With the Turks and Caicos Islands open for visitors again from July 22nd, we caught up with our friend, Adam Twigg, who’s lucky feet are firmly planted in the soft sand of Grace Bay Beach. Adam is the estate manager of a large number of the oceanfront villas in Providenciales. We caught up with him to find out what life is like in Turks and Caicos now that the tourism industry has started again...
What can travelers expect when coming to Turks and Caicos now? Is everything open?
Right now, most of the restaurants are open and I’d say 90% of the hotels. All of our villas are receiving guests. In terms of trips, tours, and water sports, everything is open and available. Of course, new measures have been put in place to take the appropriate precautions, including disinfecting and sanitizing, additional cleaning measures, and the wearing of masks, gloves, and visors where appropriate.
Is there a law on wearing face masks in public?
Yes, there are regulations about wearing face masks in public spaces but it doesn’t feel restrictive. Common sense applies here. We put on face masks when we enter shops, and you’re not allowed to sit in the front seat in a taxi, but we are naturally socially distanced anyway. It’s safe but relaxed. Also, you don’t have to wear a mask when seated in a restaurant.
What about on the beach?
Here, the beaches are big. We are out in the fresh air. You don’t have to wear a mask on the beach. We are naturally socially distanced anyway. Our beaches were never crowded, even before the pandemic. It would be normal for maybe 7 or 8 people to walk past you in an entire day. There’s just not that many people here...
What are your current guests saying about their experience?
They’re happy. Relaxed. They know they’re safe from the minute they arrive. We are in a good state here. The majority of guests we’ve had since the 22nd of July have been big family groups that stay in our larger villas. I’d say over 50% of our current guests arrived in private jets.
Are you getting a lot of bookings?
Turks and Caicos is a very attractive proposition for a lot of people right now, in light of how Covid has changed tourism. We are getting a lot of inquiries about our villas. People don't want to go to resorts, they don’t want to be around other people. They want to be somewhere private, surrounded by their family, with everything taken care of, and free to relax. Our villas satisfy this perfectly.
Do you have new service standards and protocols?
We are a high-end vacation destination, our service standards have always been impeccable. We always had meticulous cleaning protocols but now everything has been stepped up in the hygiene stakes. We are thoroughly disinfecting too. There’s a high level of detail in luxury service. For example, when guests arrive, we sanitize their luggage so that when they get into their villa they bring absolutely no traces of external influence.
Are there restrictions on entering Turks & Caicos?
Visitors now need travel authorization before flying. You have to apply through the government’s online portal. You fill out a health questionnaire, prove you have medevac insurance and provide a negative Covid-19 test dated within 5 days of arrival. We are taking care of this for our guests. As soon as someone books, they are contacted by the concierge. We walk them through the paperwork and arrange what is needed. We take all of that bureaucracy away from them.
Why do you need medevac insurance?
There have been around 100 coronavirus cases and two deaths here in Turks and Caicos. The government is trying to ensure Covid doesn't come to the island. If someone has symptoms and tests positive, they fly them straight off. This is why you need insurance that includes medevac.
Soon, the portal will have a list of insurance providers that offer policies that are suitable for traveling to Turks and Caicos, including Covid-19 and medevac cover. The portal will also soon allow you to order a test directly from the website. It will be sent to your home, with recorded delivery arranged to take it to a certified laboratory that guarantees results within 48 hours.
Finally, Adam, how’s the beach?
Heh, it’s great. I love this time of year. Everything feels normal here, really. For us, it’s just another day in paradise...
EliteLYFE provides access to a broad variety of luxury beachfront villas around Providenciales, the largest of the Turks & Caicos Islands. A complete range of service staff and in-villa entertainment can be arranged upon request. Those interested in discovering more about Turks & Caicos as an elite vacation destination are invited to contact EliteLYFE at their convenience.