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St Lucia travel guide

About St Lucia

Trade winds keep temperatures on the right side of sizzling in sunny St Lucia, where white sandy beaches, crystalline waters and luscious rainforests paint the quintessential picture of Caribbean island idyll.

St Lucia is in the business of creating lasting first impressions: visitors to the island are greeted by the unforgettable sight of the Piton Mountains, which are fringed by coral reefs, sandy shores and swaying palms as they rise majestically from the rolling surf.

While other Caribbean islands lay claim to equally beautiful beaches, St Lucia will tempt you out of the sun-lounger and into the ocean with its bountiful marine life and exquisite reefs, which are a playground for scuba divers and snorkelers. St Lucia’s waters are also prime for kite-boarding and windsurfing, thanks to the aforementioned trade winds. 

It’s not all about the coast, though. A trip to the island’s interior presents the opportunity to hike through verdant mountains, zip-line over forest canopies and watch boiling sulphur springs bubble away atop a volcano, all in a day’s work. If you’ve still got the energy for a night out, there are regular shindigs in the north of the island. Friday nights get particularly lively.  

Here visitors can experience the relaxed flavour of island life, as well as the unique mixture of West African, European and East Indian influences that infuse the local cuisine. St Lucia is also known for its folk music and world-famous Jazz & Arts Festival, which takes place every year amidst much fanfare.  

The island carries a unique cultural heritage, having changed hands between Britain and France no fewer than 14 times. The British eventually lost control in 1979, and St Lucia gained its independence. Various cultural legacies linger, from the colonial-style plantations that dot the landscape, to the French-influenced patois spoken throughout the country.

The result is a destination that will captivate visitors long after the emerald-green peaks of the Pitons have disappeared over the horizon.

Key facts

Area:

616.3 sq km (238 sq miles).

Population:

186,383 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

266 per sq km.

Capital:

Castries.

Government:

Constitutional monarchy.

Head of state:

Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, represented locally by Governor-General Neville Cenac since 2018.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Kenny Anthony since 2011.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Lucia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

British Airways and TUI are operating flights between the UK and St Lucia. Flights to and from the United States are operating. All flight schedules are subject to change. Check with the airline or your travel company for the latest information on flight schedules and rules prior to booking.

The inter-island ferry service between St Lucia and Martinique resumed on 1 July 2021.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in St Lucia.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact your accommodation provider and local authorities for information on testing facilities.

If you are staying in a hotel in St Lucia, ask hotel staff before and during your stay about how they can help facilitate the required test to return to the UK. If you are not staying in hotel accommodation, or your hotel cannot arrange an on-premises test, you should arrange to receive a test at one of St Lucia’s approved COVID-19 Respiratory Clinics. Contact details for COVID-19 clinics can be found on the government of St Lucia website.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there. Information on what happens if you test positive for COVID-19 while in St Lucia is available on the St Lucia Tourism Authority website.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in St Lucia

There is a continued state of emergency in place in St Lucia. The following measures are in place:

  • Upon arrival in St Lucia, all travellers must continue the use of face masks during on island-transportation and when in public places
  • Visitors must adhere to physical distancing measures
  • Travellers will be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities
  • Protocols have been established for taxis, to provide safety precautions and separate the driver from guests as an added security measure
  • Health and safety protocols will be reinforced through the use of signage that includes QR codes which take travellers to a landing page for more information.
  • There are restrictions to the numbers allowed in stores so queues are possible. Medical facilities will remain open.
  • Minibuses can only transport up to 10 passengers.

Call 311 for latest information and advice from the Government of St Lucia or see St Lucia Tourism Authority website

Accommodation

You must remain at your COVID-certified accommodation in St Lucia for a period of 14 days and not leave the property by vehicle or on foot during this period, unless you are fully vaccinated 14 days before arrival or are on an excursion arranged by the hotel.

Amongst the required protocols, hotels must sanitize luggage upon check in; maintain a fully equipped nurses station; observe strict detailed sanitization protocols for housekeeping; maintain required distance with tables for dining; and have hand sanitizer stations installed throughout the property.

From 13 August to 30 September, you cannot stay in a local COVID approved property where unvaccinated visitors are accommodated and, if you are unvaccinated, you cannot have any residents to stay in the property with you.

