Turks and Caicos Travel Safety Guide (UPDATED 2020)

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Turks and Caicos Travel Safety Tips

Considering the region Turks and Caicos is in, it is actually one of the safest to visit. You could say it’s as safe as any large city in America –like Miami or New York City. Below are some of the common areas of concern:

Armed Villa Invasion: Villa invasions are uncommon, but if you plan on staying at one in Turks and Caicos, you should use extra caution. If your villa has security guards or some sort of patrol, that’s great! If not, you might consider staying at a resort or hotel for extra safety.

Theft: As with many other countries sprawling with tourists, you shouldn’t be surprised that theft against travelers happens in Turks and Caicos. If you’re renting a car, make sure to keep it locked and valuables hidden. If you’re out and about, try to conceal anything of value.

Avoid Remote Areas: There are very few crime incidences in the remote areas of Turks and Caicos, but it’s worth noting for safety’s sake. Because you’d be farther away from help, it’s important to take all precautions necessary to stay safe if you choose to venture out a little farther.

Despite all this negativity, there’s still plenty to do and see at this popular vacation place. One way you can prepare before departure is to register for the STEP Program. Standing for “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program“, this is a free program offered by the State Department to connect your trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate on your trip. It’s a sure way to get updates on your trip destination, steer you toward the nearest place of safety in an emergency, and can even notify your emergency contacts if anything goes wrong. Want to register? Find the next steps in this blog post we wrote.

Is Turks and Caicos Open for Travel?

Yes! The borders are open and there aren’t any travel restrictions, so now’s the time to plan your future vacation. As of right now, the U.S. State Department has issued a Level 3 Travel Warning, meaning “reconsider travel” due to the current outbreak of COVID-19. When looking at the CDC’s recommendations, they still advise against all non-essential travel due to the high risk of contracting COVID-19 in Turks and Caicos. No matter how you feel about travel right now, here’s what you should know about before you book your (future) trip:

Travel Pre-Authorization: Before even booking, you’ll need to complete a pre-authorization travel request. Once completed, this will allow you to book travel to the islands. Make sure to print a couple of copies of your travel authorization to show when you board the plane and arrive.

Negative COVID-19 Test: As part of the pre-authorization process, all travelers to Turks and Caicos must submit a negative COVID-19 test within 5 days of their arrival.

Proof of Travel Insurance: Entry requirements now mandate that all travelers submit proof of COVID-19 insurance upon completing the pre-authorization process. Coverage must include COVID-19 care, hospital stays, doctor visits, prescriptions, and ambulatory transportation.

Yonder offers policies with this type of coverage since most travel insurance providers cover medical events related to COVID-19. We recommend looking for Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, which offers the most flexible cancellation terms in the travel insurance industry. This benefit is especially helpful if you still don’t feel international travel is safe as your departure date gets closer. 

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Masks are Mandatory & Social Distancing: Turks and Caicos locals are doing all they can to keep the area safe for travelers to continue to visit. That being said, masks are required to be worn in all public locations. Like many places, social distancing is also enforced here.

Curfew: To keep everyone safe, the country requires everyone to adhere to the daily curfew of 12 am – 5 am.

How to Get There Safely

The travel ban has been lifted, so travel to Turks and Caicos is a go! The airport in Providenciales is now up and running again. However, if you’re looking to cruise to or in Turks and Caicos, the cruise ships to Grand Turk are currently banned until January 2021. 

Overall, the safest and most affordable option in getting to the dreamy Caicos islands is by airplane through the Providenciales International Airport.

What’s Open in Turks and Caicos?

Curious if it’s even worth it to travel to Turks and Caicos anytime soon? Turns out, it’s not that bad of an idea! Many things are still open for you to enjoy your experience! Here’s what’s open and any new restrictions:

Restaurants: Fortunately, restaurants are open at 30% capacity in Turks and Caicos. Everyone loves to eat and a vacation offers new things to try –don’t forget to experience the island’s favorite lunch called “boil fish and johnnycake“.

Large Events: Like many other places, large gatherings are prohibited. This means in Turks and Caicos that there are no large events such as the Thursday Fish Fry.

Resorts and Hotels: It will depend on each property, so it’s best to reach out directly to your hotel or resort staff to double-check some time before your departure.

Other Things to Do: There are still plenty of other activities that are open and available to enjoy such as beaches, spas, water sports/activities, private charters, art galleries. Check out specific businesses that are open.

Is Turks and Caicos a Family-Friendly Destination?

Absolutely! There are so many activities that kids will enjoy in Turks and Caicos. We recommend enjoying the beach, sitting by the pool, or exploring this fun and intriguing place. Here are some ideas:

Sunset Sailing: The islands are stunning at sunset, so take advantage by booking a private sailing or grab some chairs on the beach and admire the beauty.

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding: Do your kids like a challenge? Then they’d probably love stand-up paddleboarding. And if not, maybe try a more grounded option like kayaking or snorkeling.

Da Conch Shack: A trip to Turks and Caicos can’t be complete without visiting this restaurant and bar! It’s known for the freshest food around and you can even watch the fisherman in the ocean while you savor your meal –something the kids won’t forget.

Does Turks and Caicos Get Hurricanes?

Yes, but historically, not very many. If they do, they tend to not cause much damage, which makes it a great vacation location. Since Turks and Caicos is still located in the Caribbean, the most at-risk timeframe for a hurricane could be from June – November.

If you’re planning a trip to this luxurious island location during hurricane season, make sure you’re aware of how to prepare for a hurricane in the rare chance your plans change due to bad weather. We recommend purchasing travel insurance since it could reimburse you if bad weather were to cancel your trip.

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