St Barts travel restrictions – St Barths reopening
st barts travel restrictions

Date

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It is June 11, 2021, and we are happy to confirm that the island is now open if you meet certain testing and/or vaccination criteria. On June 5, the French authorities officially relaxed the entry conditions to St Barths. Here’s the official announcement of the St Barths reopening. We get into precise details, testing and vaccination requirements, per country, below.

st barts travel restrictions lifted

Important note #1: What does “fully vaccinated” mean in the eyes of the French authorities?

You need to be able to show proof of vaccination and observe a time lag between your last shot and your arrival on the island. Precisely:

  • 2 weeks after the 2nd injection for double injection vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca) ;
  • 4 weeks after the injection for vaccines with a single injection (Johnson & Johnson);
  • 2 weeks after injection (only one injection required) of a vaccine in people with a history of Covid-19.

Important note #2: How about children and teens?

We are getting a lot of questions from families, so we found it important to clarify the process. As per the note of the President of the St Barths Tourism Bureau:

  • Visitors under the age of 18 do not need to be vaccinated (from 10 to 18: no vaccine, but test required)
  • Visitors under the age of 10 do not need to get tested (under 10: no vaccine, no test)

Case #1: For Americans, Brits, Canadians, and other people from a country on the orange/amber list (see full list and map below)

  • Fully vaccinated Americans and Canadians can now enter the island, with no need to self-isolate on arrival. No more need to register before your arrival with the local authorities either. Non-vaccinated can enter, but there are more constraints. Children under 11 are exempted from these requirements.
  • Please note that there are still testing requirements for all.
  • And good news for Americans returning from St Barths to the US, as the CDC has now put St Barts at the lowest level possible (Level 1: “Low Level of COVID-19 in Saint Barthelemy”). No more recommended self-isolation upon return to the US.

If you are fully vaccinated, here are the St Barths COVID entry requirements:

  • Proof of vaccination,
  • Either a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigenic test less than 48 hours old,
  • No testing on arrival
  • Neither quarantine nor self-isolation

If you are not fully vaccinated, here are the St Barths COVID entry requirements:

Things have not changed here. You are still required to have a compelling reason to travel, to document it, and to be able to prove it on arrival. Some people have been refused entry, do not waste time and money by trying to go around it.

  • A compelling reason to be allowed to St Barths. The list of compelling reasons features on the certificate of entry into metropolitan France that can be downloaded here. Do not forget to print and fill in this document.
  • Either a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigenic test less than 48 hours old,
  • Possible testing on arrival
  • 7-day self-isolation / quarantine

Good news for US travelers: Easier re-entry into the US

Good news for Americans returning from St Barths to the US, as the CDC has now put St Barts at the lowest level possible (Level 1: “Low Level of COVID-19 in Saint Barthelemy”). No more recommended self-isolation upon return to the US.

st barts CDC travel advice

Source: CDC

Case #2: For France, EU, EU+, other countries on the green list (see full list and map below)

Here are the rules for the European Union and “EU+” area (e.g. Switzerland), Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Singapore.

If you are “fully vaccinated”, here are the St Barths COVID entry requirements:

  • Proof of vaccination,
  • No testing on departure (if you are in transit somewhere, watch out)
  • No testing on arrival
  • Neither quarantine nor self-isolation

If you are not fully vaccinated”, here are the St Barths COVID entry requirements:

  • Either a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigenic test less than 48 hours old,
  • Possible testing on arrival
  • 7-day self-isolation / quarantine
  • New test after 7 days

Case #3: For countries on the red list (see full list and map below)

Whether you are vacccinated or not:

  • A compelling reason to be allowed to St Barths. The list of compelling reasons features on the certificate of entry into metropolitan France that can be downloaded here. Do not forget to print and fill in this document.
  • Either a negative PCR test less than 72 hours old or a negative antigenic test less than 48 hours old,
  • Possible testing on arrival
  • 7-day self-isolation / quarantine

Understanding the requirements: Green (e.g. E.U.), Orange (e.g. the U.S), and Red (e.g. Brazil) countries

he requirements depend on whether your departure country has been classified as:

  • GREEN: (no active circulation of the virus, no variants of concern identified): European Union + Schengen area (e.g. Switzerland), Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, and Singapore.
  • ORANGE (also called AMBER): Most countries, including the US and Canada
  • RED: (active virus circulation, concerns about COVID-19 variants): Argentina, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Turkey, Uruguay.
st barts entry requirements per country (vaccinated or not)

You can come in as long as you follow the steps explained below. It is great to see that our island of Saint Barthélemy has now moved towards a full official re-opening.


