Anguilla will require tourists take three Covid-19 tests as it starts accepting applications for entry from visitors from Friday (August 21).

The first phase of the Caribbean island’s reopening from lockdown is aimed at holidaymakers looking to stay in private villas and will run until October 21.

The online pre-registration process via the Anguilla Tourist Board website follows the island being free of Covid-19 since June 16.

Requirements include the visitor’s home address and proposed travel dates; the submission of a negative PCR test taken within three to five days prior to arrival; and a health insurance policy covering any medical expenses incurred in relation to Covid-19 treatment.

Once the application is approved, an electronic certificate authorising travel to Anguilla will be issued.

All passengers will be given a PCR test on arrival, with a second test administered in ten days.

The tourist board said: “During this period, they can enjoy all the facilities and amenities at their villa. Once a negative result is returned after the second test, guests are then free to explore the island.  

“In the event of a positive test, the guest will have to isolate at a government approved location.

“The use of rental vehicles is also prohibited until clearance is received on day 10.

“It should be noted however, that there is not a minimum stay requirement; guests are free to visit for shorter periods as well.”

Tourists from from low-risk countries will be given preference.

“Those from high-risk countries will be assessed on a case by case basis, taking into consideration their place of residence,” the authority added.

A list of approved accommodation will be available on the portal as all properties must be registered and certified to receive guests.

The tourist board added: “A rigorous program of staff training is currently underway.

“It should be noted that as the island is presently Covid-19 free, wearing a mask is not mandatory. However, guests on-island are expected to observe social distancing and follow the stringent hygiene practices that have allowed the island to retain its coveted status for the past four months.”

Anguilla’s parliamentary secretary for tourism, Quincia Gumbs-Marie, leading a task force in charge of the reopening effort, said:

“Anguilla is currently Covid-19 free, so our objective has always been to reopen in a prudent way, taking every precaution to protect the health and safety of our residents and our guests.

“We have witnessed the developments on some of our neighbouring islands, and we have therefore established very strict protocols, grounded in our ability to contain and mitigate the risks of an imported case.”