After months of anticipation, the Curaçao Tourist Board enthusiastically announced border re-openings to residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Starting the first week of November, residents of the three aforementioned states will be the first Americans granted access to the sunny Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao since travel restrictions were imposed earlier this year.
Prior to arrival, all visitors must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of traveling. To streamline the entry process, visitors will complete a Digital Immigration Card at dicardcuracao.com, upload their negative results to the portal, and fill out a Passenger Locator Card (PLC) online within 48 hours prior to departure. In addition, residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut must present a valid state-issued ID as proof of residence.
Non-stop flights from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) will resume on Nov. 7 with weekly service offered on United. The following month, JetBlue will offer twice weekly flights from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) beginning Dec. 9.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut now join Canada and other low- and medium-risk markets allowed entry into Curaçao, just named one of the best islands in the Caribbean in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards. The Curaçao Tourist Board – in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, the Environment & Nature, as well as the Ministry of Economic Development – define low- and medium-risk markets based on the latest figures and statistics from each territory meeting specified criteria.
“After consulting with the scientific community and an esteemed panel of doctors both in The Netherlands and on the island, we made the decision to slowly reopen Curaçao’s tourism industry to the US,” says Paul Pennicook, CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board. “A multitude of factors were taken into account including current cases, airlift and impact on the local economy, among others.”
In an effort to keep the global and local community safe, earlier this year Curaçao implemented a set of health and safety protocols, branded “A Dushi Stay, the Healthy Way” — dushi meaning “sweet” in Papiamentu. The comprehensive program includes everything from personnel training and new social distancing practices to hygiene and sanitation guidelines. The sophisticated monitoring system run by the island’s public health office also includes personalized phone calls to all incoming visitors during their time in Curaçao.
Additionally, to easily consolidate all pertinent information, the tourist board developed a mobile application called “Dushi Stay.” One of the first apps of this kind, Dushi Stay gives travelers access to entry requirements, new island-wide protocols, emergency contact numbers and health tips, as well as open restaurants, attractions, beaches, etc. all at their fingertips.
“We will continue to closely monitor developments throughout the rest of the US,” adds Pennicook. “As we’ve enjoyed double digit growth from the US market over the last couple of years and the US accounts for a significant portion of Curaçao’s tourism arrivals, we look forward to the opening of other gateway cities as soon as conditions allow so that Americans can continue to experience this extraordinary destination.”