Key to all travel restrictions lifted: The success of the St Barths vaccination drive

As usual, the local St Barths authorities are using the island’s small size and good logistics to get things done fast; just as they did after Hurricane Irma struck the island.

St Barths has negotiated with the central government in Paris that, if the vaccination rate is high enough on the island, the borders could re-open faster than in Mainland France. So, the local authorities have sped the vaccination campaign on the island, which had started in February.

We’ve finishing an intense 3-week vaccination drive where any local or resident above 18 could get vaccinated for free with the Pfizer BioNtech at the vaccination center (a.k.a. “vaccinodrome”) at the St-Jean stadium. As of June 5, 65% of the adult St Barths population had already received at least one vaccine shot.

So, the vaccination campaign looks to be a success and we hope that the local authorities will be able to open the doors more widely soon.

St Barts travel advisory

st barths covid restrictions
St Barth Island, Caribbean sea

Is St Barths open for travel and tourism?

Can you travel to St Barths right now? Yes, you can, provided you are fully vaccinated and you are either on the green or orange list of countries

Due to COVID-19, you need to know about travel restrictions in St Barths, as well as from and back to your own country. We will focus here on the US, Canada, and France, where most of the island’s guests are from.

Are people traveling to St Barth’s right now? Yes, they are, but they need to vaccinated against COVID-19.

Over the year 2020, the number of airport arrivals managed to reach 118,813, a 35% drop compared with the record year of 2019. Overall, airport and port trafficked picked up again in summer 2020 and in October. The island was mostly closed off from April to May. Thanksgiving 2020 and Christmas / New Year’s Eve 2020 were pretty active, even if we had fewer tourists (airport arrivals were down by 17% for the last week of the year 2020, compared with 2019).

Restaurants, hotels, villa rental agencies, beaches, supermarkets are all open. Only famous cabaret Le Ti St Barth is closed for varied reasons. Yet, the new travel ban has temporarily made it impossible for visitors to reach the island.

What is the official U.S. travel advisory for St Barths?

As of early June 2021, this is what the CDC was showing for St Barths:

  • Level 1: Low Level of COVID-19 in Saint Barthelemy
  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Saint Barthelemy. 
  • Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in Saint Barthelemy, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.

Is St Barts on the quarantine list?

  • UK travelers: Yes, St Barths is on the amber / quarantine list, as all travel corridors to and from the UK were shut down on January 18, 2021. The United Kingdom has removed St Barths from its travel corridor list: You need to self-isolate if you’re traveling to England from Saint Barthélemy.

St Barts COVID test entry requirements, rules, and restrictions

The local St Barths authorities have invested early and heavily into testing and vaccinating the population.

is st barths on the quarantine list
St Barth Island, Caribbean sea

St Barts COVID testing centers

st barts covid test requirements

COVID-19 testing centers located on the island of St Barths:

  • Free rapid test (Antigen), run by the local authorities, the Red Cross, and the French health authorities: The COVID-19 drive-through testing facility is located in the Saint-Jean parking lot in front of the cemetery. The site is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm. It is closed on public holidays. Results in 30 to 40 minutes. The free service is open to both locals and visitors:
    • Travelers to Mainland France transiting through the Juliana Airport (SXM)
    • French or foreign travelers needing an antigenic (Antigen) test to travel to a foreign country (back to the United States, for instance)
    • Visitors to Saint-Barthélemy in possession, by mistake, of a test of more than 72 hours upon arrival on the island.
    • Travelers who have been on the island for 7 days want to be tested to secure their stay.
  • PCR test: Symptomatic persons or contact cases are invited to be tested by PCR at the Bio Pôle Antilles laboratory in Gustavia, open from 12 to 1 pm from Monday to Friday and from 9 to 10 am on Saturday.

