As the country has decided to move into an endemic phase, the Caribbean island of St. Maarten will ease its travel restrictions over the next few weeks.
Some of the travel updates will include eliminating testing requirements for fully vaccinated travelers as well as some local restrictions.
Entry Requirements For St. Maarten – Information For Travelers
St. Maarten’s new ravel entry rules will go into effect March 1, 2022. The updates will include:
- Removing testing requirements: Travelers that can show proof of full vaccination or recovery from Covid from the past nine months of travel won’t have to show a negative Covid test result upon arrival. According to the guidance, the date of your completed vaccination (one dose or two, depending on the vaccine) can’t be older than one year. If you received a booster shot, it must have been given at least 14 days before travel.
- Travelers rules for unvaccinated travelers: All non-fully vaccinated travelers aged 5 and older must show a negative PCR test taken no later than 48 hours of arrival or a rapid antigen test 24 hours of arrival to St. Maarten.
- Travel Entry Form: All travelers to St Maarten must still fill out the health pre-authorization form, but now 72 hours before arrival instead of 12. You can see the form here.
The removal of the test requirement for fully vaccinated/recovered travelers on March 1 is the biggest change to the islands’ entry requirements. Currently, even jabbed tourists must either show proof of a 48-hour PCR or 24-hour antigen test for entry.
Local Restrictions For St. Maarten – Update
Local restrictions throughout St. Maarten are also being eased. From February 25, all bars and clubs can now remain open until 3 a.m.
A curfew between midnight and 5 a.m. was implemented earlier this year on the French side of the island, which has now been lifted.
Declaring Covid An Endemic Is ‘Pivotal’, Says Public Health Minister
St. Maarten’s minister of public health, Omar Ottley, made a statement to the press earlier this week in regards to the travel update:
“As we take steps towards normalcy, we will do so in a safe and responsible manner. With case numbers remaining low, our protocols have made St. Maarten one of the safest places to visit today. Declaring Covid-19 an endemic on our island is pivotal, and we will work for months to come to pioneer policies that prioritize everyone’s health and simultaneously allow for easy yet safe travel to and within St. Maarten.”
He continued, “We are confident that introducing these new protocols will help us smoothly transition back to normalcy and maintenance while welcoming an increasing number of valued visitors to our ‘Friendly Island.’”
Trend in Travel As Restrictions Continue To Ease Throughout Region
This week’s announcement from St. Maarten follows other nations throughout the Caribbean that have been updating their entry policies and local restrictions in accordance with strategies more for an endemic rather than a pandemic.
Just this week, Jamaica announced that it would be eliminating its travel authorization requirement as of March 1st. The Caribbean island also recently eased some of its quarantine restrictions for travelers, eliminating the quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated business travelers who present a negative PCR test from 72 hours of travel.
The Dominican Republic also removed most of its entry requirements for international arrivals earlier this month. Local restrictions such as its mask requirement in all indoor and outdoor areas was also recently removed. However, masks will still have to be worn at the airport.
The island of Bermuda also eased some restrictions for fully vaccinated travelers, which are set to go into effect on March 7.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com