Warning Alert

Varied measures likely in Central America and the Caribbean through mid-October as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.

Alert Begins 02 Oct 2020 10:20 AM UTC
Alert Expires 09 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC

 

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

 

Summary
As countries attempt to reopen their economies, authorities in the Caribbean and Central America will maintain travel, business, and movement restrictions of varying degrees through at least mid-October to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The exact duration of the measures will almost certainly depend on local disease activity and authorities' preparedness to respond to the pandemic.

While most countries and territories have implemented recovery programs to roll back restrictions gradually, stricter measures are being reapplied across some nations or in highly targeted areas, due to increased COVID-19 activity after reopening plans were initiated. The following measures are in place as of Oct. 2:

 

  • 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 currently permitted.
  • 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 2200-0500 curfew and other restrictions on gatherings are in place.
  • Bahamas: International commercial flights may enter the Bahamas. Since Sept. 25, a 2200-0500 curfew has been in place on Grand Bahama, New Providence, and Abaco only.
  • Barbados: Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) reopened to all commercial passenger flights. Specific traveler requirements depend on the traveler's point of origin.
  • Belize: Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) reopened to all international passenger traffic Oct. 1, though internal traveler movements are restricted. Some business restrictions remain in place.
  • Bermuda: LF Wade International Airport (BDA) reopened to international passenger flights, though travelers are subject to entry requirements.
  • 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 2000-0500 curfew has been extended until Oct. 8.
  • Caribbean French Territories: Arriving passengers are subject to advanced health screenings and quarantine protocols. Travelers from high-risk countries may not be permitted entry to some territories. Stricter restrictions on nonessential activity have been reapplied in some areas.
  • Caribbean Netherlands: Passenger flights to Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius remain suspended through Nov. 1, with some exceptions. Entry requirements are varied across the territories.
  • Cayman Islands: International passenger flights resumed for selected traveler categories and approved visitors Oct. 1. Limits on large gatherings are in place.
  • Costa Rica: Nonresident foreign nationals from EU countries, Canada, the UK, Mexico, Jamaica, and certain US states may enter as of early October. A regional reopening plan of varying restrictions will be maintained indefinitely.
  • 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 is in place, with most provinces in the advanced stages of recovery. Highly targeted restrictions are in place in some localized communities.
  • Curacao: International and regional flights have resumed, though restrictions remain for some international travelers. A 2300-0500 curfew is being enforced until further notice. Tighter restrictions are in place through early October.
  • Dominica: Douglas-Charles Airport (DOM) has reopened to international commercial and private passenger flights.
  • Dominican Republic: Borders have reopened to passenger air traffic. Restrictions on public activities remain in effect. A nationwide curfew is in effect 2100-0500 weekdays and 1900-0500 weekends through Oct. 17.
  • El Salvador: International passenger flights at El Salvador International Airport (SAL) have gradually resumed since Sept. 19. Most restrictions on commercial activity have been eased.
  • Grenada: Air and sea ports have reopened to international travel, with specific traveler requirements depending on the traveler's point of origin.
  • Guatemala: Land, air, and sea borders reopened to all travelers. The nationwide curfew was lifted and restrictions on leisure and recreational activities were eased Oct. 1.
  • Haiti: Commercial flights have resumed and the land border has reopened. 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 have resumed. A regional recovery plan is in place, with most major population centers under stricter restrictions through Oct. 4.
  • Jamaica: Air and sea ports have reopened to all travelers. A 2000-0500 curfew is in place through Oct. 7.
  • Montserrat: Most nonresidents are banned from entry. Most business operations have resumed.
  • Nicaragua: Several international airlines intend to resume services throughout October. Honduras has suspended ground passenger traffic at its land borders with Nicaragua.
  • Panama: All commercial international passenger flights are suspended, except for citizens and legal residents. A 2300-0500 curfew is being enforced nationwide Monday-Saturday. Businesses continue to reopen gradually.
  • Puerto Rico: The border has reopened to nonresident foreign travelers, though authorities are only encouraging essential travel. The 2200-0500 daily curfew has been extended through Oct. 16. Capacity limits on businesses 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 and seaports have resumed operations, with specific traveler requirements depending on the traveler's point of origin. Full business operations have resumed.
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: Argyle International Airport (AIA) has reopened primarily to flights, with specific traveler requirements depending on the traveler's point of origin. Yachts are permitted to enter subject to pre-approval.
  • Sint Maarten: Only limited regional and international flights have resumed. Travel from the US is permitted.
  • Trinidad and Tobago: All air and sea ports are closed to passenger aircraft and vessels. Restrictions on nonessential businesses and activities have been extended until Oct. 11.
  • Turks and Caicos: The airport reopened to passenger traffic; however, the cruise center will remain closed through January 2021. A 2000-0500 curfew is in effect through Oct. 14 across all islands.
  • US Virgin Islands: International leisure travel has resumed. Safer-at-home orders are in effect and were accompanied by an easing of business restrictions.

 

Although some ports of entry have gradually begun reopening across the region, international flight options, especially outside the region, may be 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.

 

Advice
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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