Travel During Covid: Q&A

Q: What do I need to get into Turks and Caicos?  

A: All visitors to the Turks and Caicos Islands will need four things:

  • Covid-19 specific travel insurance.
  • A negative PCR covid test taken within 5 days of travel.  Turks and Caicos will not accept LFR Antigen or vaccination proof.  All tests must be PCR. Children under the age of 10 do not need the covid test. They will require all other documents though.
  • Travel Authorization paper (from www.turksandcaicostourism.com).
  • Passport.

We are here to help with any questions on these requirements. Please call us at 1-800-457-8787 for assistance, or e-mail [email protected].

 

Q: What test do I need to take to return to the U.S.?

A: The CDC will allow your choice of either the PCR test or the Lateral Flow Rapid (LFR) Antigen test. Fortunately, both tests are readily available in Turks and Caicos.

 

Q: What test do I need to take to return to the U.K. or Canada?

A: The U.K. and Canadian governments are requiring that testing is PCR only. There are many places on island offering PCR testing, including onsite at Ocean Club West with daily visits from a local laboratory partner.

 

Q: What if I’m already vaccinated?

A: At this time, all travelers, regardless of vaccination will need to be tested.

 

Q: What if I have previously had the Covid-19 virus? 

A: All travelers will need to be tested. If you have recently had the Covid-19 virus and it is not recommended to take another test yet, the CDC will allow a doctor to confirm your ability to travel without test results needed. Please check with your doctor for qualifications.

 

Q: What is the cost of testing? 

A: LFR Antigen tests are available for $25 per person for guests of Ocean Club (East) or Ocean Club West. Guests staying off-site may still be tested at the OCW testing center for $50 per person. PCR tests are available for $185 per person. Payment is made directly to the testing facilities, most accepting Visa, MC, Amex. We do expect that LFR testing prices will decrease shortly.

 

Q: Where can I get tested? 

A: LFR Antigen testing is available onsite at Ocean Club West.  Guests can set up appointments with the Front Desk or by visiting https://oceanclubresorts.simplybook.me/v2/#book.  Testing Center hours of operation are 10am – 7pm daily.  Ocean Club (East) guests can take the free shuttle to West for testing..

If additional options or information are needed, please call our Reservations Team at 800-457-8787.

PCR testing is available onsite daily at Ocean Club West Resort. We have partnered with ACCU Diagnostics for this testing option.  Just let the Front Desk know upon arrival that you’ll need PCR testing, and we’ll arrange the testing time & date with ACCU Diagnostics.

 

Q: When should I get tested for my return trip?

A: For most countries (including U.S., U.K., and Canada) testing is required no more than 3-days prior to travel.  If opting for a PCR test, we recommend testing at the exact 3 day mark to ensure result delivery in time for travel.  If opting for the LFR Antigen test, results are received within 30 minutes, so testing can be done anytime within the 3 day window.

 

Q: Can I trust the test being given? 

A: Yes. The LFR Antigen tests currently being used are Orient Gene, a U.K. and U.S. certified antigen test. The PCR test is done through ACCU Diagnostics, a certified diagnostic laboratory.

 

Q: Who is administering the test?

A: All tests, whether LFR Antigen or PCR, are administered by a certified medical professional. Additionally, all test administrators have had to undergo specialized covid testing training & certification.

 

Q: Is it nasal or saliva?

A: Orient Gene tests are a less-invasive shallow nasal swab. At this time there are no saliva testing options on the island.

Q: Do I need covid travel insurance?

A: Covid related travel insurance is required to get into Turks and Caicos Islands. We recommend purchasing through TCI Safe, www.tcisafe.com to ensure quality of insurance purchased.  There are also plenty of other options, our U.S. reservations team is happy to assist with other options. We can be reached at 1-800-457-8787 or [email protected].

 

Q: What kind of insurance do I need?  

A: Your covid travel insurance should include coverage in the event that you need to be medevaced back to the U.S.  It will also need to include adequate quarantine or trip delay coverage in the event that a 14-day quarantine is needed. We recommend TCI Safe, www.tcisafe.com to ensure complete coverage. This is a very common requirement with travel insurance, so most providers will also include this with their coverage.

Q: What happens if I, or someone in my group, tests positive? 

A: Testing positive for Covid in a foreign country can seem scary, but not to worry, we are prepared to assist you. A positive LFR antigen test will mean that a second LFR antigen test will be taken immediately. If both tests are positive, the testing administrators will assist you with getting set up to take a PCR test. You will be asked to quarantine until the results from your PCR test are received. If all three tests are positive, you will be put in touch with the Ministry of Health to guide you through the quarantine and return process.