A few resources you need to get checked in the US prior to coming to St Barths

What if you are connecting to St Barths (SBH) via Sint Maarten / Saint Martin (SXM)?

  • For updated travel requirements to St Maarten (Dutch side), visit the official site: stmaartenentry.com
  • The application must be completed in order to be processed. This includes proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, information on the vaccination status (including proof of completed vaccination in case fully vaccinated) and the purchase of the mandatory COVID-19 insurance in case required. Children must have the online health form filled out by their parents. Provide a working email address on which you are reachable.
  • An rt-PCR test for the SARS-COV-2 virus obtained from a nasopharyngeal swab performed within 120 hours (72 hours starting Feb 12) prior to departure to Sint Maarten (last leg in case of connecting flights) is required for all travelers originating from a country that is categorized as high risk. Antibody tests and tests performed outside of the 120 / 72 hours period will not be accepted.
  • If you are traveling to St Barts via St Martin, you will also be required to complete an application form for entry to St Martin and submit it before your departure, along with information on your COVID-19 test results.
  • Sint Maarten requires that everyone completing an application form purchase a $30 medical insurance policy, but this is NOT necessary if you are not spending the night in St. Maarten. You can find the form online at https://stmaartenehas.com/application-form/ .
  • Please note that you will also need to apply for entry to Sint Maarten on your return flight, although no additional testing is required.
  • Before boarding, you will have to show proof that you respect St Barths’s entry requirements (i.e., a negative rt-PCR test within 72 hours + vaccination proof). See above our paragraph about St Barths requirements for more details.

What if you are connecting to St Barths (SBH) via San Juan / Puerto Rico (SJU)?

  • If you are traveling to St. Barts via the San Juan airport (SJU), you do not need to fill out the online travel request form required to travel to Puerto Rico.
  • You need to show your negative Covid-19 test result and vaccination proof. You can then connect to your flight to St. Barts.
  • The same applies when you travel through San Juan on your way home.

Mask-wearing and social distancing rules in St Barths

Locals and visitors are required to wear masks indoors (e.g., boutiques, supermarkets). In some restaurants, you may be required to wear a mask when you are going to or leaving your table.

People are invited to practice social distancing. For instance, restaurants have reduced their capacity to provide more space between tables.

St Barts COVID numbers (Jne 2021 update): Coronavirus cases, COVID rate of infection, and risk level

These are the official coronavirus data SINCE THE START of the pandemic in March 2020. As of early Jube 2021, the number of new infections has decreased from its February-March peak. Cases are down to a few per week.

With more than 60% of the adult population already vaccinated, the health situation seem under control.

st barts COVID cases

Since the first case of COVID-19 has been recorded in St Barths in March 2020 (Source: COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University):

  • Since March 2020, up until June 2021: 1,005 COVID-19 cases
  • Since March 2020, up until June 2021: 1 death attributed to COVID-19 (in December 2020)

The St Barths COVID numbers are low. Note that the local population has access to free COVID testing, which helps track cases earlier. It also results in higher figures than on nearby islands with less access to labs. The island’s authorities are very reactive and organized. They can also count on a resourceful and resilient population, as proven by the fast recovery after hurricane Irma.

When looking at the data, you see several trends:

  • The first wave of coronavirus COVID-19 hit the island in April 2019, right at the end of the high season. A strict local lockdown in May and the absence of inbound tourists stopped the virus from spreading.
  • In fall 2020, as the season was about to re-start, more hospitality workers and visitors started arriving.
  • Despite a very busy 2020 Thanksgiving in St Barths, the number of cases remained under control.
  • A busy New Year’s Eve led to a stark increase in the number of cases (+100 cases in 2 weeks), but things are stabilizing again.
  • The French authorities in Paris were nervous as another French Caribbean island, Guadeloupe, has seen a rise in cases. In early March, a curfew was imposed in Guadeloupe, but not in St Barths where things remain open.
  • Since mid-April 2021, some travelers are welcome to the island again, provided they follow the entry steps detailed at the beginning of this article.

Sadly, 1 death has been officially linked to COVID-19, in early December 2020. No death has been recorded in 2021, as of April 9, 2021.

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