By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Are you sick and tired of being cooped up during the coronavirus pandemic and dreaming of heading to the Caribbean?  Island vibes are happening as the Caribbean islands lay out their plans for a ‘new normal’ for locals as well as welcome back visitors.

Pushed by basic economics, the tourism dependent islands are opening, braced by a low count of coronavirus cases due to strict isolation.

“St. Lucia has the strictest requirements. You have to go to an approved hotel,” said Caribbean travel expert Alexander Britell. “If you don’t stay in one of those hotels, it is a mandatory quarantine.”

Starting June 15, the Bahamas will allow boaters, yachters and private aviation to return to the islands. The islands will open fully July 1st.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Virgin Islands are open and flights are coming in.

“St. Thomas, St. Johns, St. Croix, all have very few cases to begin with, have now reopened. They will be doing temperature checks, but no mandatory quarantine which is the biggest question travelers ask us,” said Britell.

Airlines are ramping up their once discontinued flights.

If you are heading to the Caribbean, be sure to work closely with your travel agent because air travel is fluid and health requirements vary.

“Some islands have temperature checks, some islands are doing more through screening, some airlines are going to be doing temperature checks on the front end. It’s just a whole new world of travel,” said Britell.

Social distancing will be in effect and those massive buffets at the all-inclusive hotels and resorts across the Caribbean are history.

“Buffets will pretty much be a thing of the past,” explained Britell. “If you look at protocols, they are doing away with buffets. Make it so you are not serving yourself.”

He added, “The Caribbean is well positioned because you will be out of doors a lot. That will make things more enjoyable, having said that, you will probably wear a mask in public areas in the Caribbean.”

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