Donna O’Malley, owner/travel consultant with The Honeymoon Planner and SLEx graduate (Saint Lucia Expert Program) who has visited the island several times, has clients who are at Sandals Grande St. Lucian and shares their experience:

– Online boarding passes/ check-in are not accessible as the airlines are required to check your COVID test/country registration documents at the counter prior to printing boarding passes

– Security/airport in CLT (Charlotte) is still relatively easy, but with all of the restaurants closed it does seem semi-crowded with folks hanging out in the halls of the terminal

– Prior to boarding flight we were required to show COVID test/registration documents with our passport

– Flight to Miami had approx. 20 people and flight to St. Lucia had approx. 50 people. Masks were required for the entirety of the flight and there was no food or beverage service as expected (but having a 20 percent full flight makes up for that)

– We received a paper with our immigration/customs form that was similar to the registration we filled out on the St. Lucia website; we had to sign and date the form agreeing to the terms that we would be staying at a government-approved resort and/or would quarantine for 14 days if we contracted COVID

– Upon arrival in St. Lucia we deplaned and entered a big tent they had constructed (similar to the type you would see at a carnival or big event). Inside they had rows where everyone had their temperature taken and provided proof of COVID test. Once cleared, we were given a wristband to wear through immigration/customs. They us gave us hand sanitizer about 3-4 times

– Immigration/customs was business as usual

– Sandals staff greeted us on the other end of customs and took us to the lounge they have at the airport. We were there for approx. 10 minutes before boarding a van with one other couple. Again, we were provided with pumps of hand sanitizer about 3-4 times in that 10-minute span (it’s kind of comical, but always appreciated)

– Arriving at Sandals, we were greeted with hand sanitizer and had our temperatures taken. They took us to the club lounge and gave us a quick overview of what to expect for the week. We were told by fellow guests they are at 20-25 percent capacity. Masks are required in common areas for guests, but not required when outside at the pools, bars, beach and restaurants. The staff all have masks on all of the time and have been very good about maintaining distance and presenting us (and themselves) with hand sanitizer

For more on new protocols for travel to Saint Lucia, click here.