The island of Montserrat underwent a unique tourism experiment this summer that only allowed certain visitors to set foot on the beautiful island. The idea was to keep the tourism economy going, but without the risk of people constantly coming in and out. Visitors must commit to a two-month stay, and the primary income generator in the family must make at last $70,000 per year.
In theory, the concept isn’t too distant from the “digital nomad visas” many countries now offer in hopes of luring remote workers. But workers had to commit to the longer stay and show proof of income, in addition to facing a mandatory two-week quarantine. 21 travelers from seven families participated in this program.
In March 2020, when Montserrat detected its first COIVD-19 cases, it immediately closed its borders to tourists. In April 2021, the island opened up its borders, but with high caution, and in order to keep virus levels down, the island reopened with a remote worker program. To enter this remote program, travelers must make the required income of $70,000 per year and agree to a minimum two-month stay. Vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors are to quarantine for two weeks before taking a COVID-19 test to explore the island.
These strict measures will soon change, however. Starting October 1, all tourists who are vaccinated will be welcome on the island. The remote worker program will continue but without the vaccination or length-of-stay requirements.