Severity: Critical Alert
Entry/Exit: Various restrictions to remain in place in Central America and Caribbean through mid-April 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 03 Apr 2020 16:08 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.
- Incident: COVID-related restrictions
- Location(s): Regional (map)
- Time Frame: Through at least mid-April
- Impact: Flight cancellations, disruptions to travel, transport, and business
Travel, business, and other restrictions will likely remain in force in several countries in the Caribbean and Central America through at least mid-April 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 through April 9. Suspension of all nonessential movements through April 10, as well as a ban on public gatherings, restaurant sit-down 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 April 2-9.
- Aruba: Entry ban for all nonresident foreigners, as well as returning citizens and legal residents, through April 19. Nationwide shelter-in-place order issued with an accompanying 2100-0600 curfew, March 29-April 19. Nonessential commercial activity is limited.
- Bahamas: All air and sea ports closed until further notice, with the exception of maritime freight traffic. Nationwide 24-hour curfew and closure of nonessential businesses in place through April 8; residents may only leave their homes to purchase essential supplies. Ban on gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Barbados: Suspension of commercial international flights, with negotiations for some airlines to provide limited services. Persons arriving from China, Iran, South Korea, Europe, and the US will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. A 24-hour curfew has been imposed through at least April 8, except for essential purchases and services.
- Belize: Closure of all ports of entry, including Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE), for 30 days as of March 23. Authorities to review border closures on or about April 23. A 2000-0500 nightly curfew is imposed through 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 as of 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 April 4-18.
- British Virgin Islands: All air and sea ports closed to all inbound passengers March 22-April 6. A 24-hour curfew for all but essential services is imposed across the territory April 4-16. Movement for essential purchases is allowed on a limited basis and is regulated by surnames. The measure does not apply for freight, cargo, or courier transport.
- 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. Officials in Sint Eustatius have issued stay-at-home orders until April 15.
- Cayman Islands: All international flights suspended as of March 22 until further notice. Cruises and private vessels have also been banned. A 24-hour curfew is in effect through April 17; movement for essential purchases is allowed on a limited basis and is regulated by surnames.
- Costa Rica: All ground, air, and maritime borders have been closed, 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 April 12.
- Cuba: All commercial and charter international flights suspended, and foreign sea vessels asked to withdraw, as of April 2. Cargo operations and humanitarian flights can continue. 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 and schools.
- Curacao: Officials canceled most passenger flights coming into the country and banned residents from leaving the island through at least early April. Maritime traffic has been suspended, except for cargo. Arriving residents must self-quarantine for 14 days. A 24-hour shelter-in-place order is in effect March 30-April 13.
- 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 April 20.
- Dominican Republic: Closure of land, sea, and air borders as of March 19 until further notice. Suspension of nonessential commercial activities and a 1700-0600 curfew has been imposed through April 18.
- El Salvador: Suspension of all international passenger flights and operations at El Salvador International Airport (SAL) through April 19. Entry ban for all nonresident foreign nationals until further notice. Mandatory quarantine in place and nationwide closure of nonessential business through April 20.
- Grenada: All airports closed to commercial passenger traffic until further notice. Ports are closed for disembarkation for all cruise ships and pleasure craft. A mandatory 24-hour curfew is in place 0700 March 30-0700 April 6.
- Guadeloupe: Passenger flights to Point-a-Pitre suspended through April 18. All flights between Guadeloupe and metropolitan France suspended through April 22. All persons arriving at the Guadeloupe islands will be subject to strict confinement measures. Nonessential business limited. All movements are prohibited between 2000-0500 in Baie-Mahault, Pointe-a-Pitre, Les Abymes, Saint Anne, Basse-Terre, and Sainte-Rose communes through April 15.
- Guatemala: Officials have canceled all passenger flights in and out of the country and banned entry of all nonresident foreign nationals through April 12. Nationwide 1600-0400 curfew and closure of nonessential business in effect through April 12.
- Haiti: Closure of all land, air, and sea ports of entry and exit, as well as the suspension of all commercial flights, until further notice. A 2000-0500 curfew has been imposed until further notice. Restrictions on education institutions and public gatherings in place.
- Honduras: Closure of land, sea, and air borders until further notice. Suspension of all international flights. A 24-hour curfew has been imposed nationwide through April 12. 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 further notice. Ban on all gatherings of more than 10 people. Nationwide curfew 2000-0600 imposed April 1-8.
- Martinique: Passenger flights at Martinique Aime Cesaire International Airport (FDF) suspended until further notice. Flights between Martinique and metropolitan France suspended through April 22. All maritime transportation and cruise calls suspended. A 2000- 0500 curfew has been imposed from April 1. Public health services are exempt.
- Montserrat: Most nonresidents banned from entry. A mandatory 14-day quarantine period is in place for all who do enter. A 0500-1900 curfew is imposed through at least April 10.
- Nicaragua: No official restrictions as of March 20; however, significant disruptions to international air travel are likely and repatriation options are becoming increasingly limited.
- Panama: Suspension of all commercial international flights from March 22-April 22. Officials imposed a mandatory 24-hour quarantine nationwide from March 25. Nonessential commercial activity is limited. Movement outside of homes is allowed on a limited basis determined by the last digit of a person's passport or residency card as well as their gender.
- Puerto Rico: Officials imposed 1900-0500 curfew through April 12 and canceled nonessential services and businesses.
- Saint Barthelemy: Passenger flights suspended through April 15. Flights between Saint Barthelemy and metropolitan France suspended through April 22. A general lockdown is being enforced by security personnel, which prohibits all nonessential movements through April 15.
- Saint Kitts and Nevis: All air and sea ports closed through at least April 7. The 24-hour curfew will be imposed from 1900 April 4-1900 April 9; movement is allowed to procure medical services and medicine, or if participating in the provision of emergency, security, and health services.
- Saint Lucia: All air and sea ports closed to incoming passenger travel since March 24. A 24-hour curfew effective 0500 April 1-0500 April 7. Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes except for medical emergencies.
- Saint Martin: All passenger flights at Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) suspended through April 15. All flights between Saint Martin and metropolitan France suspended through April 22. Ground travel between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is prohibited, with limited exception. A general lockdown is being enforced by security personnel, which prohibits all nonessential movements through April 15.
- 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. Officials will require travelers who have recently been to Canada, China, the EU, Iran, South Korea, the UK, and the US to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
- Sint Maarten: Suspension of all inbound commercial flights through April 5. Ground travel between Saint Martin and Sint Maarten is limited. A stay-at-home order with accompanying 2000-0600 curfew is in place until further notice.
- Trinidad and Tobago: Restricted entry for all nonresident foreigners until further notice. Stay-at-home order in effect March 30-April 15. Restrictive measures on nonessential commercial activities, schools, and public gatherings.
- Turks and Caicos: Closure of all sea and air ports through April 14. Returning citizens and legal residents will be subject to quarantine protocols. A mandatory 24-hour curfew is imposed through April 14. Restrictions on public gatherings and nonessential commercial activity.
- US Virgin Islands: Closure of the territory's ports to all nonresidents from March 25-April 25. Closure of all nonessential businesses through April 6.
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. Officials in most countries have also announced additional measures to combat the spread of the infection, including a ban on mass gatherings, and temporarily canceling in-person classes at schools and universities, suspension of nonessential commercial activity, and 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