The British Virgin Islands Is Easing Restrictions for Vaccinated Tourists

The British Virgin Islands will ease restrictions for vaccinated tourists next month, following a growing trend welcoming inoculated travelers.

The islands, known for pristine beaches surrounded by lush landscapes and unique rock formations, will waive extended quarantine and testing requirements for vaccinated visitors starting May 15, according to the government.

Those who have received both doses of a two dose vaccine (including AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna) or one shot of a single-dose vaccine (like Johnson & Johnson) will be tested with a PCR test upon arrival and released from quarantine as soon as it comes back negative.

Inoculated travelers will also have to show proof of a negative PCR test from within five days of traveling to the British Virgin Islands.

"These vaccines are shown to be effective in preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms and deaths. They also reduce transmission of the disease in settings where vaccination rates are high. However, these vaccines do not eliminate the risk of transmitting the virus from a vaccinated person to a non-vaccinated person," Carvin Malone, the minister for health and social development, said in a statement. "This is why we have been encouraging everyone to get vaccinated while the vaccines are freely available, to protect both themselves and the people around them from the increasing risk of severe sickness and death."

Unvaccinated people can also visit the British Virgin Islands, but must show a negative PCR test taken within five days of arriving, register to travel on the BVI Gateway App, get tested on arrival, quarantine for four days, and then get tested again on the fourth day.

Beyond short vacations, the government said vaccinated travelers who have been in the Virgin Islands for at least 14 days will be able to take day trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Martin, and Puerto Rico next month without the need to quarantine or get re-tested upon returning. These travelers are required to take a PCR test seven days after traveling.

The islands are following a growing trend of countries easing restrictions for vaccinated travelers, including the Caribbean island of Grenada.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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