Caribbean Islands Will Begin Reopening to Americans in June.
Original article written by Tara Donaldson for Condé Nast Traveller
The sun-drenched islands of the Caribbean have been quieter than usual in the last two months. The coronavirus outbreak hit the region at the end of February, giving it time to take note from other hard-hit areas. As a result, Caribbean islands closed borders while case counts were still small, and enforced local lockdowns. The region’s infection tally is currently less than half a percent of cases worldwide—and now, it’s one of the first destinations in North America that’s ready to bring travelers back.
Conflicting emotions around reopening.
“Tourism is 45 percent of our GDP, so you can imagine we need to have our guests back sooner than later,” says Tanya McNab, marketing manager at Belize’s Ray Caye private island resort, which will welcome guests back in July when the country intends to reopen. The resort’s dive team is working on sanitization measures for snorkeling gear alongside added efforts to deep clean the property, but eagerness is outweighing wariness among staff.
“I can’t think of a person that I’ve spoken to in the last 30 days who is not ready to reopen,” she says. “I don’t think people are scared, I think we are all nervous that this is a totally new normal.”
Whether governments are ready to reopen borders or airlines are prepared to restart flights, the responsibilities remains on travellers to be conscious and considerate in their actions to keep the Caribbean safe.