening of two of Nassau's most famous resorts, the Baha Mar and Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. Other popular destinations where we have seen an increase of private jet flights to and from have included: North Eleuthera, Chub Cay, Staniel Cay, and the Abacos.
Turks and Caicos
The Turks and Caicos has recently re-opened to tourism with similar restrictions as their neighbor, the Bahamas. Flying a private charter flight to or from the Turks and Caicos is possible with just a negative COVID-19 test, proof of MEDEVAC health insurance, and a travel health visa.
As a U.S. territory, you may feel more comfortable beginning your post-COVID travels away from the mainland United States with a visit to Puerto Rico. Odyssey Airways can provide private air charter flights to and from cities in Puerto Rico such as San Juan and Ponce. All that is required is a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival.
Other Caribbean Destinations
The following other Caribbean destinations that require a negative COVID test prior to arrival but no extended or mandatory quarantine include the following:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- St. Barts
- Saint Lucia
- St. Maarten
Most Restrictive Caribbean Destinations
The following countries will all require a COVID-19 test prior to arrival. In addition, they will also require some sort of mandatory quarantine for a period of up to 14 days or the entire duration of your trip. If your intentions are to remain at a resort or your personal yacht the entire time, these restrictions may not be restrictive at all. Therefore, Odyssey Airways is still able to offer private aircraft charters to and from the following Caribbean island nations:
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Saint Vincent & Grenadines
- U.S. Virgin Islands
Countries That Currently Prohibit U.S. Travelers
Although the list is shrinking, there are a few countries in the Caribbean that do not, currently (as of December 2, 2020), allow U.S. travelers for tourism purposes:
- Trinidad and Tobago
If you have any questions on any of the above, please contact us at (813) 207-5002 or visit our website at www.flyodysseyair.com. With any of your travels, we will happily assist you in navigating all of the ever-changing requirements. It's our business to help make your travel an enjoyable one. Let us help you navigate the post-COVID requirements.