PHILLIPSBURG, SINT MAARTEN — Canadians wanting to travel to Sint Maarten can now simply provide an antigen test, rather than a PCR test, to gain entry into the country.
The new rule, which applies to travellers from both Canada and the United States, was announced as a way to ease travel to the Caribbean island. Any non-home administered antigen test obtained from a naso-pharyngeal swab can be used, as long as it’s performed within 48 hours prior to departure to Sint Maarten. All FDA-approved antigen tests, including those with Emergency Use Authorization only (EUA) are being accepted.
Antigen tests, also known as rapid tests, yield results faster than PCR tests and is generally less expensive. PCR tests, however, are considered the gold standard in testing for COVID-19.
The government’s approval of antigen testing versus PCR tests will hopefully bolster tourism at a time when the island and travellers really need it, said Saro Spadaro, President & CEO of Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten. “The safety of our visitors is our primary concern and we do encourage people to travel safely.”
The all-Inclusive Sonesta Resorts Sint Maarten—comprising of the adults-only luxury Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and the family-centric Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa – are located at the heart of Maho Village, a destination within a destination featuring Casino Royale, the largest gaming emporium on the island, as well as diverse restaurants, a coffee shop, and various retail stores. The property has put into effect all government measures as have all restaurants and venues, including spacing of tables six to eight feet apart. Further, all service staff and hotel team members have a mask mandate in place.
The hotel group also offers on-property rapid antigen testing for guests helping them return home. Further, a US$120 per person resort credit is offered to help offset the cost of arrival and departure testing, which can also be used for spa services, additional wine list selections and room upgrades.
The company offers the Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test, which is administered by a healthcare professional with results available same day. For convenience, the resorts offer testing slots, Monday through Saturday, with mandatory pre-booking of appointments through the resorts’ front desk. Tests cost $65 per person. In addition, PCR tests are available to guests who require them for their onward travel at our on-property clinic in Maho Village. Guests are advised to contact the clinic directly for PCR tests. Abbott’s Panbio COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test has been authorized by WHO (World Health Organization), it is widely used in the Netherlands by the Dutch Public Health Authorities (RIVM) and it has been approved as a pre-travel test by the Sint Maarten Government.
For more information on COVID-19 travel measures, updates and reservations, please visit sonesta.com/stmaarten.