Tip #1 Read and follow the Covid-19 entry requirements thoroughly in the government and tourist board websites for the destination you are travelling to, transiting through, and returning to. Be sure to check that the information you are reading is the latest protocols from the websites, as old protocols may still be found online. Also, check them again for any updates as you get closer to your travel dates. Below are links to a few common destinations. Beware of other information on other websites, social media or old emails, as it could be outdated. See Special Note regarding BVI and USVI entry at the bottom of this article.
Tip #2 Make sure the Covid-19 test you take is accepted by the country you are entering. For example, not all Rapid Antigen Tests are accepted, even if the country you are entering accepts Rapid Antigen Tests. Make sure it's from the list of test manufacturers and types that they will accept.
Tip #3 The airlines you travel with may also have their own requirements, so please refer to your online ticket for more details. They also often have good resources for requirements for the destinations you are travelling to, but again, always good to verify information with the government websites.
Tip #4 These Rapid Antigen Tests can be handy for entering a destination that accepts them. However, they may only be available to order online in the USA, and may take time to arrive. Be sure to verify if they are accepted in the destination you are travelling to. You will need a good internet connection for 15 minutes video meeting with the nurse. The process and test results take about 15-20 minutes, and involves and nasal swab and test strip. Test results are signed by the nurse and emailed to you via a password-protected pdf document. Be sure to save the pdf without the password protection (or take a screenshot of it) before uploading to any online travel portals, as otherwise the portal system will not be able to open them.
Tip #5 Consider Travel Insurance. Some countries, such as the BVI, require proof of travel medical insurance.
Tip #6 Plan ahead and have patience. It can be stressful dealing with all the new protocols, especially after a long day of travel, but this is the “new norm”, so best to plan ahead, and be patient with the process. Some remote customs offices and testing laboratories process things at a slower pace, and perhaps not in a way you are accustomed to, so be patient and polite, and ask questions if needed. If you can, also help others that may be struggling with language barriers or technical difficulties. With everything being online these days, it can be hard for those that are not very tech-savvy, or understand the language.
For example, here is a link on how to use a QR code, as QR codes are now being used most places for proof of airline ticket, vaccination, entry approval, etc.
Tip #7 It’s handy to save all your test, vaccine, and approved entry documents in one place on your phone. For example, the Folder App on an iPhone. Also, best to print everything and bring with you as well, just in case your phone does not work.
Tip #8 - Invest in a comfortable mask for the plane, as you will be wearing it a lot during flights.
Tip #9 - Bring sanitation wipes with you, to sanitize the tray on the plane.
Tip #10 - Bring a pen with you, as you may be filing out forms upon arrival. Also, a bag or closed folder of some sort is a good idea, to keep print-outs and any receipts you are given, so you do not lose them.
Special Note regarding BVI and USVI entry
For BVI, please refer to www.bvitourism.com/reopening for latest information.
As if December 16th, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers:
Do not currently need to use the BVI Gateway Portal.
Need to arrive with proof of vaccination.
Need to arrive with proof of an approved Negative Rapid Antigen Test or PCR test result taken within 5 days of arrival, as described on their website. Note: If the test is taken within 48hrs of arrival, you will NOT need to take an additional Rapid Antigen test upon arrival. If the test is taken between 2-5 days of arrival, then a 2nd Rapid Antigen Test will be given upon arrival, which can be prebooked at the customs offices as follows. It costs $50 and is payable in cash or credit card. Once the Negative test result is received, you are free to explore BVI without any quarantine.
Need travel medical insurance, as described in the government website. For more details on various travel insurance options: https://www.thecharteryachtcompany.com/travel-insurance
West End Ferry Terminal – https://westend.bvi.care/ Currently approved for Water Taxis and Private vessels only, not ferries.
Road Town Ferry Terminal – https://rtferry.bvi.care/
Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport – https://airport.bvi.care/
For USVI, To enter the USVI, please follow the protocols, as per the site: www.usviupdate.com
Currently, vaccinated travelers will need a negative Covid-19 Antigen (Rapid) or NAAT (eg. PCR) test result within 5 days of arrival in the USVI.
You will also need to complete the travel portal withing 5 days of arrival in the USVI, which found here: www.usvitravelportal.com
Once in the USVI, you can continue to the USA mainland without any further testing.