Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Guadaloupe, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Barts, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands have all been included in the UK Government’s initial list of countries exempt from quarantine restrictions on return to the UK.
The list reflects many of the region’s countries, and favorite UK holiday destinations, that reopened their borders to tourism on 1 July 2020. New hygiene and safety protocols are specific to the destination but include Health Affidavits, temperature or COVID-19 checks on arrival and extensive sanitisation, minimum contact and social distancing in airports. Hotel, restaurant and activity operators have implemented a range of measures including express check in/out, social distancing in restaurants, on the beach and in the pool and disinfection of equipment.
Carol Hay, Business Development Director, Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Chapter, UK and Europe commented: “This is terrific news for the region and its partners. Our countries can now go back to offering their visitors the remarkable experience of a Caribbean holiday, whether it be beaches, music, rum cocktails, birdwatching, diving or sailing. The Caribbean economy is heavily dependent on tourism and everyone from the bar staff to the boat captains will be happy to welcome UK visitors back.
“There will be some excellent offers to welcome British tourists back so we’d encourage people to bring their families for a much needed break or feel more confident about booking a postponed wedding, honeymoon or special occasion holiday.” She advised people to book through travel agents and tour operators adding “Travel agents and tour operators will have absolutely up-to-date information and be able to offer excellent advice to reassure and guide people through the booking process.”
Colin Pegler, Chairman of the CTO Chapter, UK and Europe paid tribute to the hospitality sector adding “Hotels and resorts across the Caribbean have worked tirelessly to prepare to welcome their guests back into a safe environment, introducing hygiene and social distancing protocols. There has been considerable investment in creating environments which don’t compromise safety, but offer an experience that is genuine to that property, whether it’s the ultimate in luxury, small boutique owner-managed hotels or family resorts with lots of activities for children. Guests can now return to many of their favorite places in the Caribbean, confident of a warm and safe welcome.”