Travelers will be Required to Take a COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen Test Within Three Days of Travel

Dear valued partners,

The safety and health of our local population and international travelers remain top priorities for the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is now one of the most inoculated countries in the world with over 60 percent of the population vaccinated. Today, the Turks and Caicos Islands announces an update to travel requirements to the destination as a part of TCI Assured, a quality assurance pre-travel program and portal, which will require all travelers to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR, NAA, RNA or Antigen test result from a test taken within three days of travel, effective on July 28, 2021.

 

Under the new travel guidelines, the date of the sample collection must be within three days (72 hours) of the travel date, which was reduced from the previous requirement of a test to be taken within five days of arrival, and a Test Date Calculator on the TCI Assured portal will assist travelers in determining when to take the test. Approved amendments to the Arriving Passengers Health Clearance Regulations also in effect on July 28 include the acceptance of professionally administered Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction Tests (RT-PCR); Nucleic Acid Amplification tests (NAA); RNA or molecular tests; and Antigen tests for entry to the Turks and Caicos Islands. The test must be conducted by a medical laboratory with either of the following credentials: accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP); registered by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA); ISO 15189 certification. Previously, the destination was only accepting RT-PCR tests. Antibody tests and results from home-based test kits will not be accepted.

 

We realize many of your teams and guests are inquiring about protocols for travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands. As part of TCI Assured, which has been in place for travelers since our borders opened on July 22, 2020, you can share that travelers must also have medical / travel insurance that covers medevac (insurance companies providing the prerequisite insurance will also be available on the portal), a completed health screening questionnaire, and certification that they have read and agreed to the privacy policy document. These requirements must be complete and uploaded to the TCI Assured portal, which is available on the Turk and Caicos Islands Tourist Board website (www.turksandcaicostourism) in advance of their arrival. Visitors can then expect to present their TCI Assuredcertifications to local authorities upon arrival.

 

The Turks and Caicos Islands has remained vigilant and consistent regarding our international traveler requirements, which are the same for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers. Because of this, we have received an Alert Level 1 from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This represents a major milestone our vaccine campaign, which began in January 2021 and has resulted in more than 60 percent of the adult population being fully vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

 

On behalf of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourism Board, we thank you for your partnership and your individual efforts to prepare to welcome guests and promote tourism to our stunning destination. These updated procedures will go into effect on July 28, 2021, and we look forward to working with you on a seamless experience for all.

 

With regards,

 

 

Pamela Ewing

Director of Tourism

Reopening Update

COVID-19 Update

Behind the Scenes at Coral Gardens – Meet Matthew

Family and personal relationships are at the core of what makes Coral Gardens so special. We are so fortunate to have families and friends return to stay with us year after year. As we head into the holidays, we’d like spend some time introducing (and re-introducing) you to some of the people behind the scenes at Coral Gardens. This month we’re kicking things off with the one and only, Matthew Williams, General Manager at Coral Gardens.

Matthew, tell us a bit about yourself – Where are you from originally? What was “past life” before moving to Turks?

I’m originally from the UK. Before moving to Turks, I worked in the hospitality industry there as an assistant manager in country house hotels, having graduated university in hotel management. I also had the experience of working with the Savoy Hotel Group in London at Claridge’s in Mayfair. In the late 80’s, I ventured to St. Martin to work at the prestigious La Samanna, before returning and settling in the North of England for next 7 years.

How long have you lived in Provo and what brought you here?

I moved to Provo in the early 90’s finding an opening in the Grace Bay Club, which at that time was a luxury small boutique resort.

How long have you been with Coral Gardens?

I have had a longtime relationship with Coral Gardens resort, appearing on the scene in late ’98 as manager.  More importantly, with a great love of the outdoors and the fantastic waters, as a PADI Master Scuba Diver I was part of an adventure concierge offering onsite dive classes to guests & visitors, right off the beach in front of Coral Gardens

What do you enjoy most about working at Coral Gardens?

I love meeting people and getting to know them.  I also enjoy welcoming repeat visitors back, with some I have know for over two decades.

When you’re not working, what’s your favorite thing to do in Provo?

Scuba diving – I am fortunate enough to be called up by local dive operators to guide & dive master on their excursions, though I really don’t teach as much these days. I bike extensively around Provo on a mountain or road bike and when time permits I will hop on the ferry with the bike to catch a long ride around North & Middle Caicos. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes, whether a fresh ocean catch or firing up the wood smoker to create mouthwatering ribs and other delightful dishes.

