Anguilla really is between a rock and a hard place. We are fiercely protective of our current COVID-19 free situation – yet are entirely dependent on welcoming visitors back to our shores. Anguilla is without doubt one of the most tourism dependent nations in the world.
Reopening Anguilla is about balancing risk and capacity.
At a recent Government presentation on the phased reopening of Anguilla’s borders – heralded by the launch today of a new portal where visitors may apply to enter the island – the Chief Medical Officer, who is well respected for her level headed handling of and clear communications about Anguilla’s response to the pandemic – succinctly explained the islands major challenge: Resources.
Quincia Gumbs Marie, Anguilla’s Tourism Secretary, reiterated that we must have the required resources on island to protect ourselves and any visitors from risk. Even with the recruitment of additional health care professionals and special constables Anguilla’s capacity to bring in and quarantine new arrivals safely is currently capped at 200 persons at any given time. She added that we are still committed to repatriating over 300 Anguillians who are patiently waiting to return first – a task which she estimated would take another 6 weeks or so.
A very Anguillian reopening.
So if you have been waiting with bated breath for the go-ahead to book your flights and accommodation to come stay with us in Anguilla and were thrilled to hear the news that our borders are reopening – you may need to temper you excitement. Anguilla is reopening – but rather than flinging the doors wide – is letting in visitors in a thoughtful, controlled, and cautious way.
Before you book your tickets or accommodation for dates UP TO THE 31st OCTOBER 2020 – you will have to APPLY to visit Anguilla.
Firstly, preregister at the portal situated on the Anguilla Tourist Board’s website. Once that process is completed and you have been approved you will be asked to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 PRC test taken within three to five days prior to arrival. You will also need to obtain and show proof of a health insurance policy that will cover any medical expenses incurred in relation to COVID-19 treatment.
What should you expect once you get here?
Phase 1 of re-opening means that anyone applying must follow the same rules as our repatriated Anguillians – you will spend between 10 to 14 days in a government approved accommodation at your own cost (length of stay depends on your point of departure). This means you will NOT be able to leave that property within that time. The good news is that once your quarantine is completed and you receive your final negative test you will be able to enjoy everything Anguilla has to offer – freely – without mask and social distancing – as long as our COVID-19 free status remains.
Who should come?
The investment in time and money required to visit Anguilla in these next few months will be of greatest interest to those looking to move to and work from Anguilla.
The portal has all the relevant information on how to “Lose the crowd find yourself” in Anguilla after the borders open
But first, here are a few questions answered – to get you started.
What is the earliest I can get into Anguilla?
You can begin the application process on 21st August 2020 but as there are Anguillians waiting to come home too – your application will probably be approved AFTER they are successfully repatriated – in the meeting they anticipated that the first guests will arrive in late September/Early October.
Can I come for less than 14 days?
Yes, you can, as long as you understand you will ONLY be able to stay at your approved accommodation. This means your Anguilla experience will not include exploring the island, boat trips, restaurant visits or any other activities off site. Simply put you can only enjoy your accommodations and its amenities.
Can I stay anywhere?
No. Only in Government approved accommodations – each property will be inspected and will supply operating procedures to ensure you can quarantine in safety and comfort. The list of approved accommodations will grow rapidly as many accommodations are undertaking the process to certify.
Please don’t worry if your chosen villa or accommodation is not on the list yet – contact them direct for an update on their status and timeline for approval. You can use the True Anguilla directory to find contact information.
How will I know if my application is successful?
You will fill in the information online but after the application is submitted the process will be handled by email – applicants are promised a personal ‘white glove’ concierge service to guide them through all the stages.
Does it cost anything to process my application?
Yes, there is an additional fee at this stage to cover on island testing, the staff required to manage the quarantine procedure as well as the immigration fees for your extended stay and ‘digital work permit’. Costs can be found on the portal and money will only be taken if your application is successful.
If I decide to stay for a long time can I work from my Anguilla home?
Yes, the processing fee for your application covers your ‘digital work permit’ this allows you to conduct your business from Anguilla to the outside world. It does not allow you to solicit or undertake business in Anguilla.
Are properties available for long term rental – am I likely to get a discount if I stay longer?
Yes, and Yes. There are plenty of great accommodations of all sizes and budgets looking for a long-stay guests. Speak with one of the Villa Management companies listed in our directory about what they have on offer. The Government of Anguilla, also indicated at the meeting that there will be a decrease in accommodation taxes payable on long term stays (stays of over 3 months).
When should I apply if I want to come after 31st October 2020?
If you are planning to visit Anguilla on or after November 1st you will be invited to apply for entry at the end of September 2020 (Phase 2). Your contact at your chosen accommodation will be able to assist you with the latest news on this. True Anguilla will also update you on the protocol’s for Phase 2 as soon as we have news.
For more information on places to stay use our directory or you can email me on [email protected] and I would be happy to forward your details onto someone who can help you.
For more information on applying to visit or how to get to Anguilla please visit the Anguilla Tourist Board. For more information on Anguilla’s response to the pandemic please visit www.beatcovid19.ai.