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

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It is November 7, 2021, and we are happy to confirm that the island is now open if you meet certain testing and/or vaccination criteria. Restrictions on nightlife were officially lifted on August 31, as there is the COVID data has drastically improved, unlike on other French Caribbean islands. Good news: The CDC has put St Barths back to Level 1, the lowest alert level possible, since late October.

For the moment, the so-called health pass (a QR code that you carry in an app or on paper), which is required in Mainland France, to enter restaurants, for instance, is not in use. Yet, the authorities may start requiring it by mid-September. Read below to see how to get the pass free of charge.

No more curfew – Night restrictions lifted on August 31

Decisions that were restricting evening and night activities have been reversed. Health data show that the virus is less present on the island, as there are no more COVID patients at the local hospital, and as the tourist season is over.

Bars and restaurants may remain open until midnight. Bars and restaurants may remain open until midnight. The ban on the sale of alcohol to take away after 6 pm is also lifted.

St Barths: Digital health pass in place to visit restaurant and bars since mid-September

Since mid-September, 2021, you need a health pass in St Barts if you are going to a restaurant or a bar. No need for other venues, but mask-wearing is mandatory within shops (e.g. supermarkets and hairdressers.)

US travelers: If you are fully vaccinated and own a CDC card, all you have to do is to show it at the door of the restaurant or bar.

How to get your health pass / pass sanitaire? (hint: your CDC card is enough)

The health pass is not required for children under 12.

The pass must prove one of the three following items:

  • That you are fully vaccinated (with an EMA-approved vaccine or similar):
    • Seven days after the second shot for two-shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);
    • Four weeks after the shot for one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
    • Seven days after the shot for vaccines administered to people who have already had COVID-19 (only one dose is necessary).
  • OR that you have been tested (PCR or antigen) with a negative result within the last 48hrs;
  • OR that you have recovered from COVID-19, attested by a positive PCR or antigen test result, at least 15 days and no more than 6 months old.

Passes can be:

  • digital (simply down the dedicated “TousAntiCovid” app published by the French government either in the Google Play store or in the Apple App Store)
  • in paper form (proof of vaccination or test result). They include a QR code that will be scanned on entry into the venue or event. Note that, in St Barths, locals most often allow Americans to get in if they show their CDC card.

The health pass is not required for children under 12.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can get already get your French health pass. You have to apply for it on a French government website (page available in English). You must have been vaccinated with a vaccine which is accepted by the European Medicines Agency or an equivalent for over :

4 weeks if you received a one-dose injection (Johnson&Johnson);

7 days after the second injection for two-dose vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca);

7 days after the injection if you have recovered from COVID-19 (in this case, only one dose is necessary);

Otherwise, a negative result of an antigen test taken at a pharmacy grants the user a health pass that is valid for three days (72 hours).

St Barths reopining: Borders are still open

On June 5, the French authorities officially relaxed the entry conditions to St Barths. Yet, some restrictions are still in place. Here are the rules as of October 4:

  • If you are coming from France or a gree list country (e.g. the European Union, Canada), you need to be fully vaccinated.
  • If you are coming from an orange or red list country (e.g. the US, the UK), you need to be fully vaccinated AND to show the result of a PCR or an anti-genic COVID test.
st barths travel restrictions entry

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 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.
  • Americans returning from St Barths to the US should know that the CDC has just put St Barts back on Level 2.

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

Better news for US travelers: Easier re-entry into the US, with St Barth back at Level 1

The CDC has now put St Barts back Level 1: “Low Level of COVID-19 in Saint Barthelemy”). No more recommended self-isolation upon return to the US. We are back to “Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Saint Barthelemy.”.

What is important for Americans to understand is that things do not change for fully vaccinated travelers:

If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized by emergency use by the World Health Organization:

  • You do NOT have to get tested before leaving the United States, unless your destination requires it.  
  • You do NOT have to self-quarantine after you arrive in the United States.
CDC travel advice st barths

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

The 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.

As of November 2021, the vaccination rate is 75% in St Barths, which is one of the highest rates in the Americas.

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 traffic 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 October 2021, this is what the CDC was showing for St Barths:

  • Level 2: Moderate Level of COVID-19 in Saint Barthelemy
  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Saint Barthelemy.
  • Unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to Saint Barthelemy. If you must travel and have concerns, talk to your doctor.
  • 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: No, St Barths is not on the amber / quarantine list, travel restrictions were lifted on October 4. The United Kingdom is now letting fully vaccinated travelers return to the UK, with no quarantine (testing requirements apply).

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:

  • PCR , RT-PCR, and 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. Note that only non-resident travelers can get an Antigen test there (cost: €40).
    • Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 1:45 pm, please arrive before 10:45 am for the RT-PCR test
    • Saturday from 8:00 am to 11:45 am, please arrive before 9:45 am for the RT-PCR test
    • The testing center is closed on Sundays and holidays.
  • Antigen tests are available at local pharmcacies
  • 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.
  • No more COVID test since November 1, if you are vaccinated.
  • 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 (November 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 November 2021, the number of new infections is decreasing again, after a surge in mid-August. Most cases are linked to younger people. Yet, for the first time, our island’s old people’s home has been hit. Two residents got COVID and died. With more than 75% of the adult population already vaccinated, the health situation seems under control.

st barths covid cases 1

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 early November 2021: 1,660 COVID-19 cases
  • Since March 2020, up until November 2021: 6 deaths attributed to COVID-19

The St Barths COVID numbers have gone notably down. 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.
  • In early August 2021, new lockdown / curfew rules were in place, as the Deta variant is increasing case numbers among unvaccinated youger people.
  • Since September 1, restrictions have been lifted, as the health data has notably improved.
  • As of early November, the number of cases has gone down. The health pass / QR code remains in place.

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