What do you love most Turks/Provo?

For the most part the casual lifestyle and the weather.  The beautiful surrounding turquoise waters and fresh air.  Finally, spending time with my wife, family and our dogs.

What’s the one thing that you recommend that everyone do/experience while they’re here?

Get out and explore but don’t forget there is so much to the Turks and Caicos Islands than Provo.

Any last thoughts?

That answer could go on quite a while! Let’s chat more when you visit us!

Holiday Happenings in Turks and Caicos

As most of North America endures a deep freeze from November thru February, Turks and Caicos remains idealistic with sunny skies and temperatures between 80-85 degrees. These summery conditions make Coral Gardens a great place to spend Christmas and/or New Years.  Grace Bay loves the holidays and hosts a variety of fun events for you and your family.  Allow us to explain:

 

December 17th: The Christmas in Blue Hills event kicks off the holiday season featuring maypole dancing, storytelling, performances by local musicians while the colors and creativity of the Turks and Caicos islands are on display.

 

 

December 26th: While known as Boxing Day around the world, Providenciales hosts the Maskanoo Parade and Street Fair.  In its 4thyear Maskanoo is a celebration that is inspired by the rituals African slaves brought to the Caribbean during the 1700’s and 1800’s. You will see brilliantly colored costumes, glittering masks, festive music and local delicacies.  Following the parade is a street fair held between Saltmills Plaza and the Regent Grand shopping area.  Browse the works of local artists while bands entertain on the main stage.

 

December 28th: The fun continues with the post-Christmas Beach Party event in Grace Bay. The day and evening sunset will be filled with authentic foods, kayak races and live music all set on the most beautiful beach in the world.  This is a fun event for the whole family and a great time to get to know the locals.

 

December 31st: Throughout the year Turks and Caicos reflects the conservative influences from the British kingdom, but on New Year’s Eve the entire island lets their hair down to celebrate the passing year.  Nearly every restaurant and resort will host a festive dinner, DJ dancing and flowing cocktails.  Around 11pm Grace Bay beach will be ablaze with numerous bonfires where revelers gather to watch the fireworks displays.  Ricky’s Flamingo Café hosts the largest NYE celebration which is geared for the 20’s and 30’s crowd.  While Coral Gardens and Somewhere Café host a very family-friendly party where children, parents and grandparents dance the night away to a local DJ.

 

We hope this overview of the holidays in Turks and Caicos has inspired you to visit us at Coral Gardens during this festive season.  The holiday season kicks off our busiest time of the year, so make your travel plans now and maybe you’ll see Santa Claus on the beach at Grace Bay.

What to Pack for Your Vacation

What to do on your Providenciales Getaway

WHAT TO DO ON YOUR PROVIDENCIALES GETAWAY

One of the unique advantages of choosing Providenciales for your vacation is that the island is a perfect fit for any and all kinds of travelers. Whether you’re a couple on a romantic escape, a family on vacation, or a group on a girls’ getaway, Providenciales offers something for everyone. If you’re looking for ideas on how to make the best of your trip, you’ve come to the right spot. Allow us to suggest a few of our favorite things to do.

 

Couples Escape

Congratulations! You have chosen the ideal location for your romantic escape. Coral Gardens’ boutique size means that you can be on Grace Bay Beach in mere minutes. As cliché as this may sound, a favorite activity for vacationing couples is taking long walks along the beach at sunrise and/or sunset. With 12 miles of powdery white sand beach, there’s a lot to explore.

Coral Gardens also makes for the perfect location to watch the sunset from your balcony or patio, while enjoying a glass of wine.

Turks and Caicos comprises 40 islands and cays, so why not do some island-hopping? You can escape to your very own deserted island for a picnic lunch complete with wine. Or perhaps you’d prefer a full day of crewed-yachting?

No one can resist the dreamy turquoise tones of the waters around Providenciales, but if you’re ready to go a bit further afield, you can dive the barrier reef and you’ll likely see large rays, sharks, and whales (depending on the season).

Another fun and popular activity is a sunset horseback ride along Long Bay Beach and in the ocean.

Providenciales boasts some of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, many with stunning views. We’ve recommended a few of our favorites here and we’d also be happy to help with reservations and any special requests.

