Viv's Travel Tips: Caribbean Destinations Increase Testing CapacityPosted on 02/10/2021
Caribbean destinations have increased COVID-19 testing capacity in response to the new U.S. international travel requirements. With the CDC now requiring negative tests to re-enter the United States, the Caribbean Islands have responded by making testing much more available to travelers.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board said that there are now twelve testing facilities across three islands, many of which are located on-site at resorts for even better accessibility.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands’ addition of new testing sites makes it easy and convenient for travelers to abide by the CDC’s new rule without disrupting their vacations,” said Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands, in an interview with Travel Market Report. “We are proud to meet the latest requirements, in conjunction with our valued partners, to ensure the ongoing safety of our residents and guests along with a seamless travel experience.”
In addition, there are three private labs in the Turks and Caicos that offer testing for COVID-19, as well as several resorts. These include COMO Parrot Cay, Amanyara, Beaches Turks and Caicos, Grave Bay Club, Seven Stars Resorts on Providenciales, and Sail Rock Resort on South Caicos.
Some of these resorts, such as Seven Stars, will be providing these tests free of charge for guests. Most also offer tests to non-guests at a reasonable cost.
Associated Medical Practices, Carolina Medical Clinic, FamilyCare Medical Services Ltd, Flamingo Pharmacy, Grace Bay Medical Centre, and OMNICARE, are also among the approved testing centers.
As far as travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands, they still require negative COVID-19 PCR test results within five days prior to arrival to the destination, which has been in effect since the reopening of borders on July 22.
Jamaica has also expanded testing capacity across the island, with a number of hotels and resorts providing on-site COVID-19 testing for their guests. For travelers staying at other locations, the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the Ministry of Tourism are working together to establish mobile testing facilities within the Resilient Corridors. Testing resources will also be added at the Sangster International Airport and the Norman Manley International Airport.
“We can confidently assure travelers that Jamaica’s testing capacity will adequately meet the requirements for travel to the United States and Canada,” said Donovan White, director of tourism of the Jamaica Tourist Board, in an interview with the Travel Market Review. “Jamaica is resilient. As we keep an eye toward other potential changes for international travelers, we are pleased with our destination-wide preparedness and the progress we have made to make COVID-19 testing even more accessible.”
Spanning its portfolio in the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and South America, Hyatt announced it will be the first major hotel company to offer widespread complimentary, on-site COVID-19 testing at all Hyatt resorts.
Hyatt resorts have arranged for two complimentary COVID-19 tests per guest room per stay at participating resorts. Complimentary rapid antigen or RT-PCR testing options (both approved testing per CDC guidelines) and minimum length of stay vary per property, so be sure to check your specific resort’s offerings before booking.
Please keep in mind that guidelines, recommendations, and offerings are constantly changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we will be able to give you the most up-to-date information.