Pre-Travel COVID Testing Becoming a Requirement

As popular locations open their doors to tourism and visitations, there is a trend forming across the world: A negative COVID-19 test result. Here in New England, we’ve seen state to state requirements that require border-hopping travelers to supply evidence of a negative test result to stay at area hotels and resorts. As travelers search for international flavors, popular destinations like Iceland and warmer island destinations of the Caribbean have followed suit. Recently, Royal Caribbean and Jamaica have announced they too will require test results.

Jamaica’s updated government travel policy requires all U.S. residents age 12 or older to obtain proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 10 days of their visit to enter the country. Jamaica had previously required only residents of Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas to present proof of a negative test result to enter. Tests should be conducted at a medical laboratory accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP) for U.S. residents.

Travelers will be notified of approval to enter Jamaica via email and will be required to present the authorization at check-in in order to board their departing flight. In addition, while visiting Jamaica, tourists are required to remain within the grounds of their hotel or resort in the “resilient corridors” designated for tourism purposes. The corridors extend 182 miles from Negril along Jamaica’s northern coast to Port Antonio along the southern coast; a second segment runs from Milk River in Clarendon westward to Negril, something that was recently discussed in a AAA Explorations From Home broadcast.

Cruiselines are using their current suspension of services to update their ships, protocols and procedures. The Royal Caribbean Group recently shared plans on requiring coronavirus tests before passengers are permitted to board its ships. According to, Royal Caribbean CEO Michael Bayley did not specify if the COVID-19 testing would be mandatory for both crew members and passengers, but he did say “it’s very likely that testing will occur.”

MSC Cruises CEO Gianni Onorato revealed his company would require coronavirus tests for every passenger as it prepares to resume limited cruises in the Mediterranean this month aboard MSC Grandiosa and MSC Magnifica.

Royal Caribbean officials also revealed plans for further health and safety guidelines that would be implemented before sailings are permitted again, including using ultraviolet light to kill germs and modifying ships to promote social distancing and a new muster program.

As you prepare to return to travel, you may have questions about regulations, testing and safety. AAA Travel Agents have undergone a SmartDepart certification program, which required agents to educate themselves on safety regulations, individual country requirements, and more. Speak with a AAA Travel Agent to further understand travel options, and when the time is right for you, your agent can help you plan your next vacation. Speak to an agent by calling 1-800-222-7448.