Severity: Warning Alert
Entry/Exit: Various restrictions to continue in Central America and Caribbean into May due to COVID-19 activity. Disruptions ongoing.
The locations affected by this alert are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Sint Maarten
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- Saint Martin
- Saint Barthelemy
- Caribbean Netherlands
This alert began 22 Apr 2020 15:40 GMT and is scheduled to expire 30 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
- Location(s): Regional (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least early May
- Impact: Flight cancellations; disruptions to travel, transport, and business; increased security
Travel, business, and other restrictions will likely remain in force in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America into May to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The duration of the measures will likely depend on the course of disease activity worldwide. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.
- Anguilla: Closure of all air and sea ports to all passenger movements until further notice. Internal movement and business restrictions in place through at least May 12. Continued suspension of most nonessential business and a ban on public gatherings, sit-down restaurant services, and the closure of all licensed premises, places of worship, and schools.
- Antigua and Barbuda: VC Bird International Airport (ANU) closed to all incoming commercial passenger flights. Entry ban for nonresidents. Nationwide 24-hour curfew through April 23.
- Aruba: Entry ban for all nonresident foreigners, as well as returning citizens and legal residents. Nationwide shelter-in-place order issued with an accompanying 2100-0600 curfew through at least April 28. Nonessential commercial activity is limited.
- Bahamas: All air and sea ports closed to passenger movements until further notice. Varied movement restrictions through at least the end of April; internal movement regulated by surnames.
- Barbados: Suspension of commercial international passenger flights, with negotiations for some airlines to provide limited services. All persons arriving on the island will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. A 24-hour curfew imposed through at least May 3 except for essential purchases and services. Internal movement regulated by surnames.
- Belize: Closure of all ports of entry to passenger movements, including Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), through April 30. A 2000-0500 nightly curfew is imposed April 1-30; the public is urged to shelter-in-place during daytime hours.
- Bermuda: Closure of LF Wade International Airport (BDA) for all international passenger flights since March 20, until further notice. Cargo jet arrivals will be restricted to three days per week. Cargo operations at the Hamilton Dock are continuing as normal. A 24-hour shelter-in-place order is in effect through May 2; internal movement regulated by surnames.
- British Virgin Islands: All air and sea ports closed to all inbound passengers from March 22 until further notice. A 24-hour curfew is in place territorywide April 19-April 25.
- Caribbean Netherlands: Temporary entry ban for nonresidents traveling to Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius, and suspension of passenger flights until further notice. All education facilities are closed, and sporting events, festivals, and large gatherings are banned until further notice. Nonessential business is limited.
- Cayman Islands: All international passenger flights suspended since March 22 until further notice. Cruises and private vessels have also been banned. Varied movement restrictions and curfew measures effective 1900 April 17-0500 May 1. Internal movement regulated by surnames.
- Costa Rica: All ground, air, and maritime borders have been closed to nonresident foreign nationals through May 15, with only Costa Rican citizens and residents allowed to enter the country, followed by a 14-day quarantine. Restrictive measures implemented for nonessential commercial activities and schools. Varied vehicular transit bans in place through May 1.
- Cuba: All commercial and charter international passenger flights suspended, and foreign sea vessels asked to withdraw, as of April 2. Entry ban for all nonresident foreigners since March 24. All tourists in the country to remain quarantined until their departure. All interprovincial transport is suspended. Restrictive measures implemented for nonessential commercial activities, public transport, and schools. Localized quarantines and curfew measures imposed in certain areas.
- Curacao: Officials canceled most passenger flights coming into the country and banned residents from leaving the island. Maritime passenger traffic has been suspended. Arriving residents must self-quarantine for 14 days. A shelter-in-place order and 2100-0600 curfew are in effect through April 27.
- Dominica: All passenger flights suspended as of March 30. Nonessential commercial activities have been suspended. A 1800-0600 curfew will be imposed on weekdays, with a 24-hour total curfew on weekends, through May 11.
- Dominican Republic: Closure of land, sea, and air borders to passenger movements since March 19 until further notice. Suspension of nonessential commercial activities and a 1700-0600 curfew has been imposed through April 30. All travel between municipalities is banned.
- El Salvador: Suspension of all international passenger flights and operations at El Salvador International Airport (SAL). Entry ban for all nonresident foreign nationals until further notice. Mandatory quarantine in place and nationwide closure of nonessential business through at least April 28.
- Grenada: All airports closed to commercial passenger traffic until further notice. Ports are closed for disembarkation for all cruise ships and pleasure craft. A 24-hour curfew will continue until further notice, except on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
- Guadeloupe: International passenger flights to Point-a-Pitre suspended. Limited flights between Guadeloupe and metropolitan France. All persons arriving at the Guadeloupe islands will be subject to strict confinement measures. A 2000-0500 curfew and restrictions on nonessential business and movements in effect through May 11.
