They don’t put Guantanamo to shame (and they are understandable) but damn; St Lucia’s new tourist rules and regulations are almost enough to put you off travelling until The Pandemic is a footnote in history.
Backing up a second, here’s some context: despite most people doing sweet f*ck all during lockdown (to the point where we’re getting experimental with our hair and beards) we can surely all agree we’re going to need a holiday to unwind from the stress and pressures handed to us by The Bat Kiss.
What better place to go then, than a Caribbean island; sipping on a cocktail or two while gazing out at crystal blue waters? Fortunately for you (we’re assuming your interest was piqued), Saint Lucia, a small island situated to the North West of Barbados, has said it will reopen its borders for travellers looking to escape their daily stressors and find some sanctuary among sand and sea.
Although, there is one catch that might cause more stress and turmoil than what you’re escaping…
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That’s because Saint Lucia has said that even though it will welcome international arrivals from June 4th 2020, anyone who arrives on the island will have to adhere to a strict set of guidelines that will prevent you from doing pretty much anything.
As reported by One Mile At A Time, Saint Lucia asks all guests to be tested within 48 hours of their flight and present a certified negative result at the check-in desk of the departure airport. They will then need to wear masks for the duration of the flight(s), even if the particular airline doesn’t make it a compulsory measure.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Once on terra firma in Saint Lucia, guests will need to have their temperature taken and can only take an authorised taxi to their accommodation, booked by the hotel, of course. No rideshares. No renting of cars.
Once you arrive at the hotel, you may as well make sure you’ve got plenty to occupy yourself with once inside the four walls. While you will be able to leave the confines of your room to explore the island, you won’t be able to dine out anywhere as all restaurants will remain shut. The only place you can eat is inside your hotel of choice, and even then, you will be subject to a temperature screening at every meal.
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It’s understandable that Saint Lucia is determined to keep the island nation safe from any further outbreaks, having recorded just 18 positive cases and zero deaths. But, despite the 4th of June reopening, we can’t find any flights from Sydney to Saint Lucia until July, when you can expect to pay in excess of AU$9,000 for a return business class seat.
American travellers may, however, be pleased to know they can travel to the Caribbean, with direct flights available from Miami (which acts as a stopover airport for other major US airports). A return flight with British Airways will set you back around US$950, just don’t expect a business class seat. It’s economy all the way.
If you plan to book a holiday, best pack your hiking boots.