a town on the beach with Pitons in the background
Gros and Petit Pitons near village Soufriere on Caribbean island St Lucia - tropical and paradise landscape scenery on Saint Lucia

As positive signs emerge about a safe return of travel in the near term, countries are finding ways to ensure that it stays that way. There’s just one thing: going too far in one direction could alienate potential visitors, making any plans for economic recovery even more difficult to realize. St. Lucia’s announcement of a June 4th welcome date is great news for those hoping to visit, but the draconian measures sound somewhat like a very expensive trip to prison, albeit a beautiful palm tree filled one.

It’s true, St. Lucia the vacation heaven filled with mystical mountain peaks, lush valleys and beautiful beaches is opening to tourists from June 4th, 2020. The country is not however declaring a free for all. Measures will be put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and locals alike from before you’re ever allowed to board a flight, starting with a recent covid-19 test, which must be recent within 48 hours of boarding a flight to the island.

Though it seems impossible to enforce, or monitor, the country also states masks must be worn on the inbound flight whether or not the airline mandates one. As someone who recently flew out of necessity, I’m all for the mask plan, since it provided a meaningful level of added safety.

All good so far, but then it starts to get a bit hokey, at least you could call it hokey if you were paying thousands for the privilege of these things, rather than being locked up for a crime.

On arrival into St. Lucia your temperature is checked and luggage disinfected, both of which are great moves. You’re then instructed, or rather, required to take an authorized taxi only. Instantly, this creates huge potential for a price grab, but so be it. If your buzz hasn’t yet been killed by the many reasonable measures thus far, it may be in the next paragraph.

St. Lucia is effectively confining you to your resort, and limiting the activities you can enjoy. No outside restaurants are open for seated service, and currently all attractions are closed too. Not only that, the country is mandated temperature checks before every meal, and requiring all visitors to wear a mask at all times without any noted exceptions. Expect many thing someone might dream of on vacation like a massage, or even some water sports to be cut. Just to reiterate the story so far, you can come to St. Lucia, but…

  • you must go straight to your hotel in an approved vehicle.
  • once there, you will be subjected to more temperature checks.
  • Every time you go for a meal at the hotel your temperature will be checked again.
  • you can’t really dine outside of the resort,  it’s take out only and bars are closed.
  • all attractions are closed, so there’s really nowhere to go or anything to do.
  • if someone at the resort tests positive, you’ll likely be 14 day quarantined.

Let’s hope you’ve got a room with a view.

a town on the shore of Pitons

Sound like something you want to spend your hard earned vacation money on? For someone seeking a-list isolation and relaxation, I could think of worse places to be than up at an ultra luxurious five star resort like Jade Mountain, but I could also think of many more destinations, or perhaps country homes which could be a lot more relaxing, given all the rules.

If you’ve got more questions than answers, the country did do a wonderful job creating a FAQ.

It’s completely understandable for St. Lucia to put forth important steps to prevent the virus from becoming a part of its wonderful culture, while also creating opportunities for local businesses, but at the same time, it’s also completely understandable for most travelers to be put off by the deeply limited enjoyment one could reasonably expect, as far as local experiences go.

If it’s beautiful sun with a nice viewpoint from a private, government approved accommodation you’re seeking, that’s one thing, but if the dream of St. Lucia is more than just socially distanced time in a pretty place, and things like water activities or chocolate tours, it’s another…

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I have yet to find even a single person who is willing to go anywhere for tourism with these 14 day quarantine or isolation requirements.

    On the other hand, places like Florida who don’t have any silly requirements, hotels were full on the long weekend and beaches crowded, restaurants and bars doing booming business.

    People will vote with their money, and places without silly isolation requirements will win

    1. Let me re phrase that: “Places that put business above health and well being of citizens, gain an unfair advantage versus those businesses/states that behave responsibly”

    2. Number of active COVID cases in Florida: >50,000
      Number of active COVID cases in St Lucia: Zero
      I know which way I’d vote

        1. At least she is representing her country, instead of parasites like you Greg who write about us without ever bothering to ask us what we think about things.


  2. More health and safety theater. Some of these responses from certain states and countries border on the absurd. I’m sure the tourism industry in places like St Lucia love these dumb restrictions. The quicker we learn to live with and deal with C19 the better, and more honest, we will all be. Sequester the old and infirmed. Everyone else be careful and smart.

    1. “Sequester the old and infirmed” in the same comment as “dumb restrictions”? I guess it all depends on whether or not you’re the one to whom the restrictions apply.

  3. ST.Lucia has killed their economy, firstly getting involved with the world’s biggest lie , no one has died of c.19 so why kill the economy . The Lucians are suffering from no income, and no one will be entering the prison Island until they drop the stupid restrictions we have all clearly worked out the fraud the world order is trying to implement on the world citizens and thankfully everything they have tried won’t work ,
    So in the name of Shame St.Lucia ,you have Murdered the lively hood off your people . You celebrate independence every year yet you still follow the United Nations in this farse. I don’t no anyone willing to enter the Island under these rules , 5,000 for a prison Holiday …. we are not that desperate it seems that travel agencies will be paying out refunds in abundance aspreviously booked package holidays didn’t come with these restrictions so our contract won’t be valid unless people choose to accept these ridiculous restrictions,
    So sad to see

  4. I have personally lost someone to Covid19 – L Jouavel. I think your problem is that you lack either empathy or education, or perhaps both.

    The WHO guidelines are made by some of the greatest minds on the planet. Your parroting misleading Trump talking points.

