The Turks and Caicos Islands, with some of the best beaches in the world, exquisite turquoise seas, and sunny weather continue to grow as a vacation destination. The latest Turks and Caicos Tourism visitor statistics report show that the Islands continued to be busy in Quarter 1 of 2022, breaking records again. The Islands attracted 138,762 arrivals by air in the period which is 98% of the pre-pandemic visitor volume in 2019. The amount of tourist traffic increased each month in the first quarter with 34,057 January visitors, 44,596 in February, and 60,109 in March. The February figure was a whopping 248% year-on-year increase.
Gracehaven Villas is pleased to tell you that from April 2022 onwards we now have kayaks available for our guests to use. We provide these as a complimentary free service for our guests.
Kayaking from the beach near the villas is a great activity. Typically the sea is calm on Grace Bay as it is protected by the coral reef from the Altantic waves. Although sometimes the waves can be too high to use the kayaks here, when the sea is calm you can even explore out towards the reef which is about 3/4 of a mile off the beach at the Windsong Resort, If you have a waterproof phone or a Go Pro camera you can take some great photos or videos in the clear TCI waters. You can be fortunate enough to see turtles, eagle rays, sting rays and a host of other marine life, all while enjoying the peaceful waters and tropical sunshine
We have two kayaks which are shared between the guests at both villas, so please be sure to check in advance with the villa concierge to see when they are available.
The moment many have been waiting has arrived! The Turks and Caicos government announced on Monday April 25th that visitors to the country will no longer have to take a COVID test to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands The need to present a negative result COVID test has been removed from the country’s entry requirements. Not only that but the mandatory medical travel insurance requirement has also been removed and the need to apply for a travel authorization approval through the TCI Assured web portal is also no longer not needed.
More good news for Canadians wanting to go on vacation
The Canadian travel restrictions have been relaxed again. After April 1st, 2022, travelers arriving in Canada who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to take a COVID test prior to arriving. This eases the burden on travelers on vacation. They can now save the expense and worry of taking a test to return home.
Although the need to test has been removed Canadian travelers are still required to complete the ArriveCan app information and may also be selected for a random test on arrival.
Partially vaccinated or unvaccinated travelers aged 5 or older are still required to take a pre-arrival test.
Note that the definition of fully vaccinated is :
Had 2 doses of an accepted vaccine
Have received the second vaccine at least 14 days prior to arrival in Canada
Have no symptoms of COVID-19
Have completed the entry requirements and uploaded vaccine proof via ArriveCan
Have an ArriveCan receipt with either an I, V or A beside your name
The Canadian Government has announced a relaxation of the regulations and removal of the mandatory PCR test from February 28th, 2022. This change means tourists now have a lower cost for return tests.
In the Turks and Caicos Islands the PCR testing costs around $185 USD whereas the Rapid antigen tests, which are now allowed by Canada cost, from $35 – 50 USD. The Rapid Antigen test results can be available in just 10-15 minutes so this also reduces the stress of having to wait up to 24 hours or more for a PCR test result. Note that the new regulations specify that the rapid antigen test must be taken within 24 hours of the flight time. It must be authorized by the country it was purchased in and administered by a lab, a healthcare unit or a telehealth process.
New flight options are appearing for travelers wanting to visit the Turks and Caicos Islands. Two American budget airlines are introducing new weekly services from key markets in the USA.
Frontier Airlines has begun weekly direct flights from Orlando on Sundays from January onwards. The low-cost carrier uses the slogan “Low fares done right” and provides a good value. The service will not only benefit Florida residents but also Turks and Caicos Islanders wanting to visit the Disney resort area in Orlando.
The good news is that an RT-Lamp test is acceptable for entry into Canada
The Canadian government travels restrictions for reentry into Canada still requires a PCT COVID test to be completed within 72-hours of your flight. Finding a place to complete PCR testing in Turks and Caicos is easy enough and the results are emailed to your inbox within 24 hours and in practice it is often sooner. AccuDiagnostics in the Graceway IGA plaza provides a great service with rapid results delivery at a cost of $185 per test. The cost of tests for a larger group is significant.
There is a better option though, for Canadians returning home. A test kit known as a RT-Lamp test is now available and a test result qualifies fully for the Canadian test requirements.