Some countries are slowly reopening to tourists. I think it’s worth covering the different approaches countries are taking, as it gives us an idea of what to expect in the future as tourism returns on a larger scale.
Countries have widely varying plans for welcoming tourists. Iceland is taking a fairly responsible approach by testing on arrival, while Tanzania is…well, no.
Saint Lucia will become one of the first islands in the Caribbean to open up to tourists, and I think it’s worth covering their full plan. I will say up front that based on this I would feel safe to travel to Saint Lucia, the question is simply whether I would actually have fun given all the restrictions.
Saint Lucia will open to tourists on June 4
Saint Lucia has had a total of just 18 cases of COVID-19. All patients recovered and there were no deaths.
As Saint Lucia brings COVID-19 under control, for this small country the question is how to responsibly welcome tourists without putting people at risk. After all, more than 20% of Saint Lucia residents are employed in the tourism industry.
The country has presented a plan to protect both locals and visitors. Customers can skip a mandatory 14-day quarantine, although there are plenty of restrictions. Here’s an infographic showing the basics of St. Lucia’s plan, then I’ll go into detail below.
COVID-19 precautions for traveling to Saint Lucia
Before even arriving in Saint Lucia, there are quite a few requirements:
- Visitors must present a certified negative COVID-19 test at check-in, which must be completed within 48 hours of flight
- Visitors must wear masks on flights to Saint Lucia (regardless of airline policy), at the airport and upon arrival
- Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival in Saint Lucia
- Visitors can only take authorized taxis booked through their hotels, and cannot rent cars, use public transport, etc.
This is in addition to standard precautions like requiring social distancing, asking people to use hand sanitizer, etc.
Precautions against COVID-19 in Saint Lucia
During the holidays in Saint Lucia, there are also all kinds of requirements:
- Only certain hotels may be open to guests, with the government ensuring they follow all precautions
- Visitors will have their temperature taken each time they have a meal
- Each open hotel will have a nursing station and quarantine facilities
- There will be limited activities and attractions at the hotels
- There won’t be much to do outside of the hotels – no outdoor restaurants will be open for dinner, most tourist attractions will be closed and you can only take licensed taxis
At the end of the line
Saint Lucia has fully contained COVID-19 and now plans to welcome tourists again from June 4, 2020. Tourism is an important part of the country’s economy, so it’s understandable that they want to restart it .
I am impressed with the layout of Saint Lucia and personally would feel safe traveling there. The question is whether a visit would be fun with all these restrictions. This is a problem that many countries will face once tourism reopens.
If you’re looking to get away to a resort and nothing else, then Saint Lucia might be a good option. Don’t expect to be able to do much more than that.
What do you think of the restrictions imposed by Saint Lucia and would you consider traveling there?