 

Q: What will a quarantine be like?

A: We are here to help!  If you are asked to quarantine, come back to the resort and to your suite. From your suite, call the front desk, and our staff and management team will assist in helping with your needs. While quarantine does require that you stay in your suite, our team is here to make you as comfortable as possible. With food and grocery delivery, towel and linen service, and anything else needed. Our staff is not able to enter the room, however, we will work with you to make sure that you have everything you need and will check in with you regularly for continued assistance.

 

Q: What happens if I can’t afford to stay on the island for an extra two weeks?

A: If you are required to stay due to quarantine needs, we recommend that you call your Covid-19 Travel Insurance provider (required to purchase for entry into TCI). Most of these insurance providers include coverage for quarantine. Additionally, Ocean Club Resorts will assist with two complimentary nights provided if a full 14-day quarantine is required, and a 50% discounted rate for all remaining nights.

 

Q: What happens if hospitalization is needed?

A: The hospital on Providenciales is equipped to handle a certain number of covid cases. Additionally, the Covid-19 Travel Insurance (required to purchase for entry into TCI) will cover medevac services back to the U.S. for hospitalization in your local area.

 

Q: How will I receive any medical care while in quarantine?

A: Medical care will be arranged through the Ministry of Health and with the assistance of our management team. If urgent covid related medical care is needed, you will fly via medevac back to the U.S. This medevac flight is covered under your Covid travel insurance. If minor or unrelated medical care is needed, the Ministry of Health and management team will guide you on where to be seen.

 

Q: How long is quarantine?

A: Quarantine may last for a few days while awaiting test results, it may last for up to 14 days if a positive result is received. But, be assured that our team is here to help make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Q: Are the people of Turks and Caicos being vaccinated?  

A: A massive vaccination program was rolled out at the start of 2021. The Turks and Caicos Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the U.K. Government, and many local health care providers are working diligently on education about it, as well as administration of the vaccine, with the goal being island-wide vaccination to all TCI qualifying residents. Ocean Club Resorts has played our role in this effort by providing vaccine education and Q&A sessions for all staff and assisting staff with appointments and paperwork. April 2021, nearly 50% of our staff are vaccinated, and more have signed up to receive with the next batch of doses.  The vaccine is not mandatory, but we hope to be able to have vaccination opportunities for all that would like it.

 

Q: What if I’m already vaccinated?

A: At this time, all travelers, regardless of vaccination, will need to be tested.

Q: What is traveling during Covid like?  

A: While we cannot speak for all airports or airlines, our experience with the immediate airlines into Providenciales as well as Providenciales International Airport (PLS) has been pleasantly satisfied with precautions and restrictions being taken! Expect social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing in airports and throughout the customs process.  Additionally it is helpful to keep all paperwork handy as it will be asked for a few times throughout the travel process. But overall, with fewer travelers the airports, especially Providenciales airport, are much less crowded, and fully able to handle all of the covid protocols put into place.

 

Q: Is there a mandatory quarantine on arrival?

A: No. Due to other precautions being taken there is no standard quarantine upon arrival.

 

Q: What is a stay at Ocean Club Resorts like during Covid?

A: Ocean Club Resorts, and the Turks and Caicos Islands as a whole, have always focused on the individual guest experience instead of the “heads in beds” approach of many mega-resorts. Being socially distanced has always been a strong point! With reduced crowds, and plenty of room to spread out whether at the beach or pool, you will never feel too close to others. Currently restaurant capacities are at 30%, however, with the minimal crowds reservations are rarely needed. For guests that may not feel comfortable dining out, each suite is equipped with plenty of space for private dining.

 

Q: Going off property, what is it like?  

A: Expect masks to be worn, quick temperature checks, and hand sanitizing stations to be plentiful. Restaurants and shops alike are all following excellent protocols for guest and local comfort and safety.

 

Q: What about masks?

A: Masks should be worn in all public areas, especially anytime you are inside. Similar to other countries, once seated and safely distanced at the pool, beach, and in restaurants; they may be removed. When walking through any public area or not able to safely distance they should be worn.

Once you’re here you’ll notice that, with the exception of a few health and safety changes, we are the same Ocean Club Resorts and Turks and Caicos that we always have been! We want you to relax and enjoy your vacation “away from it all”, and we are all here to help. We are excited to welcome you to your own slice of paradise!