Though the Caribbean is a more popular destination for winter or spring getaways, the islands are trying to lure travelers who have a bad case of cabin fever after five months of lockdowns, masks, surges and paused reopenings. The deals and discounts on offer are giving the high season (December to April) a run for its money.
Stringent and mandatory health and safety protocols are in place at hotels, resorts and villas during the coronavirus pandemic, so you can swap your city or suburban surroundings for bargains on the beach without fear.
Entry requirements: All tourists must complete an online travel authorization form and undergo a health screening. Those coming from high-risk states such as Arizona, Florida, New York and Texas must also upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 10 days of arrival in Jamaica.
For twosomes looking to reignite that spark after months of seeing each other in sweatpants, Couples Resorts hits the sweet spot with rate reductions at all four adults-only getaways: Couples Negril, Couples Tower Isle, Couples Sans Souci and Couples Swept Away. The “Couples Comeback” offers nightly rates, per room, double occupancy, starting at $349. Rates are bookable through Sept. 30 for travel until Dec. 24.
Sunset at the Palms, another adults-only resort in Negril, offers nightly rates in treehouse-style rooms. Bookable by Sept. 15 for travel through Oct. 31, rates start at $311 per room, double occupancy.
Moon Palace Jamaica offers nightly rates through Dec. 20 for a deluxe ocean view, based on double occupancy, starting at $376.
Entry requirements: All passengers must take a COVID-19 test and present proof of a negative result no more than 72 hours before arrival. Children who are 10 or younger do not need to take a COVID-19 test. Travelers must fill out a health declaration form and wear masks inside the airport at all times.
Sonesta Ocean Point Resort is the top pick for adults looking for a vacation. It offers nightly rates for a junior suite, per person, double occupancy, starting at $208; bookable with the "Weekday Wanderlust" offer for Sunday-Thursday stays through Dec. 23, 2021.
On a private peninsula between Little Bay and Great Bay, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort hits the bullseye with rates, per person, starting at $209 bookable by Aug. 31 for travel through Dec. 20.
US Virgin Islands
Entry requirements: According to the USVI tourism bureau, any visitor aged 15 or up must must complete a prescreening on usvitravelportal.com. Furthermore, anyone who resides in Puerto Rico or a state where the COVID-19 positivity rate is higher than 10% must provide a negative COVID-19 antigen (molecular/PCR/rapid) test result received within five days prior to travel or a positive COVID-19 antibody test result received within four months of travel. Travelers who have spent more than seven days in a hot spot must also submit a test. (Note that the five-day window is related to receiving test results, not taking the test itself.)
The Ritz-Carlton St Thomas offers nightly rates starting at $479 for a five-night stay, $587 for single-night stays for bookings and travel until Nov. 30.
Popular for the Snorkel Booze Hunt, in which underwater explorers comb the waters for hidden bottles of Cruzan Rum, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas offers $187.50 nightly room rates, double occupancy, for travel until Dec. 24.
Entry requirements: All arriving passengers must have a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than seven days before arriving in St. Lucia, the island's tourism site advises. Hotel guests traveling from outside the designated travel bubble of low-risk Caribbean islands are required to remain on property for the duration of their stay except to participate in water-based excursions arranged by the hotel.
The fifth night is free at Jade Mountain when the "Take Five" package is booked in a Sky, Star or Moon Sanctuary. Nightly rates start at $1,225 bookable until Oct. 31 for travel through Dec. 19 and again from Jan. 3-Dec. 19, 2021. At the sibling resort Anse Chastanet, "Escape Sale" nightly rates start at $513, bookable by Oct. 31 for travel through Dec. 19.
Adults-only Serenity at Coconut Bay offers nightly rates that start at $372, per person, double occupancy, for stays booked by Aug. 31 for travel until Dec. 22.
Reopening Oct. 1, Coconut Bay Beach Resort offers nightly rates, per person, double occupancy, starting at $154. Rates are bookable by Aug. 31 for travel until Dec. 20.
Landings Resort and Spa will reopen Oct. 1 with nightly rates for a one-bedroom Marina View Villa Suite starting at $315 bookable through Aug. 31 for travel from Oct. 1 to 31.
