Dark storm clouds over oceanPhoto by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash


June 21, 2023

Hard to believe that it’s been five years since Hurricanes Irma and Maria tore through the Caribbean. There’s been a pandemic in between as well as subsequent storms that have caused scattered damage.

The good news is that COVID is no longer a make-or-break issue for vacations, and travelers should find few scars from the storms – and no restrictions on travel.

While you should check with your travel professional for advice on specific destinations, here’s a high-level, island-by-island update on how the Caribbean is navigating the dual recovery challenges of a pandemic and hurricanes.

Palm trees blowing with dark blue skyPhoto by Ashok Munde on Unsplash



Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

Anguilla is recovered from the 2018 hurricanes and is at level-1 travel status (“Exercise Normal Precautions”), according to the State Department. 

For the latest news on alerts and issues in Anguilla, visit the Ministry of Health & Social Development on Facebook.


Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

Antigua and (especially) Barbuda were among the hardest-hit islands in 2018, and while rebuilding and recovery took years, the infrastructure is in place to welcome tourists.

The State Department has given the islands a level-1 rating, and mask mandates and vaccination requirements have been lifted.

You can get updates on the situation in the islands at Visit Antigua & Barbuda.

Damaged building interior after stormPhoto by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

The Bahamas

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

The Bahamas have fully recovered from the hurricanes, but are currently at level-2 (”Exercise Increased Caution”) status, mainly due to crime.

For information on the latest developments, visit The Bahamas’ travel-requirements page.

British Virgin Islands

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

Properties and attractions on the islands are back to their pre-hurricane status.

The islands are open to American tourists, and are at level-1 status with the State Department.

The U.S. Embassy’s COVID-19 page has full details.

Tour boat moving past islandPhoto by Yap Chin Kuan on Unsplash


Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

Dominica’s neighborhoods felt the brunt of the storm, and were just rounding back to something approaching normal when the pandemic hit.

The country is currently allowing travelers from the U.S. with no restrictions.

For more information, check out the updates provided by the Discover Dominica Authority.

Dominican Republic/Haiti

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear

Shortly after both countries recovered from the hurricanes, they were hit hard by the pandemic. Their paths have diverged since then, however.

The Dominican Republic is currently welcoming tourists with no restrictions. 

On the other hand, the State Department recommends that travelers not travel to Haiti because of crime

For information on the Dominican Republic’s return to tourism, consult the country’s tourism website. Information on Haiti is available from the State Department’s country information page for Haiti.

People sorting through debris after stormPhoto by Susan Mohr on Unsplash

Puerto Rico

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear

Puerto Rico’s recovery from hurricanes Irma and Maria and a subsequent earthquake was very nearly complete when the pandemic hit. Now the island is reopened and has been a popular destination for mainland American tourists.

Virtually all hotelsrestaurants, golf courses, and other facilities are open and are welcoming tourists.

For the most up-to-date information, visit Discover Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico flag hanging from balconyPhoto by Tatiana Rodriguez on Unsplash

St. Maarten/St. Martin

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear 

The island has recovered from the hurricanes, and both sides of the island are at level-1 status.

The State Department has the most recent information on travel to the island.

Turks and Caicos

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear

The Turks and Caicos have fully recovered from the hurricanes, and are open to tourists.

The TCI Assured website has the latest details.

People relaxing on tropical beachPhoto by Joel Casilla on Unsplash

U.S. Virgin Islands

Year hurricane damage sustained: 2018

Status: All clear

The U.S. Virgin Islands had a long road back from the hurricanes, and they had almost made it all the way back when the pandemic struck.

However, like Puerto Rico, the USVI are welcoming mainland tourists without restrictions.

The USVI Department of Health has updated information for travelers considering a visit to the islands.


All other Caribbean islands can be considered to be recovered from the 2017 and 2018 hurricanes, and have lifted the bulk of their COVID-related travel restrictions.  

For up-to-date information, follow the updates on Travel & Leisure, find the country you wish to travel to on the State Department’s country-by-country COVID page, or consult your travel professional.

Travel safely!

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