One of the few borders open to Americans under current pandemic regulations, the powdery white sands and brilliant waters of Turks and Caicos make the archipelago’s beaches among the most alluring in the Caribbean today. While you may be torn between needing an escape and wanting to stay safe while also respecting local communities, Turks and Caicos is anxious for Americans to return; tourism makes up the lion’s share of the economy, providing most, if not all, of the livelihood for a vast percentage of the population, and they’re taking serious precautions to make getaways safer.
“We feel confident that our new protocols and TCI Assured certifications allow us to safely reopen our borders,” says the Honorable Ralph Higgs, Minister of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands. “These measures protect against the pandemic with travel resuming, and allow guests to focus on enjoying the exceptional vacation experience.”
To enter the country, visitors need to apply for travel pre-authorization and upload proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within five days of arrival in Turks and Caicos. Keep a screenshot or paper copy of the test result accessible when you arrive, along with the certification, as you’ll be asked to produce it for customs officials. The first mandatory spritz of hand sanitizer at the airport is only the beginning of the enhanced safety and sanitation protocols that protect both you and the islanders, but once you’re sipping cocktails on the beach, kitesurfing or wading in the ocean, you’ll be able to take off your mask and breathe in that long-overdue sense of tropical escape and temporary freedom. Here’s how to stay safe without compromising luxury at three glam resorts in Turks and Caicos now.
West Bay Club
Part of the Grace Bay Resorts collection, West Bay Club is an especially good choice for families, set along popular Grace Bay Beach. Equipment for a variety of ocean sports is available to rent on a complimentary basis, and thoroughly sanitized between each guest use. Kayaking, snorkeling and stand-up paddle boarding are just a few options, along with sailing Hobie Cat catamarans. There are even two coral reefs within walking distance to explore.
Suites at West Bay Club range from one to four bedrooms and include a spacious terrace with dining table and chaise lounges, full kitchen, and private washer and dryer. Guests are greeted with PPE kits in their rooms, containing sanitizer and an extra supply of individually packaged face masks. The resort is only at about 25% occupancy right now, providing plenty of built-in social distancing beyond the property’s safety protocols, adding to the trend of booking extended, secure stays in paradise instead of the more typical few-day-getaways of previous seasons.
A complimentary shuttle runs between West Bay Club and sister properties Grace Bay Club and Point Grace so it’s easy to sneak away for dinner if you’re seeking variety after a few days at West Bay Club’s open-air beachfront restaurant. Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar at Grace Bay Club has the best sunset views in Grace Bay and offers superior preparations of local seafood. Dining in the garden of Grace’s Cottage at Point Grace is a more romantic experience ideal for couples.
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