The Turks and Caicos are attracting a lot of attention in 2021. Here’s why.
2020 was a rough year for everyone, and the Turks and Caicos were unfortunately not excluded. The absolutely stunning pearl-white beaches are empty. The 5-star luxury villas vacant. The endless coral reefs free of snorkelers. Tourist-dependent locals struggling.
All of that is about to change in 2021, as we see the return of tourists to these beautiful islands. But before you go, here are 5 things you should know.
1) The Turks and Caicos Are Open For Tourism!
The Turks and Caicos Islands borders reopened to regional and international travelers on July 22nd, with health and safety protocols in place to keep the islands, well, safe and healthy. Here are some of the new protocols:
- You must wear a mask/face covering at all times in public.
- Respect the six feet social distancing in public spaces.
- Expect temperature checks before boarding an aircraft or boat for interisland travel.
- Maximum capacity at bars and restaurants is 30%.
2) You Won’t Have to Quarantine in the Turks and Caicos
Travelers to the Turks and Caicos are not required to quarantine on arrival, unless they come in contact with someone who’s positive for Covid-19 or test positive themselves.
This is great news – and adds Turks and Caicos to the list of countries that don’t required a quarantine.
3) Watch Out for the Extra Steps You Need to Take Before Traveling
Before leaving for the Turks and Caicos, make sure you’ve met the entry requirements. If you don’t, your airline will not let you board. They include:
- A negative COVID-19 PCR test result (antigen and antibody tests will not be accepted).
- Medical/Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 medical costs, full hospitalization, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and air ambulance/medevac.
- Completed a health screening questionnaire and Travel Authorization Form
Crucial: make sure your PCR test comes from one of these accredited laboratories. Otherwise, your application will be denied. Don’t ask me how I know.
Take note that you’ll have to complete a new Travel Authorization Form before traveling between the islands as well.
You may begin the application as soon as 5 days before travel. I recommend completing it 24-48 hours before departure (the minimum is at least 24 hours ahead) at the latest. This is because someone has to read and approve it. In my personal experience, the Turks and Caicos travel board approved my Travel Authorization almost immediately – but you never know.
4) There is a Curfew in the Turks and Caicos, But It’s Not Bad
The daily curfew lasts from 11:00pm to 5:00am nightly. This means all businesses suspend their operations to the public at 10:00pm.
One notable exception: Hotels may operate after 10:00pm to accommodate checked-in guests only.
5) You Can Fly or Ferry to Other Islands
Interisland travel is permitted – in fact, it’s encouraged. Although Grace Bay is a wonderful place to stay, there’s just so much more to see.
We highly recommend visiting the Middle Caicos, where you can explore an incredible maze of caverns in The Indian Cave and Conch Bar Cave. To get here, simply take the TCI ferry from Providenciales to North Caicos and then ground transportation to Middle. You can take a taxi or rent a car, both for fairly reasonable prices.
As an island where the Atlantic and Caribbean Sea meet, Salt Cay makes a great place to go whale watching. In fact, you can even swim with the whales!
Or you can fly to Grand Turk, where you’ll find spectacular diving with 7000 foot drop-offs!
Last month, we were able to rent out a villa right on Grace Bay Beach for less than $170 per night. While this may sound expensive to those who aren’t familiar with the Turks and Caicos, those who are know that these pristine beaches and clear waters don’t come for cheap.
To get a room for such a steal (yes that’s a steal in the Turks and Caicos), we used a coupon code with Hotels.com like this one:
Extra 7% Off Hotels with Free Cancellation. Using this link will save you money and earn commission to help keep this website running. Win-win!
The Turks and Caicos provide ample testing options for those (including Americans) who need return testing.
Hope this helps!