Public places and services

The following protocols must be followed:

  • Everyone arriving in St Lucia must have a negative PCR test taken no more than 5 days before travel to St Lucia
  • Returning nationals and visitors with a negative PCR test and who are fully vaccinated will not require quarantine. Random testing will be done at all arrival points. Notwithstanding, the CMO retains the power to place visitors in quarantine in order to protect public health
  • Returning nationals and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must stay in in COVID-19 Certified accommodation and must remain within that property for 14 days unless on an excursion arranged by their hotel or travel agency
  • All Business and Commercial activities must adhere to the COVID-19 related protocols issued by the Ministry of Health
  • When possible, employees of all organisations and businesses should work from home and hold all meetings virtually/on online platforms
  • Faith-based organizations may hold special religious rites including weddings, baptisms and funerals with a maximum of 100 persons in attendance;
  • Graduations and school leaving ceremonies are permitted based on square footage of the building and in keeping with all established COVID-19 protocols;
  • Non-compliance with COVID-19 protocols can result in fines. The Government of St Lucia has specifically noted breaches involving guests attempting to leave approved accommodation sites

Additional protocols are in place until 30 September 2021 to combat a recent increase in transmission leading to an increase in confirmed cases of COVID:

  • The curfew hours are: Mondays to Fridays from 7pm to 4am; Saturday 25 September from 4pm to Monday 27, which means a 24 hour curfew on Sunday;

  • All businesses must close at least one hour before the curfew starts;
  • Restaurants can only have a take away service; restaurants and bars are not allowed to sell alcohol;
  • Sale of alcohol is only permitted at a licenced supermarket, service station or wholesaler
  • Social gatherings are to be minimised and restricted to the household or family members and no more than 10 people;
  • No boat rides during this period;
  • Minibuses (public transport) can only carry up to 10 passengers at a time;
  • Religious gatherings are restricted according to square footage, and must follow social distancing protocols;
  • Special events will not be allowed, and no loud music permits will be issued;
  • Neither vaccinated nor unvaccinated people are allowed to host or attend any social activities including but not limited to parties, boat rides, receptions, etc;
  • No formal submission to host or organise events will be processed or permitted in this period;
  • Sporting activities allowed but restricted according to capacity and protocols;
  • Activities in hotels are permitted on the property during curfew hours. Water sports and other activities such as boat rides, skiing etc must be suspended during the Saturday to Monday curfew hours.

Health

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in St Lucia.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in St Lucia

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. We will update this page when the Government of St Lucia announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.

St Lucia’s national vaccination programme started in March 2021 using the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine also became available in August 2021. British nationals resident in St Lucia are eligible for vaccination. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on St Lucia’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in St Lucia, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Further information

The St Lucian government has established a dedicated helpline (to access, please call 311) to provide more information on St Lucia’s response to coronavirus. The service operates in English and Creole.

You can also check the latest on the St Lucia Ministry of Health Website and the Government of St Lucia’s facebook page

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Most visits are trouble-free, but there have been incidents of crime including murder, armed robbery and sexual assault.

You should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK and make sure your accommodation is secure. This also applies if you are staying on a yacht. Be vigilant at all times. Take care when walking alone off the busy main roads and avoid isolated areas, including beaches, particularly after dark.

Only use licensed taxis and take particular care at late night street parties, especially during the festival season. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewellery. If possible, leave valuables and travel documents in a safety deposit box or hotel safe. You should check that the hotel safe is securely fixed before using it to store your items.

Road Travel

Driving is on the left. To drive on the island you must get a local temporary driving licence. The car hire companies will usually help with this. You must present a valid UK driving licence.

Take care when driving on the roads as there can be potholes and speed bumps. Observe the speed limits. You should take extra care on minor roads and in rural areas where there are narrow roads and blind corners. Pedestrians often walk on the roads and indicators are not always used.

Take extra care when driving at night as some roads are unlit. Road signs and hazards may not be easily visible.

Don’t stop if you’re flagged down by pedestrians. Keep car doors locked when driving.

In the event of an accident, call the police and don’t move the vehicle.

Taxis aren’t metered. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations. Agree the fare in local currency with the driver before you set off. You can often pay in US dollars as well as EC dollars.

