If you prefer to spend your vacation on white sand beaches with crystal clear waters, then chances are that the Turks & Caicos islands have been on your radar. Located in the Caribbean Sea, the Turks & Caicos islands boast some of the most beautiful beaches along with world class diving. Up until now, travelers have been able to access the islands by providing a negative COVID-19 test. Likewise, there hasn’t been a requirement for quarantine on arrival, making it a popular destination for travelers. However, starting September 1, new rules regarding travel requirements will be put into effect. Here are the new travel requirements for Turks & Caicos.
New Travel Requirements For Turks and Caicos
According to the Turks & Caicos tourism board, all visitors who are over the age of 16 will need to provide proof of Covid vaccination starting on September 1, 2021 in order to be allowed into the country. Border control will accept proof of vaccination in either an electronic format or by a vaccination letter that’s been signed by a licensed doctor. Handwritten vaccination cards, on the other hand, are not permissible.
In addition to proving vaccination status, all travelers will need to obtain pre-authorization certification before boarding. This isn’t a new requirement. To obtain this certification, you’ll need:
Proof of a negative Covid test.
This test must be taken from an accredited laboratory, and must be taken within 3 days of your scheduled arrival date to the Turks and Caicos islands.
Proof of travel medical insurance with specific Covid coverage
Plans should include coverage for medical costs, hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and emergency medical evacuation. There is no specific limit amount specified for the travel insurance policy required.
Health screening questionnaire
All travelers must complete a health screening questionnaire and fill out a Travel Authorization Form.
What About Children Under 16 and Those Who Can’t Get Vaccinated?
If you’re traveling with a child under the age of 16, or you’re unable to be vaccinated due to a medical reason, you’ll be exempt from this new requirement. Children under 16 will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test. Those who are unable to obtain the vaccine for medical reasons will also need to take a negative test, and must also provide a signed letter from a medical professional stating that they’re unable to receive the Covid vaccine.
Safety Measures for Turks & Caicos
Once you’ve entered the country, you’ll still be expected to comply with a number of safety measures that the tourism board has enforced. For example, face masks are currently required in public.
Likewise, there is a nightly curfew in place from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m, meaning you’ll need to be back at your lodging accommodations before 1 a.m. If you’re planning on eating out or visiting bars, you can expect that both restaurants and bars will be limited to 70% capacity. The tourism board has also recommended that travelers only visit establishments that display the TCI Assured symbol, which is the name of the quality assurance system for hotels, villas, restaurants, and transportation vehicles.
General Health & Safety Information for Turks & Caicos
While the islands provide a wealth of natural beauty and activities, there are a few health and safety concerns to be aware of.
The biggest security issue in Providenciales is crime, which poses a moderate risk. However, crime has reduced by 30% since 2015, according to TCI law enforcement data.
The wildlife is largely safe; there are no deadly snakes, and while mosquitos are numerous, they do not carry disease. In fact, the wildest animals you might see on TCI are “potcake” dogs, as the locals call them. Even so, window screens may not be effective, so bring bug repellent with you.
In the sun, be cautious. Wear sunglasses and a hat, and apply plenty of sunscreen. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend at the beach. Heatstroke can occur if you spend too much time in the sun without sufficient protection.
Consider CFAR for your Trip to the Turks & Caicos Islands
Although stricter requirements are being put in place starting September 1, you can still have the vacation of a lifetime. But, because rules and requirements are changing frequently, adding Cancel for Any Reason coverage (CFAR) to your travel insurance plan might just come in handy. This add-on lets you cancel for literally any reason and still recoup many of the prepaid expenses you’ve invested in your trip. If you have a trip insurance plan with CFAR and you no longer feel comfortable traveling as your trip date approaches, you can cancel your plans without losing out on your vacation investment. Don’t worry, the Turks & Caicos islands will still be there whenever you feel ready to visit.
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