Tropical Destinations With Declining Covid Rates And What To Know Before Visiting Them

If your idea of a white Christmas includes white sand beaches instead of snow, you might be considering a trip somewhere warm this winter. Covid-19 and the Delta variant especially is still a concern in many places across the globe, but these tropical destinations below are a few that are currently welcoming international travelers. Here's what you need to know about their Covid rates, precautions, and what activities might be off limits during this season.

Boats floating in the bay of Bermuda with small lush islands surround them.

The CDC does not recommend traveling at all unless you are fully-vaccinated, but international travel presents additional risks for spreading or contracting Covid-19 even for those who are. For the most up-to-date information about CDC travel alerts and recommendations, go here.

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Aerial from Aruba island with Palm Beach in the Caribbean Sea at sunset

Aruba boasts more sunny days than any other island in the Caribbean. Since it lies outside of the hurricane belt, you'll never need to worry about a hurricane ruining your trip.

While Aruba is open for tourists, the CDC currently lists them as a level 4 High Risk for travel.

Requirements to visit Aruba:

1. Prior to departure, you'll need to fill out an online embarkation/disembarkation card. This will ask for basic traveler information as well as the following, which is mandatory for entry to the country.

2. Complete your personal health assessment within 72 hours of travel to Aruba.

3. Provide proof of a negative molecular Covid-19 test.

4. Purchase Aruba Visitor's Insurance.

5. Consent to Aruba's government mandates.

While you're there:

-Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces.

-All non-hotel establishments are required to close by 1am.

-A maximum of eight people per table at restaurants, both indoors and outdoors.

-All bars, nightclubs, and restaurants can only serve at tables. For bars and rum shops, the maximum seating is four people per table.

-There is a temporary alcohol ban in certain public spaces, including beaches and parks. Hotel guests can order alcoholic beverages on the beach as long as they stay on the hotel's property.

-There are restricted zones that are off-limits between the hours of 7pm and 5am. Restricted zones include all beaches and public parking lots.

-No groups over eight people are allowed in public spaces unless the group consists of a family from the same household.

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The drone aerial view of sinky bay beach, Bermuda.

There's more to Bermuda than just the triangle. Whether you're exploring shipwrecks, venturing underground through the crystal caves, trying out kiteboarding, or soaking up the sun on a sailing trip, there's plenty to enjoy and you can do it all safely!

Bermuda has some of the most extensive Covid precautions in the Caribbean, but it's also currently listed as a High-Risk location by the CDC.

Requirements to visit Bermuda:

Bermuda is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists, however, there are far fewer restrictions on vaccinated tourists. All unvaccinated tourists, should prepare to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Prior to departure, you'll need to fill out an online travel authorization form. Along with the form, you'll pay a $75 fee which will cover the cost of your Covid test upon arrival in the airport. Any traveler who arrives in Bermuda without completing the form will be charged $1,000.

Bermuda is serious about their testing requirements, so expect multiple tests throughout your trip.

1. Prior to departure for Bermuda, you will need to have proof of a negative Covid test taken within 4 days.

2. Upon arrival in the airport you will take a Covid test and quarantine at your accommodations until the results come back.

3. On day 4 and 10 of your trip, you will be required to take a 3rd and 4th test.

4. You will need travel insurance that covers Covid-19 for the duration of your stay in Bermuda.

While you're there:

-Download the WeHealth Bermuda app to stay up to date on new developments relating to Covid-19.

-When you receive your negative test results and are approved to move about the island, you will receive a link to your SafeKey. The SafeKey includes a QR code that you will scan when entering SafeKey required establishments, like restaurants or certain activities.

-Wear a mask in all public spaces.

-Maintain social distancing whenever possible.

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3.Costa Rica

waves crashing against the shore with a jungle covered beach in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a paradise for divers, surfers, and adventure seekers. While there are beautiful beaches, relaxing and sunbathing aren't at the top of my list when visiting Costa Rica.

Nearly 75% of people in Costa Rica have received at least one dose of the vaccine, with almost 60% of people being fully vaccinated, but it's currently still listed as a High Risk destination by the CDC.

Requirements to visit Costa Rica:

Costa Rica does not have vaccination or testing requirements in order to visit. However, visitors must complete a digital form called the HEALTH PASS prior to arrival.

A travel insurance policy is required and must cover both medical and lodging expenses related to Covid-19 during your visit to Costa Rica. Fully vaccinated tourists are permitted to visit without a travel insurance policy.

While you're there:

Beginning December 1, 2021, businesses in Costa Rica will either require proof of vaccination and run at full capacity, or choose not to require proof of vaccination and run at 50% capacity.

Starting Jan 8, 2022, proof of vaccination will be required to enter commercial businesses.

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Two wooden fishing boats on the crystal clear turquoise waters at Lagoon on Curacao.