  5. We don’t want you here anyway. The St. Lucian government has failed to listen to its people and is still allowing virus infested tourists to enter our covid free country …and you all are still finding something to complain about? Here’s some good advice, STAY HOME. Because the locals won’t treat you kindly. In fact you’ll be scorned upon and avoided. WE DON’T WANT YOU IN OUR COUNTRY. Ok? Now, have a nice day πŸ™‚

  6. As someone who is lucky enough to visit St Lucia every year, I can safely say that it won’t feel like a prison. Perhaps you have been watching the US office recently Gilbert?
    Regardless, do your holiday research and planning now. Hotels are extremely cooperative at present and actively running you through what is available and what measures to expect. All hotels previously have had taxi links or their own cabs to pick you up. From UVF to the north of the island it is about $100 USD per person. Or at least it has been, I’ll be intrigued to see if this benchmark moves.
    Beyond that sun loungers will be spaced out, water sports fully open, bars and restaurants fully open. Doesn’t sound too bad really …
    Perhaps not best though to book a boutique resort if you want a bit of diversity at meal times though.
    Stay safe and just be sensible.

  7. I have no desire to travel this year & I desperately want to visit my folks on the island but hopefully next year. The Gov have to implement these measures & the UK could learn a thing or two about containing the virus, limiting deaths & reducing further spread of CV19. The Island has alot of elderly ppl & ppl with health issues, so I respect they’re restrictions as this is about safety over economy. In time things will ease, but right now, it is what it is. Don’t visit if u know u can’t handle the restrictions. St Lucia is fabulous & I look forward to visiting, hopefully next year!

    I have also lost 2 ppl to CV19 & sympathise with those gone too soon. Together we will rise again.

    Keep safe & well..

  8. I fail to see the point of the critical and condescending tone in which this article was written. It seems logical that if these restrictions to visit this Covid 19 free country are too stringent for you, then don’t voluntarily spend your own money to visit there.
    If you are fine with the measures then by all means vacation there. It’s really not that complicated, scandalous or salacious.
    The government of St Lucia, from what I have read seem to have been very transparent with the measures which have been put in place for visitors to the island. One quick phonecall to a resort representative on the island verified those restrictions, without me even having to ask or probe. And they also allowed me to know the other interesting in-house activities which may be available in lieu of the regular tours and outings.
    I think any normal, right-thinking person would be able to make an informed decision about whether to vacation there or not. I also believe any normal, right-thinking individual would appreciate that things are indeed not normal as a result of the effects of the pandemic and such persons would appreciate that, for a country to remain Covid 19 free must have taken soon stringent measures and proactivity. This, it would make sense that the government of that country would have to have some measures, draconian or not, to ensure that all of the work and effort which went into keeping the country safe, was not swiftly erased by being careless or frivolous with the reopening plans and protocols.
    This seems straight forward and obvious to me. And whilst it is obviously a risk to reopen with these restrictions in place, but, little is normal across the globe at the moment, and so, some supposedly “hokey” decisions may be exactly the order of the day… As opposed to making no steps forward and being paralyzed in stagnation and uncertainty.
    The proactivity of taking steps to gradually return some Level of economic normalcy to this small economy (which may take a ridiculously long time to accomplish) seems like the obvious choice to piggy back off of the work which went into making the island Covid free in the first place. If they have achieved this milestone and have maintained this status for sometime now, why not capitalize on it by using this, very period specific selling point… In what other time will the country be one of the few Covid 19 free destinations on the planet. Probably never again. This government would be myopic to not at least attempt to monetize this progress, especially since so much was already lost as a result of the pandemic fallout to this small economy.
    This article oozes of entitlement, and shows a lack of appreciation for the nature of how economies work. It also shows limited understanding if the balancing act of deciding between health safety and economic stability which small nation governments have to navigate during this pandemic (a balancing act even the US is struggling with). It also demonstrates a lack of social empathy for the people “on the ground” in that country. And finally, it insults the intelligence and sovereignty of the vacationer, by assuming they can’t reasonably make a decision on whether to visit a Covid 19 free country with restrictions or visit a plagued destination where there is more freedom. My two cents.

  9. JASON M , SORRY FOR any lost you have had ,but it ain’t c19 they give you the c19 ID Tag , for the unintelligent people who don’t no the difference from a Virus and a disease, you need to dig deeper . A Virus comes from in the body and you can not catch a Virus ,you can catch germs ,bacteria etc , a Virus lives in the body , build up for all the toxins ,bad American frozen food , all that white stuff causing build up . , How is Hannah gonna tell folk don’t come , you need their money and they need you to have some Damn manners . I’m a Lucian to the Ignorant sister telling folk to stay away your dumb , chunky man started this and they live and serve you food on the Island run them out . You cannot run this Lucian I will be seeing you soon , so I can give you the opportunity to ,what was it scorn me , your already scorned just but your ignorance , and Lack of real knowledge going on out here . No Lockdown , ministers are not locked down ,but you the sheep accept what you are being told with out questioning it , backward comments, St.Lucia need the economy back so people can feed their families. The ignorant comments by 2 people on he makes me see you are programmed by the crap you listen to ,.your the last to wake up to the scam .
    Stop kissing the arse of your gov and stand up for your people you dumb fool , anyone one with a c19 tag on a certificate it was not real , doctors are slapping c19 when they could of passed away from heart attack or anything .Run out the chinny man who don’t like blacks ,no you would like to run a Lucian, you have no sense .
    As for my intellect it’s high on sense
    Real Lucians no what time it is ,
    When the drop the quarantine , business will run .plain and simple .

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