Those looking to engage in international travel are encouraged to focus on the countries that the CDC has placed in Level 1 or 2 of epidemiology risk, which means that visitors should simply “practice usual precautions” to be safe.
Read on for the safest destinations in the world and what the CDC has to say about each one. Some countries have been moved to “level 4 – very high risk” but the number of real cases is very low compared to other countries and the death toll does not even make it to 30. For these and other reasons, they are still considered safe to visit.
Saba is a five square mile island located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, 28 miles southwest of its international hub St. Maarten. Visitors can make it to this hidden gem by taking a 12 minute flight or 90 minute ferry. Its surrounding Saba Marine Park, a renowned dive site, is home to coral formations and very popular with avid hikers.
With only 7 active coronavirus cases, this small island is one of the safest places to visit on earth as of right now, and has reopened for tourism since May 1.
Visitors are required to fill out an online immigration (EHAS) card prior to travel at www.sabatourism.com/entry-form. They must also bring proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no longer than 72 hours upon arrival.
Quarantine requirements vary depending on the traveler’s country of departure. Those should consult their special conditions at [email protected]
British Virgin Islands
Level 1: COVID-19 Low
The British Virgin Islands reopened its air borders on Dec. 1. However, three PCR tests and a 14-day quarantine must be completed in order to freely move around the country.
The British Virgin Islands is a 60-island British Overseas Territory that has historically welcomed significant numbers of visitors from the United States, United Kingdom and other areas of Europe.
Effective May 15, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated won’t need to undergo the mandatory quarantine if the test they must take upon arrival returns negative. Unfortunately, this benefit does not apply to anyone traveling from or through India or Brazil.
These fully vaccinated travelers will still require:
BVI Gateway Traveler Authorization Certificate at a cost of $105.00.
Proof of a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken 3-5 days before arrival
Proof of vaccination status.
RT-PCR COVID-19 testing upon arrival and quarantine until they can produce a negative test result.
Level 1: COVID-19 Low
Montserrat is one of the smallest Caribbean British overseas territories, with a population of just 5,000. This has been reduced from 13,000 over the past 25 years after volcanic activity rendered much of its southern part uninhabitable.
The country severely restricts who enters. This is likely due to its particularly relatively low COVID-19 infection rate, although it has suffered an increase over the last few weeks. It only has 20 active cases and 1 death since the pandemic struck.
As a result, most people who are not citizens or permanent residents of Montserrat or a close family member of one are not allowed to enter.
PCR tests are required prior to and just after entering Montserrat. Quarantine will also be necessary for either six days at a designated facility accompanied by another negative test result or 14 days in a residence.
As of yet, most visitors arriving in the country may be subjected to clinical medical examinations. If health authorities consider a person to be a risk they can and will isolate them until they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result.
Keep in mind that all travel to or from Montserrat is via Antigua. If you are traveling to Montserrat you must comply with all Antiguan entry requirements. It is advised to check travel advice for Antigua to avoid unexpected inconveniences.
Level 1: COVID-19 Low
The Cayman Islands, which is located 90 miles south of Cuba, has proven to be an especially popular destination for those interested in exploring its coral reefs and taking advantage of its culinary offerings.
This country started reopening its borders on Oct. 1. However, those eligible to visit must meet strict requirements.
The Caribbean Island is still not open for tourism but the newly appointed Tourism Minister Kenneth Bryan is asking the tourism industry representatives to rehire employees. Although this is not a reopening announcement, it’s a sign that the islands may soon reopen for tourism.
Saint Kitts and Nevis, which is also known as the Mother Colony of the West Indies, is in the northeast Caribbean.
Those visiting this country will need to upload a negative PCR test and bring a copy of that on their trip. They will then need to remain on hotel property for a week before taking another test at a cost of USD $100.
If that result is negative, they may go to specified areas off the hotel property. After a second week, a third PCR test will be administered, also costing $100. If it is negative, they may freely enter the country.
Note that a second test is still required even if they stay in the country for less than a week. Visitors are allowed to undergo quarantine at a private rental home instead of a hotel but must be pre-approved.
