The Honorable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, yesterday released new requirements and measured safety protocols in preparation for the reopening of borders on July 22, 2020.
As a part of the guidelines, international travelers arriving to the Turks and Caicos Islands must be certified by TCI Assured, a quality assurance portal which will be available on the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board website. The certification sticker will be provided only after visitors have provided proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test results from an accredited facility at least 72 hours prior to their arrival to the destination, proof of medical insurance, and a completed health screening questionnaire. A 14-day quarantine period will not be required for visitors once they have tested negative for the virus.
Additionally, operational protocols for the government, airport, hotel, and restaurant partners, among other private and public services, will be in place to keep the local population and guests safe. New measures include health screenings, physical distancing, mandatory use of face coverings in public, recommended use of face coverings on the beach, and social gatherings limited to 25 people or less.
“We look forward to welcoming travelers to the beautiful by nature Turks and Caicos Islands starting July 22, and feel confident that the new protocols and TCI Assured certifications will allow us to safely reopen our borders,” said the Honorable Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands. “These measures will protect against the pandemic as travel resumes and allow guests to focus on enjoying the exceptional vacation experience afforded by the destination, our picturesque beaches, and our world-class hospitality partners.”
Safety and health remain top priorities for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which has one of the lowest incident rates in the Caribbean. A suite of systems will mitigate risks and protect the destination, its people, and its guests as travel reopens.
Upon arrival to the airport, visitors can expect to present their TCI Assured certifications to local authorities, all of whom will be wearing personal protective equipment, before proceeding through immigration where temperature checks will also take place.
Hotel and restaurant employees will be required to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. At the beaches and pools, umbrellas and chairs must be at least six feet apart to allow for physical distancing. Restaurants must reduce seating capacity to 70 percent, eliminate self-service buffets, and make hand sanitizer available at the entrances.
The Turks and Caicos Islands – home to the “World’s Best Beach” – is a coveted five-star luxury vacation destination for leisure, business, and notable guests from around the globe. With nine main islands of about 40 small islands and uninhabited cays, the destination is inherently safe for travel in this new paradigm of physical distancing, given its expansiveness, stunning outdoor environment, privacy, spacious resort accommodations and unique portfolio of extraordinary private villas and private island vacations.
Further, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ airline partners, including American Airlines, JetBlue, Delta Airlines, and Air Canada, will resume flight services from within the United States and Canada as of July 22. Private jet terminals will open on July 22 as well in conjunction with the reopening of Providenciales International Airport. The Grand Turk Cruise Center will remain closed until August 31, 2020, subject to guidance from relevant health authorities.
The Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board encourages travelers to consider the vacation destination as they plan vacations for late July 2020 onwards. The Islands’ award-winning hotels and resorts, private villas, restaurants and bars, and tour operators will be ‘TCI Assured’ certified and are accepting bookings for upcoming trips to the destination.