Some countries are slowly reopening to tourists. I think it’s worth covering the different approaches countries are taking, because it gives us a sense of what to expect in the future, as tourism returns on a broader scale.
St. Lucia will become one of the first Caribbean islands to open to tourists, and I think it’s worth covering their comprehensive plan. I’ll say upfront that based on this I’d feel safe traveling to St. Lucia, the question is just whether I’d actually have any fun based on all the restrictions.
St. Lucia will open to tourists on June 4
St. Lucia has had a total of just 18 COVID-19 cases. All patients have recovered, and there have been no deaths.
While St. Lucia has COVID-19 under control, for this small country the question becomes how to responsibly welcome back tourists without endangering people. After all, over 20% of people in St. Lucia are employed in the tourism industry.
The country has presented a plan for protecting both locals and visitors. Guests can skip an otherwise mandatory 14-day quarantine, though there are lots of restrictions. Here’s an infographic showing the basics of St. Lucia’s plan, and then I’ll get into more details below.
COVID-19 precautions getting to St. Lucia
Before even arriving in St. Lucia, there are quite a few requirements:
- Visitors need to present a certified negative COVID-19 test at check-in, which needs to be taken within 48 hours of the flight
- Visitors need to wear masks on flights to St. Lucia (regardless of the airline policy), at the airport, and upon arrival
- Visitors will have their temperature taken upon arrival in St. Lucia
- Visitors can only take authorized taxis booked through their hotels, and can’t rent cars, use shared transport, etc.
This is in addition to standard precautions like requiring social distancing, requesting people use hand sanitizer, etc.
COVID-19 precautions while in St. Lucia
While vacationing in St. Lucia, there are all kinds of requirements as well:
- Only certain hotels can be open to guests, based on the government making sure they’re following all precautions
- Visitors will have their temperatures taken every time they have a meal
- Every open hotel will have a nurse station and quarantine facilities
- There will be limited guest activities and attractions at hotels
- There won’t be much to do outside hotels — no outside restaurants will be open for dine-in, most tourist attractions will be closed, and you can only take authorized taxis
St. Lucia has fully contained COVID-19, and now plans to welcome back tourists as of June 4, 2020. Tourism is an important part of the country’s economy, so it’s understandable they want to restart this.
I’m impressed by St. Lucia’s plan, and personally I’d feel safe traveling there. The question becomes whether a visit would be any fun with all of these restrictions. That’s an issue that a lot of countries will face once tourism reopens.
If you’re looking to just escape to a resort and nothing else then St. Lucia could be a good option. Just don’t expect to be able to do much beyond that.
What do you make of St. Lucia’s restrictions, and would you consider traveling there?