You’re packing your bags and getting ready for the destination wedding of a lifetime with your significant other after spending weeks in quarantine. There’s excitement brewing in the air as the Uber rolls in to drive you to the airport, where throngs of travelers flood the terminals and TSA. Security and other employees are still taking major precautions, many decked out in familiar face masks. Despite the safety measures, a thought creeps into your head: is the tropical paradise we’re traveling to really that safe?

The world has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented crisis that has swept across every corner of the globe. With the coronavirus impacting our favorite destinations, countries have developed impeccable solutions to not only foster national health but also welcome back travelers. So let’s kickstart the coordinating once more, and review how destinations have responded to COVID-19:

Mexico

Now Open: Portions of Mexico are now open to travel.
Health and Safety Measures follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
Activities directly necessary to attend to the health emergency, such as the work activities of the medical, paramedical, administrative and support branches throughout the National Health System (pharmacies, clinics, etc.).
Activities relating to public safety and citizen protection; in defense of national integrity and sovereignty; the procurement and promotion of justice; as well as legislative activity at the federal and state levels (law enforcement, EMTs, fire departments, etc.).
Groceries and food vendors are open and operating under strict food handling protocols.
No meetings or congregations of more than 50 people may be held.
People should wash their hands frequently.
People should sneeze or cough covering their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or with the forearm.
All other healthy distance measures issued by the Ministry of Health should be incorporated.
Mexico will lift restrictions on domestic travel on May 30, meaning luxury resorts will open their doors to travelers shortly after.
Los Cabos announced a five-phase reopening plan that began with June 1st with “limited travel activity” and the implementation of new health and safety standards, including a “Clean Point” quality certification offered by the Mexican government to travel suppliers like airports, transportation services, and restaurants that meet high hygiene standards.
Some popular brands have reopened including Palace Resorts, AM Resorts, RIU Resorts, Palladium Resorts, Royalton Resorts, and more.

Jamaica

Now Open: Portions of Jamaica are now open to travel.
Pre-testing: Proof of COVID test prior to travel required from any travelers coming from designated hot-zones (inquire with government postings).
Health and Safety Measures (follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
A new application for self-monitoring by persons in isolation and quarantine was implemented by the MOHW.
Additional isolation facilities have been identified to accommodate approximately 300 persons outside of hospital.
Escalate the identification of cases and contacts, contact tracing, establishment of national quarantine and isolation facilities and installation of equipment and materials for case management.
Expand community engagement and risk communication for persons in home quarantine and isolation.
All airports and seaports have been closed for inbound international passengers through May 31.

Dominican Republic

Now Open: Portions of the Dominican Republic are now open to travel and tourism. All incoming international travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test result dating back no more than 5 days prior to arrival. If a traveler is unable to do so, an onsite test will be conducted by local health officials at the airport. In the event that a traveler tests positive for COVID-19 at the airport, the government of the Dominican Republic has stated that he/she will have to quarantine in a government quarantine center.
Health and Safety Measures follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
Previous measures included:
A national curfew that prohibits all traffic and movement of people from 5pm to 6am.
Creation of a national hotline for questions relating to COVID-19 if you have been exposed or are experiencing severe symptoms.
Cruise arrivals have been suspended at all ports and coasts.
Public transportation, including buses, shared minibuses (guaguas), metro trains, and cable cars have suspended services, limiting the public’s ability to move freely in urban areas.
Events and public gatherings of all kinds suspended.
Roadblocks have been set up at various points throughout the country prohibiting internal travel in the country. U.S. citizens with urgent travel, including travel to the airport for departure, should be prepared to present supporting documentation to the Dominican authorities at each check point.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica
Stay at Home Order: March 16, 2020 – Present
Health and Safety Measures (follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
Until June 15, only Costa Rican citizens, Costa Rican residents who departed Costa Rica PRIOR to March 24, those whose residency is in process who departed Costa Rica PRIOR to March 24, minor children of Costa Rican citizens, and foreign diplomats will be able to enter Costa Rica. This restriction applies to land, sea, and air arrivals. Air crews will not be subject to this restriction.
Tourist stays in Costa Rica are normally limited to 90 days, but under the current COVID border restrictions, any foreigner who entered Costa Rica after December 17, 2019 for tourism purposes has been granted an extension of stay until July 17, 2020.
Driving privileges for tourists who entered Costa Rica after December 17 have also been extended until July 17.
Management of both airports that receive international flights (San Jose and Liberia) have protocols in place in order to deal with suspected COVID-19 cases.
Puerto Caldera, the main commercial port on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, has also established a protocol for suspected COVID-19 cases.
Anyone arriving in Costa Rica from another country must self-quarantine for 14 days. Arrivals are also being tested at port of entry for COVID-19.
Costa Rica began easing some coronavirus measures on May 1, allowing theaters, cinemas, hair salons, gyms and athletic centers to reopen under reduced hours and strict sanitary guidelines.
A ban on foreign tourists is currently set to expire on June 15, but it could be extended as a precaution.