Entry requirements: All visitors must complete a disembarkation card with contact-tracing details such as their date of birth, passport information and the duration of their stay, as well as a health assessment interview. All visitors 15 and older must present a negative PCR test result. Visitors from 24 hot spot states must complete their test 72 hours before departure or take one test before leaving and a second upon arrival at the airport. Others may opt to be tested upon arrival. The testing fee is $75.
The adults-only Bucuti and Tara Beach Resort – voted Best Caribbean Resort in the 2020 USA TODAY 10 Best Readers' Choice Awards – offers nightly rates through Dec. 22 starting at $403, double occupancy, for a standard room in the Bucuti Wing.
Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa and Casino invites with the "Warm Welcome" nightly rates starting at $357 for an ocean or pool view. Earn Hyatt Loyalty points with stays booked online until Sept. 8 for travel until Dec. 20.
Nightly rates in a Garden View room at Divi Aruba All Inclusive start at $471, double occupancy. Stays are bookable until Dec. 15 for travel through Dec. 23. Next door, Tamarijn Aruba All Inclusive is slated to reopen Sept. 12.
At the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino, nightly rates, per room, start at $247, using the "Stay Longer, Save More" offer for stays of four or more nights. Discounts are bookable until Sept. 30 for travel until Dec. 23 and Jan. 3 to April 30, 2021.
Entry requirements: Barbados' tourism site says all visitors must complete an online customs entry form. Although an advance COVID-19 test is not required, one is recommended to have your application form fast-tracked, and anyone who doesn't provide one will be tested upon arrival.
The all-suite South Beach Hotel will reopen Aug. 15 with nightly rates, per room, starting at $120, double occupancy. Rooms are bookable until Oct. 31 for travel through April 2021.
Reopening Sept. 1, Sea Breeze Beach House is a 122-room boutique hotel on the south coast. Standard rooms go for $373 per night, double occupancy. Rooms are bookable through Oct. 31 for travel until Jan. 5, 2021.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Entry requirements: Travelers need a negative COVID-19 PCR test from an accredited laboratory taken within five days of travel (the travel day does not count toward that period.) The test result is a requirement to obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorization to enter the country.
Steps from Grace Bay Beach, nightly rates for a junior suite at Palms Turks and Caicos start at $489, double occupancy, bookable through Nov. 30 for travel until Dec. 18.
The Shore Club is the gold standard in sweet suites with nightly rates, double occupancy, starting at $499 bookable through Nov. 30 for travel until Dec. 23, 2021.
One mile apart on Grace Bay Beach, Ocean Club Resorts' Ocean Club and Ocean Club West dish up nightly rates for a Studio Suite at either resort starting at $214 for travel until Dec. 18. Gratis perks include bicycles and beach loungers shaded by the resorts’ signature pink umbrellas.
Entry requirements: A negative COVID-19 test result no older than seven days before the expected arrival date is required for all visitors, who should bring a printout with them. They must all complete a Traveler Accommodation form online before arrival. Failure to comply will result in travelers being denied entry.
Sandals Grande Antigua is open on Dickenson Bay, the longest white sandy beach on the island. For savings at all Sandals Resorts, “instant credits” up to $1,000 are applied upon booking. In St. Lucia, Sandals Grande St. Lucian is open, Sandals Regency La Toc will open Aug. 31 and Sandals Halcyon Beach on Nov. 1. In Jamaica, Sandals Royal Caribbean, Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Negril are open, Sandals Ochi will reopen Sept. 3, Sandals South Coast on Oct. 1 and Sandals Royal Plantation on Oct. 8. Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados will reopen Sept. 9.
Gunpowder House and Suites is the real deal for history buffs with nightly rates bookable until Nov. 8 in a Deluxe Gunpowder Suite starting at $235, double occupancy for travel until Aug. 30 and again from Oct. 10-Nov. 8.
A colorful collection of pastel cottages, Cocobay Resort is adults-only with discounts bookable for travel through Nov. 30. Nightly rates, double occupancy, for a Standard Cottage start at $300.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Caribbean sale: Check out the deals and entry requirements