Last week, flights from the U.S. to Bonaire officially resumed, as travelers finally boarded their American and Delta aircraft in Miami and Atlanta, respectively, and undoubtedly spent the next few hours dreaming about underwater adventures. At the same time, flights to Curaçao also took off from Miami, Charlotte, and New York City, confirming what so many people have been patiently waiting to hear: the ABC Islands are back.
Thanks to the incredible efforts of the residents and officials from both Caribbean islands, safety protocols and health guidelines have been established to ensure that guests are able to once again enjoy the best of their favorite Dutch Caribbean destinations, all while keeping the positivity rates low. Of course, that means travelers will have to do their parts, and each island has its own specific set of rules to follow.
To visit Bonaire, guests from high-risk countries need to comply with one of two options, keeping in mind that there is no difference between fully vaccinated travelers at this point (this is a common theme in almost any destination right now). Option one requires the completion and submission of a health declaration form, followed by obtaining a negative NAAT/PCR test result within 24 hours of departure. Option two also starts with the health declaration form but allows for a negative NAAT/PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival. The catch? An antigen test must be taken upon arrival, as Flamingo International Airport offers rapid results. Under both options, children younger than 13 are not obligated to be tested, but all travelers, regardless of age, must complete a health declaration form.
Once on the island, visitors should keep an eye out for businesses sporting a gold seal, as that means they have been approved under the Bonaire Friendly Safety Seal program that was developed to ensure that hotels, restaurants, tour operators, taxis, and a score of other companies are following the new, stricter health, safety, and cleaning policies. At the very least, the gold seal should alleviate some stress so everyone can focus on the important things, like getting back in that beautiful blue water.
In Curaçao, residents are celebrating the removal of a nightly curfew, which has been in place for more than a year, following the island’s positivity rate dropping to 0.15 percent. Restaurants and bars have returned to full capacity, which is exceptional news—even if all we’ve been dreaming about is those legendary food trucks.
Arriving travelers must first fill out the digital immigration card, followed by the Passenger Locator Card within 48 hours of departure, and they need to provide proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. Finally, a lab appointment must be booked for an antigen test on the third day of the visit.
Best of all, many of Curaçao’s best hotels and resorts are participating in an island-wide promotion that gifts guests the fourth night free. The offer is good through June 29 for travel between June 19 and October 30. Now, it’s just a matter of deciding where to stay.