Caribbean vacations have been indefinitely on hold for the past few months, but now there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. St. Lucia is the first Caribbean island to announce a definite date to begin reopening to tourists. On June 4, the island will begin a multi-phased approach that requires visitors and hotels to adopt new sanitation measures.
Phase one of the reopening starts on June 4 and will require visitors to prove that they tested negative for the coronavirus within 48 hours of boarding their flight. Health authorities will be present at ports to conduct random screenings and temperature checks for new arrivals, and before opening, hotels must apply for COVID-19 certificates from the government proving that they’ve met sanitation criteria.
Dominic Fedee, the island’s Minister of Tourism, said in a statement, “Our new protocols have been carefully crafted and will build confidence among travelers and our citizens. The Government of Saint Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jumpstarts its economy.”
Much like hotels, businesses will only be allowed to operate after implementing certain protocols, including disinfecting surfaces and enforcing social distancing.
Phase two will begin August 1 though specific details won’t be released for another few weeks.
Other islands, like Aruba and the Bahamas, have announced plans to begin phased reopenings over the next few months, but no specific dates or protocols for tourists have been put in place.