The “new normal” for Grenada
Since my recent post about the travel protocol to enter Grenada the world hasn’t stopped turning. Many countries have entered into their second coronavirus wave. There have been protests, debates, negotiations and agreements.
The one thing I think we can all agree on though is that travelling is just not the same anymore. I never thought I’d see the day when I would be greeted with a sea of masked faces and have to subject myself to what I can only describe as a traumatising and bizzare test half choking me.
As a passionate traveller, my current excitement of travel is restricted to wandering from my “office” in my home to the living room (#excitingtimes) or the odd treat of being whisked to a central London hotel for a COVID safe weekend (a tad better).
But between you and me, my dear traveller, there is just no comparison to enjoying the pre-flight drink and meal, stocking up on that indulging parfume and then stepping off a plane into tropical heat and sunny bliss, hearing the waves, the music, the lively chatter, car horns and sinking your barefoot chic carefully manicured feet into soft powdery sand…
So having sneeked repeated peeks at Skyscanner.net for flights to Grenada and the current entry requirements, I am more and more tempted to return to this spicy jewel. If you are desperate to escape a long and depressing cold gloomy winter in the UK, like me, please read on.
They say “Change starts with a first step”, well somewhere they do anyway and in my book the first step is planning. So…..here goes.
Flights from the UK bizarrely haven’t gone up yet so that’s reassuring. Where the costs will rise slightly than before is around COVID safety.
According to the Ministry of Health Grenada website, the UK (apart from Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man) is classed as a high risk country which means uncomfortable testing, quarantine and more testing.
So here are two important things you need to know for planning:
- Accomodation is key – find the right place to stay and you don’t need to add additional accomodation costs to your travel. The website offers a long list of hotels and appartments where you will need to stay for 5 days upon arrival (returning resident and visitors). So if you choose a hotel you’d like to stay at anyway you won’t need to pay extra. If however, like me you would be returning to visit family, might I suggest choosing a place where you can enjoy your 5 day quarantine as an additional treat like at Calabash, Coyoba or True Blue Bay Resort. All fab places offering different perks.
- You will have to pay for tests. There is just no way around it. Sorry peops. You’re given the option of just taking one PCR test before you enter the country and then deciding to take a second PCR test on the 4th day of quarantine to be allowed to travel around Grenada. Alternatively you can just continue to stay at your accomodation for the remainder of your stay. But let’s be honest – why would you not want to explore Grenada and Carriacou, right?! So budget for at least one test. In the UK, this private test (NHS test not accepted) can cost anything from £100 to £300 so shop around. And make sure the lab is Ukas accredited. Once you’ve had your PCR test in Grenada make sure you wait for your result otherwise you will literally be hunted down and have to pay a fine. #keepgrenadasafe
Bottom line – although you can find some bargains with flights and accomodation, your trip is going to cost a bit more over the next year than before so just make sure you budget for it.
So……once you have digested all that here is what you will literally need to do:
Before take off
- Get a negative PCR test up to 7 days before your flight.
- Fill out online pre-travel information (including acceptance of the Waiver Of Liability Agreement) and upload relevant documentation, if required (copy of negative PCR test, proof of confirmed reservations AND payment for 5 nights).
- Download the track and trace app and register if you have an Android phone (apparently iPhones are currently exempt but the app will be available with Apple soon)
- Get ready for a health screening
- Present your completed Health Declaration form, a Waiver of Limited Liability Agreement form, a Public Health Locator form, a copy of your negative PCR test result to immigration for verification, and other required documents for entry to Grenada.
Well then you can travel to your pre-booked “Pure Safe Travel accomodation” for the next 5 days and decide if you want to venture further out during your stay. If your PCR happens to be positive in Grenada by the way, you will need to have more than one test – just saying…
Grenada’s response to the pandemic has been rigid in some respects but has paid off – over the summer the island had no cases for a number of months. Only recently a few started appearing again when the airport opened to international travel.
I leave it up to you to weigh up whether you think it’s worth venturing to sunnier climes but whatever you do please stay safe and respect the safety of others – keep Grenadians safe by entering the island COVID-19 free and stick to the guidelines.