Returning Americans, and other travelers going to the United States, have now the option to get a COVID-19 test in St. Kitts so they can be allowed to re-enter the territory according to the new CDC regulations for returning travelers. Those may schedule their appointments at nextgenmedlab.com or www.qualitydiagnosticlab.com. The cost of the test is USD 150.
Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate
Renowned for its pristine white sand beaches, colorful sunsets, and its 23-30°C (73-85°F) all year round, Anguilla has also become one of the safest places to visit during COVID-19 according to the CDC.
This British overseas territory in the Caribbean was welcoming visitors from all over the world. But, due to a spike in COVID-19 cases the Anguilla’s borders are closed for entry to visitors from April 22 to May 24, 2021. The government has not announced if they will extend this temporary travel ban.
Once the travel restriction is lifted, visitors need to follow a few steps that in the long run, will guarantee to keep the main island and its several offshore islets safe.
The first step is to request authorization to travel to the island. Once travelers get it, they will need to submit proof of a negative PCR test taken in the 3-5 days prior to their arrival. Finally, depending on several factors, these visitors will need to quarantine from 10-14 days.
Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate
Dominica is an island country located in the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean, about halfway between Puerto Rico and Trinidad and Tobago. Dominica is tropical with charming mountains of volcanic origin.
Travelers visiting the island must fill out a health questionnaire 24 hours before arrival, submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 24-72 hours of their flight, and undertake an additional test at their port of entry.
Fully vaccinated travelers must undertake a Rapid Diagnostic Test upon arrival. If negative, travelers will need to quarantine for 2 days only.
Regardless of their vaccination status, arrivals from high-risk countries must quarantine for up to 21 days.
Level 2: COVID-19 Moderate
Even considering that Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico and on the south and west by Guatemala, this small Caribbean country has managed to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
Land borders are closed but the country is open for tourism. Indeed, it is rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations in the region due to its world-class scuba diving, its barrier reef and the always popular and interesting ancient Maya ruins.
All travelers must submit a negative COVID-19 test and take another one at the airport. If the second one returns positive, the traveler will need to undergo a minimum of 14 days quarantine at the passengers’ expense.
Antigua and Barbuda
Level 4: COVID-19 Very high
Antigua and Barbuda is a tropical country made up of 3 islands in the Eastern Caribbean. Antigua, blessed with bays and sandy beaches; Barbuda, a flat coral island with a large lagoon; and Redonda, a rocky uninhabited natural place.
All arrivals must bring a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR taken within 7 days of their flight. Returning nationals and residents need to quarantine at a government-selected facility for 4 days at a cost of EC $80.00 per day.
The country carries out a combination of different measures including the issuing of monitoring bracelets to contain the arrival of importing COVID-19 cases.
Fully vaccinated travelers in possession of a verifiable vaccine certificate that shows they have received both doses of an approved COVID 19 vaccine will now be required to only quarantine for 7 days.
The CDC has recently ranked this country at a level 4 risk “very high”. But, sometimes these statistics are not exactly what they look like. In multiple cases, the size of the country and number of the inhabitants make them look more alarming than what they really are. As of today, the country only has 1,011 and 27 deaths.
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Recently moved to Level 4: COVID-19 Very High
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is located in the southeast Caribbean, about 130 miles north of Venezuela. It consists of a chain of 33 islands; Saint Vincent is home to more than 90% of its population.
Only a couple of months ago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was considered one of the safest places in the world from an epidemiology point of view. Unfortunately, the islands have been experiencing their very first wave of COVID-19 since mid-January. The CDC has recently ranked them at Level 4, meaning the spread of the virus is “very high.” As of today, the country has recorded 1,962 and 12 deaths.
Visitors will need to complete a pre-arrival travel form and submit a recent negative PCR test at least 24 hours prior to arrival, agree to get retested on arrival and observe a 14-day mandatory quarantine at a Tourism Authority/Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment (TA/ MOHWE) facility.
Travelers should keep in mind that they must arrive in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with a fully paid reservation for 14 nights.