On Aug. 1 St Maarten officially reopened its borders to travelers from the United States, following a July relaunch to Canadian and European tourists and private aviation.
It should be noted that only St Maarten, the Dutch side of the island, is open to Americans and all other travelers;
Saint Martin, the French side, has closed its borders to the Dutch side — meaning U.S. visitors are not able to visit the French side of the island right now.
Most crucially, all travelers to St Maarten must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their travel date to St Maarten. (All visitors also need to fill out a St Maarten entry form that can be found here).
The results must be uploaded as part of that form no later than 12 hours prior to departure.
Visitors who do not provide such a result will be tested and then quarantined for 14 days at their own expense.
St Maarten has launched six “core measures” to help prevent the spread of COVID.
That includes physical distancing with proper floor markings, mandatory face mask usage, social distancing of 2 meters, proper self-sanitization procedure, the appropriate procedure for cleaning surfaces, a stay-at-home when sick policy, and digital menus and messages, the Ministry of Tourism said.
St Maarten is requiring all visitors to travel with their masks, hand sanitizers and to wear their mask on their flights and at the airport.
The destination is also “strongly advising” travelers to purchase all-risk travel insurance “ensuring that they are covered in the event they fall ill while on vacation.”
On Aug. 1, American Airlines kicked off a broad relaunch of service to St Maarten, including daily flights from Miami and five-times-weekly flights from Charlotte (on Aug. 20, that will be reduced to one weekly flight from Charlotte).
That will be followed by flights on Delta from Atlanta later this month.
JetBlue was the first major U.S. carrier to return to the island, bringing 83 passengers from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday.
“The safety of visitors and residents remains the top priority for the country,” St Maarten’s Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunications said in a statement. “In preparation of opening, site inspections took place at all lodging facilities to ensure that the protocol and guidelines in place are followed. With these strict measures in place, St. Maarten continues its phased re-opening.”
So what’s open in St Maarten?