• Aurora Team

Vacation countries 2020 reopening dates and COVID-19 protocols. Caribbean region.

Updated: 4 days ago

The end of June approaches, the first half of the year has gone. Boy… has it been a tough year so far, Covid-19 epidemic has taken its toll globally. Hitting the economical market, travel restrictions, our women's diving wetsuit shop, and every single person worldwide. I am sure you will agree it has been mentally and physically demanding to stay positive and get through this.


Countries around the Caribbean and Central America are currently planning their soft openings and lifting travel restrictions. As travel restrictions start to ease and more countries begin to become accessible, we will be bringing information about which countries are opening for travelers and scuba divers and when. Along with what measurements are being taken and how to find the latest information for that said country.


As divers, nature lovers and travel fanatics, the majority of us are now feeling the itchy feet to escape and explore again. Eager to get the chance to pull on our scuba diving wetsuit or beautiful diving leggings and dive below the surface. To feel the sandy toes and the cool salty breeze as we stand beneath the tropical sun stress-free.


Although it is important to remember that travel will not be exactly as it was post-COVID-19. Taking additional precautions and care is advised where ever you do plan to jet off to. Aurora wetsuits bring you the list as a guide to areas we feel are heading in the right direction to offer us, the sun-seeking divers a place to escape and explore underwater in our beautiful diving wetsuit. Providing thorough procedures for the travelers traveling in, their local's best protection against further infection and also hotels, shops, and restaurant health and safety guidelines.


BELIZE


The beautiful and nature-rich country of Belize has announced reopening as of August 15th. Meaning international travel will begin allowing people to enjoy this diverse country once again. Having so much to offer from its mountains, swamps, and tropical jungle. Most importantly for the diving lovers out there, the prime dive sites and islands, it has easily accessible. No need to pack a wetsuit for diving in Belize you will be just fine in diving leggings.

https://belizetourismboard.org/

Belize is introducing strict protocols to be followed by local businesses and also travelers themselves via their mobile app. The app will be used to give the traveler a unique ID number. Used before for uploading a negative COVID-19 test result at least 72 hours before arrival, in Belize you will be required to log in daily to allow location tracking of movement. Helping the control of Belize's phased opening and keeping the tourists safe. Businesses will open slowly with limited numbers of hotels, shops, and restaurants. Those to open first will be accredited with the gold standard certification, which fully follows the COVID-19 protocols and safety standards. This includes and not limited to additional room cleaning with increased sanitization methods. Public areas will be sanitized regularly and will have hand hygiene stations to allow guests to reduce the risk of contamination. All hotel properties must also be able to offer all amenities required by tourists, airport pickup/drop off, reduced human contact like online check-in/out, and have an approved plan should any member of staff or guest fall ill.


Sounds great but can I still visit tourist sites? The Belize tourism board expects all tourist attractions to be open in line with the opening of the borders. Be it with social distancing, facial covers, and additional measures as needed. More detailed information will be released closer to the opening date.



Are you ready to explore Belize? Go on then, dive in and explore the blue hole, searching the walls as you descend into the deep blue and experience this unique natural site. Prefer diving on closer sites enjoys the endless list of reef spots full of colorful corals, little critters on the Mesoamerican reef. The second-largest reef in the world, the Mesoamerican reef stretches from Yucatan, Mexico down through Belize waters and out to the bay islands, Honduras. Belize the home of the largest Caribbean atoll, made up of around 200 islands. Providing safe haven for a range of tropical species and perfect diving conditions. There are 60 dive sites to pick from here, sightings of dolphins, eagle rays, moray eels, sharks and turtles are possible. Along with large shoals of snapper and horse-eye jacks.

ARUBA


Aruba a southern Caribbean island and a constituent country of the kingdom of the Netherlands. The sunny beaches of Aruba are welcoming visitors back once again. The phased reopening is being monitored carefully by the government and department of public health. Currently, the island accepts visitors from neighboring islands of Bonaire and Curacao only. Canadian and European travelers will be able to access Aruba as of the 1st of July along with access from the Caribbean islands, excluding the Dominican Republic and Haiti. American tourists will, unfortunately, have to wait until the 10th of July before travel is possible. Official openings for other countries will be announced in due time depending on the COVID-19 situation in the relevant country.


So far all inbound travelers are required to wear masks in-flight as well as in the airport of Aruba. Masks will not be required to be worn around Aruba itself, however, it is highly recommended to have one available. Should the situation your in be difficult to apply social distance efforts. A negative PCR test for COVID-19 will be required upon entry to the Island. Tests can be done prior to arrival or prepaid to take the test upon arrival at the airport. An ED card is also needed for entry which proves you have sufficient medical insurance and health statement. Hotels, shops, and restaurants safe for tourists will be credited with the Aruba Health and happiness codes sticker.


All visitors are recommended to frequently check www.Aurba.com for the latest protocols and travel information. Aruba is taking their health measures very seriously and updating often to ensure the safety of travelers and locals alike.

Aruba Part of the ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) islands all of which are diving paradises.

