French St Martin Is Now Open for Tourism

best caribbean islands 2021The Grand Case Beach Club in St Martin.

The French side of St Martin is now officially open for tourism, Caribbean Journal has confirmed. 

The destination quietly reopened to both European and non-European tourists, including those from the United States. 

“You will be hosted in completely safe conditions in the various accommodations on the French side of St Martin,” St Martin’s tourism agency said in a statement. “They are ready and waiting for you — you have been missed.”

St Martin has signed a three-way agreement with the French government, the Agence Regional de Santa des Iles du Nord (the equivalent of the CDC) and the President of the Club de Tourisme, officials said. 

st martin caribbean feeling
Grand Case, St Martin.

The agreement requires all tourists arriving from non-European destinations to take an additional rapid antigen test if they arrive in St Martin with a PCR test result older than 72 hours — or if their antigen test is older than 48 hours.

So what does this all mean for visitors?

The island’s Princess Juliana International Airport, which is based in Dutch St Maarten, is currently requiring visitors to show proof of a negative PCR test received within 120 hours (5 days) before arrival on the island. 

st martin tourism open
Anse Marcel.

So if you want to visit the French side without an additional test, you’ll need to show proof of a negative test result received within 72 hours before arriving at the airport. 

To make this even simpler, here’s how to think about it:

Want to visit Dutch St Maarten? Take your test within five days before your flight.

Want to visit French St Martin? Take your test within three days before your flight.

It’s a significant boost for the French side of the island, and some of its major hotels like the Grand Case Beach Club, which is already open and welcoming back guests. 

— CJ


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