Severity: Warning Alert

Exit/Entry: Varying restrictions continue in Central America and the Caribbean through mid-September due to COVID-19 as some countries reopen.

Alert Begins 04 Sep 2020 03:45 PM UTC
Alert Expires 11 Sep 2020 11:59 PM UTC

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Regionwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Severe transport, travel, and business disruptions

Authorities in the Caribbean and Central America will maintain travel, business, and movement restrictions of varying degrees through at least mid-September to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while attempting to reopen their economies. The exact duration of the measures will almost certainly depend on disease activity and local authorities' preparedness to respond to the pandemic. While most countries and territories have implemented recovery programs to gradually roll back restrictions, stricter measures are being reapplied across some nations or in highly targeted areas, due to increased disease activity after reopening plans were initiated. The following measures are in place as of Sept. 4:


  • Anguilla: All air and sea ports are closed to most nonresident foreign nationals from high-risk areas through Oct. 31. Only highly-regulated pre-approved entry is permitted as of Aug. 21.


  • Antigua and Barbuda: Air and sea ports have reopened with enhanced health screenings. A 2300-0500 curfew is in effect through Oct. 29; however, most other internal restrictions have been lifted.


  • Aruba: Travelers from Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Central America, and South America remain banned. A 0001-0500 curfew and other restrictions on gatherings are in place.


  • Bahamas: International commercial flights may enter the Bahamas. A 2200-0500 curfew is in place on Grand Bahama, New Providence, and some of the Family Islands until further notice.


  • Barbados: Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) reopened to all commercial passenger flights July 12, with specific traveler requirements depending on the traveler's point of origin.


  • Belize: Borders remain closed to all foreign nationals. All curfew orders were lifted as of Sept. 4; however, business and movement restrictions are in place.


  • Bermuda: LF Wade International Airport (BDA) reopened to international passenger flights July 2.


  • British Virgin Islands: Air and sea ports have reopened for citizens, permanent residents, work permit holders, and business travelers; however, most nonresident foreign leisure travelers are still banned. A 1301-0500 curfew is in place until Sept. 16.


  • Caribbean French Territories: Arriving passengers are subject to advanced health screenings and quarantine protocols. Most nonessential businesses and activities have resumed.


  • Caribbean Netherlands: Passenger flights to Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius remain suspended through Oct. 1, with some exceptions. Most businesses and recreational activities have resumed.


  • Cayman Islands: All international passenger flights are suspended until at least Oct. 1. Cruise ships and private vessels are also banned from docking. Limits on group gatherings are in place.


  • Costa Rica: Nonresident foreign nationals from EU countries, Canada, and the UK may enter the country as of Aug. 1; travelers from certain US states may enter as of Sept. 1. A regional reopening plan of varying restrictions will be maintained through September.


  • Cuba: All international commercial passenger flights are suspended, and foreign maritime vessels are banned from docking. Charter flights are permitted in some areas. A phased reopening plan was launched June 18. Measures vary by province, with tighter restrictions and a curfew in place in Havana.


  • Curacao: International and regional flights have resumed, though restrictions remain for some international travelers. Most business restrictions have been lifted.


  • Dominica: Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM) reopened to international commercial and private passenger flights Aug. 7.


  • Dominican Republic: Borders reopened to passenger traffic July 1. Restrictions on public activities remain in effect. Differential curfew measures are in place through Sept. 28.


  • El Salvador: All international passenger flights and operations at El Salvador International Airport (SAL) remain suspended. Nonresident foreign nationals are prohibited from entering the country until further notice. Most restrictions on commercial activity were eased Aug. 24.


  • Grenada: Air and sea ports reopened to international travel Aug. 1, with specific traveler requirements depending on the traveler's point of origin. Seaports have reopened to regional recreational vessels under certain regulations.


  • Guatemala: Officials have canceled all passenger flights in and out of the country and banned the entry of all nonresident foreign nationals. A curfew is in effect daily 2100-0400 until Sept. 7. A recovery plan was launched July 27, involving a four-tier color-coded alert system.


  • Haiti: Commercial flights resumed June 30, and the land border reopened July 1. A 0001-0400 curfew is in effect until further notice.


  • Honduras: Land and sea borders are closed to passenger traffic until further notice; however, international flights from all four international airports resumed Aug. 17. A regional recovery plan is in place, with most major population centers under stricter restrictions through Sept. 6.


  • Jamaica: Air and sea ports reopened to all travelers June 15. A 2100-0500 curfew is in place through Sept. 30.


  • Montserrat: Most nonresidents are banned from entry. Most business operations have resumed.


  • Nicaragua: Most international commercial passenger flights remain suspended through at least early September. Honduras and Costa Rica have suspended ground passenger traffic at their land borders with Nicaragua.


  • Panama: All commercial international passenger flights are suspended, except for citizens and legal residents, as of Aug. 17. A 1900-0500 weekday curfew remains in force nationwide, with varied weekend curfews in different regions. Restrictions are tightened in Panama and Panama Oeste provinces. Businesses continue to reopen gradually.


  • Puerto Rico: The border reopened to nonresident foreign travelers July 15, though authorities are only encouraging essential travel. A curfew is in effect 2200-0500 Monday-Saturday, with a full lockdown on Sundays, through Sept. 11. Capacity limits on businesses and restrictions on entertainment establishments are in place.


  • Saint Kitts and Nevis: All air and sea ports are closed to nonresident foreign travelers, but residents are permitted to return.


  • Saint Lucia: Airports resumed operations June 4, and seaports reopened July 10. Full business operations resumed May 20.


  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Argyle International Airport (AIA) has reopened primarily to flights serving other Caribbean destinations. Yachts are permitted to enter, subject to pre-approval.


  • Sint Maarten: Only limited regional and international flights have resumed as of July 1, with travel from the US permitted as of Aug. 1.


  • Trinidad and Tobago: All air and sea ports are closed to passenger aircraft and vessels. Restrictions on nonessential businesses and activities have been reimposed until Sept. 13.


  • Turks and Caicos: The airport reopened to passenger traffic July 22; however, the cruise center will remain closed through January 2021. A 2000-0500 curfew is in effect through Sept. 15.


  • US Virgin Islands: All arriving international travelers are subject to health screenings. Stay-at-home orders and other restrictions in place through Sept. 8.


Although some ports of entry have gradually begun reopening across the region, repatriation and international flight options remain limited. Most flight bans, where they are in effect, do not apply to cargo, humanitarian, or medical flights. Restrictions may be relaxed, reimposed, or otherwise amended based on disease activity.

All countries are enforcing enhanced health screenings for arriving nonresidents, legal residents, and citizens, and may require additional approved documentation to permit entry, such as a negative COVID-19 test dated within a certain period before arrival. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are being conducted at some airports, in most cases at the expense of the traveler. Travelers may be subject to different quarantine protocols across the region.

Confirm all travel arrangements and entry requirements before departing. Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Ensure contingency plans take into account the potential for new COVID-19-related measures to be imposed or current restrictions to be extended. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny, delays, and potential quarantine.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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