It was announced this week that two of the top resorts in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia will be offering free PCR testing for Canadians.
From November 21, the Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay resort will be giving PCR tests free of charge for Canadian guests staying seven nights or longer for their return home.
Testing Available For Shorter Stays
While free testing is available to those guests staying a week or more at these resorts, shorter-stay guests can book and get their PCR test done on-site for $150 USD.
How To Schedule The Tests In St. Lucia
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa: Upon arrival at the resort, all Canadian guests can schedule their return PCR tests at the front desk.
Serenity at Coconut Bay: Guests can organize their return-home test with their butler.
PCR tests will be administered by a medical professional on-site at both resorts, and results will be given within 24 hours of the test.
Mark Adams, President and CEO of Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay made a statement following the announcement of this new incentive. “As travelers ourselves, we know first-hand how difficult it can be to juggle the testing required, particularly return home tests when you’re unfamiliar with how to make arrangements in your vacation destination.”
“We are one of the few Saint Lucian resorts covering the cost of testing and have worked diligently to offer on-site PCR testing for our Canadian guests to ease the stress and the expense that goes along with meeting all travel requirements,” he continued.
Resorts Also Offering Complimentary Travel Insurance
In addition to free return-home testing for Canadians, the two resorts are also offering free travel insurance to guests with stays of five nights or more. To quality for the offer, the trips must be booked through December 31, 2021 and travel through September 22, 2022. All bookings must be made directly with the resorts, or through a travel agent or tour operator.
The Coconut Bay resorts are also providing free return-home antigen tests for travelers from the US and the UK.
Lack Of Testing Options May Discourage International Travel This Winter
In an effort to boost tourism, a number of resorts and hotels offered free testing and complimentary insurance options to travelers at the beginning of the year. Now, it is difficult to find many places offering free testing, especially the pricier PCR test.
Earlier this month, the Canadian Snowbird Association called on the Federal Government to drop the PCR test requirement for re-entry into Canada, citing the high cost of the test. If the requirement continues, testing prices will be one of the deterrents for international travel this winter.
Entry Requirements For Saint Lucia
Please note that the free testing incentive is only for guests return home to Canada, and travelers will have to pay for all additional requirements for travel to Saint Lucia.
- All travelers to Saint Lucia 18 years and older must complete and submit an online travel registration form in order to receive Travel Authorization for their visit.
- All travelers 5 years and older must take a PCR test 5 days or less before departure and submit the negative results to the travel registration form for review and approval. (nasopharyngeal swab only – saliva samples will not be accepted).
- Fully vaccinated travelers will have expanded access to the island. Unvaccinated travelers who’ve received Travel Authorization will be transferred via certified taxi to their pre-booked and approved accommodation.
You can find the complete guidelines on the official website here.
Jamaican Destinations Offering Affordable Testing On-Site
While it’s not free, some hotels and resorts in Jamaica that are offering on-site PCR tests for Canadians returning home for $75 USD – half the price of a typical PCR test for travel.
Travelers staying at a licensed hotel in Jamaica’s Resilient Corridors can book an on-site test at the reduced rate either through the online booking portal or through their travel advisor. Those staying in other accommodations like a private villa, guesthouse or private residence at schedule an in-person appointment at one of the closest labs.
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com