Panama

Panama
Stay at Home Order: March 25, 2020 – Present
Health and Safety Measures (follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
Panama enacted nationwide movement restrictions, also referred to as quarantine, effective March 25, 2020. Decree 504 established that people who break health regulations and quarantines could be fined​ between $50,000 to $100,000.
On May 11, the Government of Panama announced a gradual plan to reopen the economy beginning May 13.
All international and domestic commercial passenger flights are suspended. There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies,​medical evacuation, and government aircraft flights.
Any U.S. Citizens remaining in Panama should be prepared to remain indefinitely.
A presidential decree ordered the closure of non-essential businesses. Only markets, supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, among other exceptions, will be able to operate.
Schools and universities are closed nation-wide until April 7. Sporting events, festivals, and all gatherings larger than 50 people, as well as public spaces and venues, have been banned.
Travelers are advised to take common-sense precautions like washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands, and encourage people around you to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Bahamas

Bahamas
Stay at Home Order: March 24, 2020 – Present
Health and Safety Measures (follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report)
All airports, including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs), shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor, unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
All seaports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring, and private boating.
Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter-island, except for transport of freight; or inter-island private commercial sea transport.
Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet must be followed at all times while outside the home.
All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.
Arriving visitors are required to complete health questionnaires and undergo official screenings at ports, hotels, and rental properties in order to identify those who may require monitoring or treatment.

Caribbean Islands

Aruba
Stay at Home Order: March 26, 2020 – Present
Health and Safety Measures (follow link in gallery’s first image for US Embassy’s report for all Caribbean Islands)
Every establishment has to be closed by 8:00 PM. Every bar and restaurant will be closed for dining in, with only an exception for drive-thru or delivery until 8:00 PM.
The curfew will still be valid from 9:00 PM until 6:00 AM, there is an exception for the pharmacy on duty and the hospital, those two can stay open.
The Government of Aruba has implemented a curfew from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM. During these hours, nobody is allowed on the streets, except for essential workers. Those who do not comply with the regulations of the curfew can get a fine up to 10,000 Aruban florins and for violation of opening hrs up to 1000 florins.
Passengers traveling from the Netherlands, Europe, The USA and other countries on the list of WHO, will be restricted to enter Aruba. With the exception for residents.
A recommendation goes to all owners or organizers of social, religious, restaurant activities, where there is a mass gathering to keep it to a maximum of 50 persons.
All public activities (organized by the government) and private activities, from which a (polis) permit has been granted are canceled.
International Airport Reina Beatrix has elevated its control of all flights coming from countries which are not on the restriction list. To be more precise European countries.
Aruba will reopen its borders to travelers beginning as early as June 15. It’s believed international visitors can come back as soon as July 1 though it’s unclear exactly which countries’ citizens are allowed.

St. Lucia
Stay at Home Order: March 20, 2020 – May 31, 2020
Health and Safety Measures
All schools are closed.
Non-essential businesses are closed.
Curfew between 23:00 and 05:00. Changed to 19:00 to 05:00 on 5 April.
Bars are closed, and restaurants are limited to take-out and drive-through service only. Alcohol sales were prohibited from 29 March until 8 May.
Air and sea ports are closed, except for cargo shipments and outgoing flights to repatriate foreign nationals.
Limited reopening of minimarts and bakeries. Home supplies and hardware shorts reopened. Construction will be allowed under conditions, reopening of fabric stores.

St. Martin
Stay at Home Order: March 29, 2020 – April 17, 2020
Health and Safety Measures
The airport and ports are closed for passengers. This does not apply to residents of Sint Maarten who have to quarantine for 14 days, and essential travel from Saba, Sint-Eustatius, and Curaçao.
A list of maximum prices for some essential goods was published.
Everybody should stay at home except when they have special permission to travel. The border between Sint Maarten and Saint Martin is closed and jointly patrolled with the French government.
A curfew was implemented from 20:00 until 6:00.
A total lock-down was announced. Nobody is allowed to leave their house for the coming two weeks. The lock-down ended on 17 April 2020.
There are no commercial flights scheduled into Sint Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport as of April, and there is no scheduled restart date as of now. Repatriation flights are allowed to land empty in order to retrieve international tourists returning home.

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