Micronesia has only confirmed one case of Covid-19 so far. The Polynesian island of Samoa and the South Pacific island of Vanuatu only have three cases each.
Sounds like a safe travel choice? There is only one problem – none of them allow tourists.
Many islands that opened to tourists during the pandemic saw rising coronavirus infection rates shortly afterwards.
There are exceptions, however.
The following goals kept Covid rates low by imposing stringent protocols that often include “vacation on the spot” requirements.
Although the small Caribbean island of Anguilla opened to international visitors in November, only 18 Covid-19 cases have been recorded so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Travelers to the British Overseas Territory, located east of the British and US Virgin Islands, must be pre-approved for Covid-19 prior to arrival, upon landing, and again after an “on-the-spot” 10 or 10 year stay to test 14 days (depending on where travelers visit from).
Anguilla requires that all travelers be tested, including infants and young children.
Peter Griffith | Stone | Getty Images
During this time, travelers can stay in hotels, villas and dine in restaurants, provided they are “Safe Environment Certified” according to the Anguilla Tourist Board website. You can also play golf, scuba diving and go on offshore excursions, provided these are also state certified.
Travelers can request a “short stay” (less than three months) for approximately $ 250 per person. Remote workers, students, and their families can apply under a separate “Digital Nomad” program that costs $ 2,000 to stay for up to a year.
Vaccination Rate: 26% of the population had at least one dose on February 26 (unless otherwise noted, all vaccination rates are from Our World in Data website).
St. Kitts and Nevis
The 100 square mile island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has recorded 41 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began.
When it reopened its borders more than four months ago, the twin island state did not assign any risk to travelers from different countries, as “all visitors come from an area with considerable risk”, according to the tourism authority’s website.
All arriving travelers, including children and vaccinated individuals, must be approved for entry and tested negative prior to their arrival.
Four Seasons Resort Nevis is on the list of approved hotels for travelers to stay in Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Courtesy of the Four Seasons Resort Nevis
However, St. Kitts and Nevis is more about testing than most of the others. The pre-departure test window is short (between 48 and 72 hours before departure) and the tests must be nasopharyngeal RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). Tests “performed in laboratories that have an ISO / IEC 17025 standard,” according to the website.
“Those traveling from the US should look for laboratories that are CLIA (CDC) certified, and those from the UK should look to UKAS approved laboratories,” it says, the latter referring to the UK accreditation service, one national body that evaluates tests and other services.
The website states that test results from the American laboratory company LabCorp will not be accepted. However, a Saint Kitts tourism representative told CNBC Global Traveler that this information is “out of date” and no longer applicable and that travelers can email questions about tests in advance.
Travelers arriving by plane must stay in their hotel for the first week of travel. However, you can interact with other guests and take part in hotel activities. Those who test negative on day eight can move around the island to choose locations, including the Brimstone Hill Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the historic sites in the capital, Basseterre. Note: UK travelers are required to quarantine themselves at their hotels and are currently not allowed to “vacation on the spot”.
Guests who test negative after 14 days on the island can integrate into the local population of around 53,000.
Vaccination Rate: Around 10% of the population as of March 10th (according to a country tourism representative).
Although the historic part of Macau is on a peninsula that is now connected to mainland China, Macau’s Cotai Island is a major tourist attraction because of its great casino complexes, including the 10.5 million square meter Venetian Macau.
Like Hong Kong, Macao is a special administrative region in China. Although it is mostly only open to residents of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it still accounts for nearly 20% of the world’s population.
The Cotai Strip is located on Cotai Island, a portmanteau that reflects the redevelopment project that joined the two Macau Islands of Coloane and Taipa in 2005.
Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon | Moment | Getty Images
Quarantine times vary from zero (for travelers from most of China) to 21 days (for travelers from Hong Kong). Casino stocks rebounded when Macau announced last month that Chinese travelers would no longer need negative test results to enter casinos (though they still need to have negative tests to get into Macau).
Macau has nearly 650,000 residents and is much larger than the other places on this list. So far, 48 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed. However, in China, coronavirus cases are counted differently than in most other countries by excluding asymptomatic positive cases from the official numbers.
Vaccination status: According to local reports, a rollout campaign with Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccines was started in February.
Around 112,000 people live in Grenada. A total of 148 coronavirus cases have been confirmed.
Travelers who want to keep things simple will appreciate Grenada’s travel requirements. Before leaving, travelers must book accommodations, register for a certificate, and test a negative for Covid-19. Upon arrival, travelers must quarantine and pass a PCR test on the fifth day. The results will be presented about two days later.
Travelers to Grenada should expect a quarantine of about 7 days.
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After that, visitors can leave their hotels and use certified tourism services, including taxis, dive companies, and glass-bottom boats.
Vaccination Rate: <1% of the population had at least one dose on February 16.
Although the island nation of Dominica has 40,000 fewer inhabitants than Grenada, it has recorded three more cases than its Caribbean neighbor – or 151 in total.
After reopening for tourists in August, the island state between Martinique and Guadeloupe launched a program called “Safe in Nature” last October, with which travelers stay in certified accommodation and for the first five to seven days certified means of transport to selected locations on the island Island can take days of a trip. It’s part of what Dominica calls the “managed experience”.
The 275 square mile island nation of Dominica allows travelers from high risk countries to visit places like Trafalgar Falls and the Emerald Pool (shown here).
Jan Kokes | 500px | Getty Images
However, this only applies to travelers from high risk countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, and Japan, although travelers from low and medium risk countries also participate in the program. Other travelers are “monitored” at their accommodation, which the Dominica Tourism Authority defines as face-to-face and telephone interviews and reviews.
Vaccination rate: 10% the population Has had at least one dose As of March 1st.
British Virgin Islands
With a population of 30,000, the British Virgin Islands have less than a third of the population of the US Virgin Islands. And its 153 confirmed Covid-19 cases are far fewer than the U.S. Virgin Islands, which has recorded 2,744 cases as of March 10.
The British Overseas Territory reopened on December 1st and requires travelers to test on arrival, download a tracking app (or wear a wristband monitor) and quarantine at their hotel or villa for four days. Tourists cannot move around the island during this time.
Tortola Island in the British Virgin Islands.
Walter Bibikow | DigitalVision | Getty Images
Anyone five years or older who passes a PCR test on the fourth day of travel is free to move around the British Virgin Islands afterwards.
Travelers are also required to stay in “Approved Gold Seal Accommodation,” which includes a list of locations on Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada, as well as Richard Branson’s luxurious private Necker Island.
Vaccination Rate: It was 13% of the population on March 5, according to a government press release.