Offering fine sandy beaches with ease of access for amazing shore diving, cool trade winds, and sunsets that can only be described as something from a postcard. A short swim out to the reef wall makes these islands a perfect place for divers who like to dive alone with their buddies. Beautiful healthy corals line the coast, whether you're into macro, coral formations, or larger species we are sure this place will bring you many great dives. Both underwater and land pictures will be nothing short of spectacular and hold many beautiful memories.


Ready to enjoy the beautiful island of Aruba? Grab your Aurora women's wetsuit, zip-up, and let's go diving. Relieve the stress and COVID-19 behind. Enjoy the time being back in the water for a mermazing time, the ocean is our place of freedom and tranquillity.

TURKS AND CAICOS


The Caribbean hotspot for tourism, Turks, and Caicos has officially announced it will reopen its borders on July 22. A British overseas territory, a group of more than 40 islands. Known for its white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, and great quality customer service. Not only is it a perfect place to have a great vacation be it with family or friends it has some great diving available too. With so many activities provided by local resorts, making it ideal for couples, children, or friends traveling together. There is something for everyone on this island.


Turks and Caicos premier Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson made the announcement that the move will be in line with a series of safety protocols. Addressing the measures of stringent standards, personal training, and personal protective equipment as the main focus. More will follow to cover all necessary measurements to keep local islands and tourist as safe as possible, The fine details of all protocols and requirements will be released in the coming weeks.

As soon as the destination has all protocols and measures ready in place, flights will resume from the United States, Canada, and Europe to the islands. However, the Grand Turk cruise center will be closed until at least August 31st. Awaiting further recommendations upon Cruise line travel.

What we do know so far for visitors is the requirements of the TCI (Turks and Caicos Islands) assured certificate will be needed. Having set up a portal that will be soon live on the tourism boards website (www.turksandcaicos.com). Here you can apply and receive your TCI sticker needed to enter the islands. It will only be provided having submitted proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test from a TCI accredited clinic at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Along with medical insurance the medical screening questionnaire. There will be no quarantine need upon following the above guidelines. Track updates on the above link to stay up to date accordingly.

The Turks and Caicos, a great destination all round. Paradise in the Caribbean, soak in the sun, and enjoy the high-end catering available. Go diving while the kids enjoy their activities, spend evenings watching amazing sunsets and watch the stars appear.



BAHAMAS

The Bahamas archipelago, which is an ecological paradise spreading over 100,000 square miles of ocean. Whilst having a great location and easy access to the United States is just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, you can be soon jetting off to this close retreat. Offering some of the clearest waters in the world, shallow bays to enjoy a casual swim and a lot of shark diving for those looking for that perfect dive trip. Officially opening July 1st accepting tourism from all countries as long as tourists follow the pre-entry protocol.

https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening

The Bahamian government announced the opening with no quarantine period required, only that the traveler has not been exposed or showing any symptoms of the virus. A negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required for entry upon arrival no older than 10 days. Additionally, there is also an electronic online health declaration form. Asking travelers questions about there home country, if they have symptoms or been in contact with the virus. The form can be found at https://travel.gov.bs/international.


Upon arrival, all passengers will undergo temperature screenings and be expected to follow The Bahamas "Healthy Traveler Campaign". Encouraging both residents and visitors to continue practicing social distancing, regularly washing hands or use of hand sanitizer and facial masks.

“Our top priority has and will always be our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors,” said Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Director General Joy Jibrilu. “We are putting an even greater emphasis on making sure The Bahamas is safe and clean for everyone, and look forward to once again providing travelers with the tropical experience our islands are known for.”

Other mentions in Central America

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador will be reopening to tourism as of July 1st according to Vice president Sonneholzner and the are is COVID-19 free.

Mexico has not seen such drastic changes during the epidemic as to most countries in terms of border closures and lockdown. However, tourists still left the country, and locals in Mexico are still struggling. Unfortunately, Mexico was hit quite badly and has an extremely high number of cases, currently above 200,000 active cases, as of writing. We recommend full caution should you plan a trip to Mexico currently. Rather waiting for the situation there to calm and use one of the alternatives mentioned.


Should we take a vacation even as things ease off? Is there still a risk?


The answer is simple yes there is a risk, like any travels, there is always a potential risk. Vacations for us are the time of the year we are free, we have no work to be done. Reduced stress levels and can let our minds be clear. A sanctuary of recovery from your daily life, the build-up of frustration, and most importantly the time to spend with loved ones, family, friends, and catching up with our dive buddies. Now is the time we need this natural retreat, after having such troublesome months behind us and bring our minds back to a positive mind frame. Ready to be back on track for the future and having that beautiful memory of 2020. We can turn around the look on the year, we have the control and power to do this.





We do hope from Aurora Wetsuits that you can get the chance to travel, clear your mind, and enjoy one of these amazing locations. Yes, travel seems quite a scary though still but the positive effects are huge. Mentally and physically for us, for the local residents of the destinations, the economical help will go a long way. Interested to learn about travel updates to popular holiday destinations of 2020 such as Egypt, Maldives, Thailand or the Philippines? Check our next blog.