TCI News

72-hour pre-test for Covid requirement changed; TCI Cabinet gives Visitors more time

Providenciales Int'l Airport (PLS) photo by Magnetic Media

#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – July 10, 2020 — Turks and Caicos has agreed to give travelers more time to get the requisite test results to prove their negative Covid-19 status.

The news emerges from a July 8 Cabinet Meeting and is in response to the Hotel and Tourism industry’s concern about the previously announced 72-hour time frame.  It was described by some resorts as being ‘too tight’ for guests and was forcing guest cancellations.

The Turks and Caicos re-opens to Tourism on July 22 despite a sharp spike in positive diagnoses of the coronavirus; up to 54 active cases in just under three weeks.

US media reports inform that turnaround time on a Covid-19 PCR test is between 4-6 days.

The Cabinet report made public today explained it was ‘Agreed effective 22nd July 2020 for visitors and returning residents (with the exception of children aged ten (10) or under) to have evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken within five (5) days of arrival in TCI instead of 72 hours. From 22nd July 2020, visitors and any person who is not covered under the National Health Insurance Plan must also have Covid-19 specific travel insurance that covers in country medical treatment, the cost of quarantine, and repatriation/medivac (if necessary).’

Hotels, casinos and restaurants had been expected to reopen since Monday Jully 6; the surge in positive cases of Covid-19 in Providenciales has resulted in a two week delay in those business resuming regular operations.

The local economy reopens now on July 20; two days before the first flights are due in at the Providenciales International Airport.

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