 

Family Vacation

Snorkeling is a fun and easy family activity and The Bight Reef, one of the best snorkeling sites on the island, is right off our beach at Coral Gardens.

If you’re looking to explore more of Providenciales, we’d recommend doing a kayaking excursion to see other marine life, as well as herons, egrets and other birds.

Some excursions also offer combo land-and-sea options, where you can kayak around the wetlands, have picnic lunch on the beach, and then snorkel around the coral reefs.

Looking for something closer to home? Coral Gardens offers two conveniently located swimming pools, perfect for some low-key relaxation or playtime with the kids.

Wish you could have brought the family dog on vacation? Take a local Potcake from Potcake Place K-9 rescue for a walk on the beach. The kids will love it!

Bight Park, located just a few minutes from Coral Gardens, hosts a weekly fish fry on Thursday nights. This is an enjoyable outing for the family with delicious local food and local music.

 

Girls’ Getaway

In addition to the activities we mentioned for couples and families, for girls’ getaways we’d also recommend enjoying a day (or at least a few hours) at one of Providenciales’s many amazing hotel spas. Whether it’s a Mother of Pearl Scrub at The Palms or Providenciales Deep Flow Massage at The Gansevoort, you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re looking to get out on the open water, various companies offer exhilarating catamaran cruises complete with a live DJ and opportunities for sunning, snorkeling and swimming.

Looking for some downtime and shopping? The Saltmills Plaza is just a 7-minute drive from Coral Gardens and features various clothing and jewelry stores, gift shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

With so many amazing options, your head is likely spinning. Don’t worry, we can help. Our team on property would be happy to answer any questions. Let us know what piques your interest and we can help you to decide and book!

How To Get To Turks and Caicos

How one gets to Turks and Caicos might seem obvious: Airplane. However, there are numerous ways, including many direct flights from the US. In this post, we’ll touch on each of them while saving the flight information until the end.

 

 

Cruise Ship: Six different cruise lines (Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises,Crystal Cruises, Holland America Line,Princess Cruises, and Silversea Cruises) include Grand Turk as a destination during cruises ranging from 5 to 21 days.  Depending on how much excursion time you are permitted you could check out one of the local beaches on Grand Turk or catch a quick 30-minute flight on InterCaribbean Airwaysto Providenciales for a visit to the world famous Grace Bay Beach.

 

 

Private Boat: Perhaps you are a sailor at heart and island hopping is your calling.  If so, be sure to include some time in the Turks and Caicos Islands.  Did you know the Turks and Caicos is comprised of approximately 40 islands but only 8 of them are inhabited which leaves plenty of quiet beaches and calm coves to cruise around.  Once you arrive in the islands, be sure to check-in at a port-of-entry.  There are many marinas on Providenciales and Grand Turk, and one each on North Caicos and South Caicos. The harbormaster at the port of entry has the authority to grant entry for one-week.  If you wish to stay longer or cruise among the islands, you must get a Cruising Permit (valid for 90 days), and/or visit one of the immigration offices on Providenciales or Grand Turk.

 

 

Airplane: Providenciales International Airport (abbreviation: PLS) is serviced by 5 US airlines, 2 Canadian airlines and 1 European airline.  The first flights start arriving around 9am and these are local flights from nearby Caribbean islands.  The majority of international flights arrive between Noon – 3PM.

 

Allow us to explain the direct flight options below:

  • US-based airlines:

United: Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), New York/Newark (EWR), Washington, DC (IAD)

American: Boston (BOS), Charlotte (CLT), Chicago (ORD), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), Philadelphia (PHL)

Delta: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), New York (JFK)

JetBlue:  Boston (BOS), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK)

Southwest: Fort Lauderdale (FLL)

 

  • Canada-based airlines:

Air Canada: Toronto (YYZ)

WestJet: Montreal (YUL), Toronto (YYZ)

 

  • International airlines:

British Airways:  London (LGW) with a quick stop in Antigua

 

 

Flying times to Providenciales International Airport (PLS):

  • Miami = 1:27
  • Fort Lauderdale = 1:40
  • Charlotte = 2:37
  • Philadephia = 2:58
  • New York = 3:06
  • Boston = 3:20
  • Toronto = 3:38
  • London = 10:06

 

 

Route Map:

 

 

 

 

FlightAwareis a great way to view the air traffic around the PLS airport

We hope to see you soon!

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