- Guatemala: Officials have canceled all passenger flights in and out of the country and banned entry of all nonresident foreign nationals. Nationwide 1800-0400 curfew and closure of nonessential business enforced through April 27. Additional restrictions on Chimaltenango, El Progreso, Guatemala, and Sacatepequez departments.
- Haiti: Closure of all land, air, and sea ports of entry and exit to passenger movements, as well as the suspension of all commercial flights. A 2000-0500 curfew has been imposed until May 19. Restrictions on education institutions and public gatherings in place. Some intermunicipal public transport suspended.
- Honduras: Closure of land, sea, and air borders to passenger movements until further notice. Suspension of all international flights. A 24-hour curfew has been imposed nationwide through April 26. Severe restrictions on internal movement except to procure food and medicines, or for banking purposes, regulated by ID and passport numbers.
- Jamaica: All air and sea ports closed to inbound international passenger traffic until May 31. Ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people. A 1800-0600 nationwide curfew will be imposed through May 6.
- Martinique: International passenger flights at Martinique Aime Cesaire International Airport (FDF) suspended until further notice. Limited flights between Martinique and metropolitan France. All maritime transportation and cruise calls suspended. Restrictions on nonessential business and movements in effect through May 11.
- Montserrat: Most nonresidents banned from entry. A mandatory 14-day quarantine period is in place for all who enter. A 24-hour shutdown will be imposed effective April 23-May 1.
- Nicaragua: No official restrictions as of April 22; however, most international commercial passenger flights have been suspended. Repatriation options are limited.
- Panama: Suspension of all commercial international passenger flights since March 22. Officials imposed a mandatory 24-hour quarantine nationwide from March 25. Movement outside homes is allowed on a limited basis determined by the last digit of a person's passport or residency card and their gender.
- Puerto Rico: A 2100-0500 curfew is in effect through May 3. Nonessential services and businesses are to remain closed.
- Saint Barthelemy: International passenger flights suspended. Limited flights between Saint Barthelemy and metropolitan France. A general lockdown is being enforced by security personnel, which prohibits all nonessential movements through May 11.
- Saint Kitts and Nevis: All air and sea ports closed to passenger movements since March 25, until further notice. Varied movement restrictions and curfew measures in effect through April 24.
- Saint Lucia: All air and sea ports closed to incoming passenger travel since March 24. A 1900-0500 curfew is in effect through April 26. Daytime nonessential movements are restricted.
- Saint Martin: All international passenger flights at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) suspended. Limited flights between Saint Martin and metropolitan France. Ground travel between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is prohibited, with limited exceptions. A general lockdown is being enforced by security personnel, which prohibits all nonessential movements through May 11.
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Suspension of all international passenger flights at Argyle International Airport (AIA) as of April 2, until further notice. Bequia, Canouan, and Union Island ports of entry closed to yachts and pleasure craft. Most persons arriving will be subject to mandatory quarantine orders. Restrictions on certain businesses.
- Sint Maarten: Suspension of all inbound commercial passenger flights. Ground travel between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is limited. Essential businesses will only be allowed to open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, through May 10.
- Trinidad and Tobago: Restricted entry for all nonresident foreigners until further notice. Stay-at-home order in effect through April 30. Restrictive measures on nonessential commercial activities, schools, and public gatherings.
- Turks and Caicos: Closure of all sea and air ports to passenger movements since March 24, until further notice. Returning citizens and legal residents will be subject to quarantine protocols. A mandatory 24-hour curfew is imposed through May 4. Restrictions on public gatherings and nonessential commercial activity.
- US Virgin Islands: Closure of the territory's ports to all nonresidents March 25-April 25. Mandatory stay-at-home order imposed through April 30.
Countries could expand travel restrictions in the coming days, particularly if the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases increases. Most ports of entry have been closed across the region, and repatriation options are limited. However, in all countries and territories where ports of entry and exit have been closed, or where flights have been suspended, the restrictions have been placed on passenger movements and not on cargo, freight, or humanitarian transportation. Officials in most countries have also announced additional internal measures to combat the spread of the infection, including banning mass gatherings, temporarily canceling in-person classes at schools and universities, suspending nonessential commercial activity, and implementing localized or national curfews. Multiple private businesses and public offices are allowing employees to work remotely.
Background and Analysis
The measures taken by these governments correspond with similar actions taken by other governments globally in recent days in response to the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.
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 account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. 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 a disposable tissue, 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.
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int