Like its' sister island of Aruba, Curaçao is located outside of the hurricane belt, and sees many sunny days. With more than 35 beaches, an average water temperature of 82°F, and over 70 dive spots, Curaçao has historically been a great destination to escape icy temps.

Curaçao is currently listed as a High Risk destination by the CDC.

Requirements to visit Curaçao

The requirements to visit Curaçao are dependent on where you're coming from. The United States is considered a high risk country, and therefore requires tourists to:

1. Fill out a digital immigration card prior to departure.

2. Complete the Passenger Locator form 48 hours prior to arrival.

3. Provide proof of negative Covid test taken within 48 hours of arrival.

4. Take an antigen test your 3rd day on the island.

While you're there:

-Social distance whenever possible.

-For times when social distancing isn't possible, you must wear a mask.

-Wash your hands often.

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Photo taken in Hillsborough, Grenada

Grenada is a beautiful cluster of islands with plenty to enjoy. You can trek through the rainforest, swim in crystal clear waters, and sample the spices of this small country.

Despite their low cases, Grenada is still considered a High Risk country by the CDC.

Requirements to visit Grenada:

Grenada requires all travelers to be fully vaccinated.

1. All visitors will be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival in the airport. Tourists will need to quarantine for up to 48 hours upon arrival as they wait for the results of their Covid test.

2. Visitors are required to stay in Ministry of Health Pure Safe Travel approved accommodations for 7 nights.

3. As you arrive in the airport you will need to have a printed copy of both your Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate and proof of negative PCR test. (Remember to wear a mask and social distance in the airport.)

4. You will get to your accommodation via a Pure Safe Travel accredited vehicle and driver.

5. All travelers will be required to take a test on day 5 in order to enter the community. Visitors who are staying less than 5 days will need to remain at their accommodations for the duration of their stay.

Once you are approved to enter the community, you can enjoy the island's best attractions.

While you're there:

-Wear a mask at all times in public spaces.

-There is a nightly curfew from 12am-4am.

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6.Saint Lucia

St Lucia Caribbean, woman on vacation at the tropical Island of Saint Lucia Caribbean ocean

Saint Lucia is home to mountains, jungles, and beaches, making it a more unique island destination. Whether you want to explore beneath the surface and join a diving excursion, try some of the island's best Caribbean dishes, or soak in the mud baths of sulphur springs, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

While the island is open to tourists, Saint Lucia is considered Very High Risk according to the CDC.

Requirements to visit St. Lucia:

1. Fill out an online travel registration form.

2. Provide proof of a negative Covid PCR test within 5 days of arrival.

3. You must print your travel authorization documents as well as proof of negative test and/or vaccination, and bring them with you in order to board your flight.

4. All passengers will be screened upon arrival and have their temperatures checked.

While you're there:

-Fully vaccinated travelers will have expanded access to the island and will not need to quarantine. Vaccinated travelers will receive a wristband on arrival to show they are fully vaccinated. Wristbands should be worn at all times throughout your stay.

-Unvaccinated travelers must stay at their Covid-19 approved accommodation for the duration of their stay and can only be transported in a certified taxi to that accommodation. Unvaccinated visitors are only able to take Covid-certified tours and dine at Covid-certified restaurants.

-Masks are required in all public spaces and when social distancing is not possible.

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Beach during sunset on Florida's gulf coast

If international travel is still not on your radar, there are plenty of beach destinations in the US to consider.

Florida is kind of the wild west when it comes to Covid precautions. There are currently no mask mandates or testing requirements for domestic travelers.

You might be wondering if it's even possible to visit Florida safely...while the state hasn't been known for low numbers throughout the pandemic, Covid cases have been steadily on the decline.

Since Florida is best known for the beaches and warm weather, there are plenty of ways to stay socially distant while enjoying the state. Some ideas include:

-Outdoor dining — whether that's a picnic on the beach or patio seating at a restaurant, the weather in Florida is great year round, meaning outdoor dining doesn't close for the winter.

-Exploring nature away from the crowds. Instead of heading to a busy theme park, you could go kayaking in search of manatees, take a dip in the natural springs, head to one of the many national and state parks, or grab a surf board.

-Opting for an Airbnb over a hotel. There are plenty of great rentals, some even have private direct beach access.

Rebecca Khera
Worth Avenue Clock Tower on Worth Avenue, Palm Beach, Florida. Aerial Footage of the Worth Avenue Clock Tower on Palm Beach, FL During a Very Busy Weekday in January 2021.
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Winter travel bookings are upon us. While it is a risk to travel during the pandemic, some destinations are making it much easier to reduce the spread of Covid-19, while still allowing tourists to enjoy the beaches and escape the snow.

Which tropical destination do you want to visit?