Saint Lucia has become the latest Caribbean country and one of the latest countries around the world to ease its Covid-19 entry requirements and make it easier for travelers to be able to enter. The gorgeous island – famed for its iconic Piton Mountains that dominate its landscape and its beautiful beaches – is set to make the changes go live in just a few days, meaning travelers won’t have to wait long to be able to take advantage of the changes.
In making changes to its Covid-19 related entry requirements, Saint Lucia is set to join the likes of Caribbean neighbours Aruba, Grenada, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in making it not only easier to enter but a more attractive proposition for travelers too. Here’s a look at what changes the island is set to make, which travelers they are going to effect and from date the changes will take place.
Entry Requirements Changing – Information For Travelers
The country’s previous entry requirements saw travelers aged 5 years old and over needing to take a Covid-19 PCR test 5 days or less before their planned arrival in the country. The test needed to be a nasopharyngeal swab, with saliva-based tests not accepted by the country, and travelers would need to upload proof of their negative test results online before they are able to fly to Saint Lucia. Whilst most of this is set to remain, there is one major change on the way.
From March 5th, vaccinated travelers heading to Saint Lucia will be able to take a Rapid Antigen Test for Covid-19 within one day instead of the PCR test within five days – though that option still remains should travelers wish to take it. Not only do Rapid Antigen Tests provide Covid-19 results much quicker than PCR tests, they are also considerably cheaper – leaving travelers with more money to spend on the islands, not in labs or clinics.
However, travelers should be aware of the fact that those choosing to enter with a Rapid Antigen Test must ensure that their test is administered by a healthcare provider. Self-tests will not be accepted; this means that the Rapid Antigen Tests such as those supplied by the US government or the NHS in the UK will not be suitable for this purpose. Results for both the PCR and Rapid Antigen Tests must still be uploaded online prior to travel.
Speaking about the decision to ease entry requirements, Lorine Charles-St. Jules, CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, said:
“As one of the very first destinations to implement a responsible tourism reopening strategy, Saint Lucia has continuously evaluated Covid-19 travel protocols.”
“These major changes are good news for visitors and returning nationals as it means a simplified process, greater access to testing and a significant reduction in cost. We have been listening to our travel community in the US, UK, Caribbean and around the world. Travellers are seeking a seamless experience along with confidence in safety, and our eased protocols reflect our commitment to welcoming travellers back to Saint Lucia.”
These changes to the testing requirements are set to take place from March 5th for travelers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Travelers who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are still required to complete the PCR test within five days of their trip to Saint Lucia, with the option of taking a Rapid Antigen Test unavailable for them.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com