As you may have heard, starting Jan. 26 all travelers flying into the U.S. will need to present proof of a negative PCR, NAT or antigen COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of your flight’s departure. Or, if you have tested positive for COVID in the previous three months, you can submit a note from a health provider or public health official authorizing you to travel. You can read about the requirements in detail here: https://largaytravel.com/cdc-to-require-negative-covid-test-from-all-inbound-passengers/
Naturally, your first question might be, “How am I going to get results back in time to board my flight?” Fortunately, airlines and many of our preferred resort and tour partners are making strides to ensure travelers are able to comply with the CDC order.
American Airlines is making its VeriFLY app available to all passengers starting Jan. 23. Passengers can upload the documentation they need, including proof of a negative test, in the app.
Where will you be able to get tested so you can get those results promptly?
Several Caribbean destinations and the Resorts on the Riviera Maya destinations and resorts are already putting testing sites in place to make things easy and convenient for their guests. Aruba has expanded testing centers near resort areas that offer appointments so visitors can meet the requirements without spending too much of their vacation working. Average turnaround time for test results is 24 hours. The Bahamas already requires visitors to take a test on the fifth day of their stay, so guests staying between five and eight days will already meet the CDC’s requirements, and testing centers are already set up if you don’t fit in that category.
Most resorts on St. Lucia already have testing facilities, and others are setting them up to make sure their guests can get test results within the 72-hour time frame. This is similar to what is happening with the resorts on the Riviera Maya and throughout Mexico where many hotels are providing testing for their guests. Jamaica is working to expand its testing infrastructure to meet the rising demand, as are Belize and Costa Rica.
The Grand Hyatt Baha Mar offers appointments for RT-PCR tests ($134.40 per person, results within 6 hours) or rapid antigen tests ($16.80 per person, result within an hour). Playa Resorts will offer complimentary on-site testing through April 30 in Mexico and the Dominican Republic ($49 per person in Jamaica). Costs for tests vary between properties and destinations. Grace Bay Resorts in Turks & Caicos will make RT-PCR testing available to guests for $150 per person. Testing will be at Grace Bay Club, with complimentary transportation for guests at West Bay Club, Point Grace and the private villa collection. Appointments will be scheduled based on departure date. Case de Campo in the Dominican will offer PCR testing on-site for $150 per person with same-day results and a VIP testing lounge.
This is a very fluid situation and we will keep you updated on further developments as travel rules continue to change by the week and even day. Make sure to consult with a trusted travel advisor about requirements for your trip. If you need help with your trip planning, contact me.