The Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis will welcome only vaccinated travelers going forward, introducing one of the strictest vaccination-related travel protocols due to COVID-19.
The twin islands now require all foreign tourists, including from the United States, to be vaccinated with either a two-dose vaccine, like the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca shots, or a single dose vaccine, like the Johnson & Johnson shot, according to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority. Travelers must wait at least two weeks after their final dose before coming to the islands.
Unvaccinated children under 18 who travel with fully-vaccinated parents or guardians are exempt from the requirement.
In addition to proof of vaccination, travelers must submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an approved lab taken within 72 hours before traveling.
Tourists then have to book a stay at one of several “Travel Approved” hotels, and “Vacation in Place” for at least a week. While at the hotel, tourists can move freely throughout the property and use all the amenities, according to the tourism authority.
Those who stay for more than a week will then have to take a second PCR test.
In October, St. Kitts and Nevis became one of the last Caribbean destinations to welcome international tourists after shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic. In total, 52.5% of residents have received at least one vaccine shot and 14.5% are fully vaccinated, according to Reuters, which is tracking vaccines around the globe.
Throughout the pandemic, the islands have seen 74 infections and no coronavirus-related deaths.
St. Kitts and Nevis is currently listed as a “Level 2” country by the U.S. State Department, recommending travelers exercise increased caution, and a “Level 1” country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indicating a “low level” of COVID-19.
St. Kitts and Nevis joins destinations welcoming vaccinated tourists throughout the world, including several in the Caribbean like the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.