Take care especially on the main east coast road to and from Hewanorra International Airport.

Public transport is available and cheaper. Minibuses drivers may drive above the speed limit.

Air travel

You can find a list of recent incidents and accidents on the website of the Aviation Safety network.

The FCDO can’t offer advice on the safety of individual airlines. However, the International Air Transport Association publishes lists of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices – IATA Operational Safety Audit and IATA Standard Safety Assessment. These lists aren’t exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s unsafe.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation has carried out an audit of the level of implementation of the critical elements of safety oversight in St Lucia.

Swimming

Take great care at all times when swimming as currents can be deceptively strong and not all beaches have lifeguards and/or warning flags. You should monitor all beaches carefully and obey any local warnings.

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Lucia, attacks can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. Pack all luggage yourself and don’t carry anything through Customs for anyone else.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Local attitudes towards the LGBT community are mostly conservative throughout the Caribbean. Public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) between opposite or same-sex couples are uncommon. Certain homosexual acts are illegal. LGBT travellers should be mindful of local attitudes and be aware that public displays of affection may attract unwanted and negative attention. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in St Lucia set and enforce entry rules. For further information contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to. You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Testing and Quarantine requirements on arrival

  • All travellers must complete a Pre-Arrival registration form prior to arrival to St Lucia which can be found on the St Lucia COVID-19 page. Reservations for either a Government operated quarantine facility or a COVID-19 certified property must be confirmed before travel.

  • Pre-testing prior to travel is now mandatory. All travellers must provide certified proof of a negative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) COVID-19 test taken five days or less before travel to St Lucia. Passengers will be refused boarding if they do not have proof of a negative test. You will need to check with an accredited healthcare provider in the UK or your country you are travelling from for PCR testing options. You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

  • All arriving passengers will be screened, including temperature checks, at the airport. All passengers will advance through immigration, baggage claim, customs and, except those from the Travel Bubble, arrivals for transportation to their COVID-19 certified property or Government operated quarantine facility.

Quarantine requirements

  • All returning residents are required to quarantine for 14 days at a Government operated quarantine facility or a COVID-19 certified property.
  • All international visitors must stay at a COVID-certified property for 14 days.
  • Any symptomatic passengers will be isolated and tested and required to remain in quarantine/isolation at your hotel or Government operated quarantine facility until the test result is obtained. If the test is positive all visitors and nationals will be transferred to a treatment facility until they receive two negative test results and are clinically stable.

Lifting of Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Persons

Persons who have been fully vaccinated will not be required to go into quarantine on arrival. Persons must have received their second dose 14 days prior to arrival on island. All other protocols must be adhered to such as mask wearing and social distancing. Complete list of protocols are on https://www.stlucia.org/en_UK/

Demonstrating your COVID-19 status

St Lucia will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery and vaccination record. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

British Passport holders don’t need a visa to visit St Lucia.

On entry, you will be granted a specified period to stay. If you wish to stay longer, you must apply and pay for an extension of stay through the St Lucia Immigration Department.

It is an offence to overstay the entry period or to work without a work permit.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay in St Lucia.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Lucia.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Departure tax

Departure tax is included in the flight costs.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Lucia on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in St Lucia.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Other health risks

Dengue fever is endemic to Latin America and the Caribbean and can occur throughout the year.

UK health authorities have classified St Lucia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website.

Cases of Chikungunya virus have been confirmed in St Lucia. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

The main government hospital can cope with many types of treatment but serious cases may mean emergency evacuation.

Medical treatment in St Lucia can be expensive.

Make sure that you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

Before choosing to be treated at a private facility, you should check their policies on pre-payment. Private clinics may not accept medical travel insurance as payment for treatment.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Hurricanes

The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Center.

See our Tropical cyclones page for advice about how to prepare effectively and what to do if you’re likely to be affected by a hurricane or tropical cyclone.

The hurricane season in the Caribbean frequently brings heavy rains, which may cause flash floods and landslides. In the aftermath of a storm or hurricane, power, communications, transport and water supplies can be disrupted. Even in holiday resorts, utility services can’t be guaranteed. In the event of extreme weather conditions flights to and from the UK may be delayed or cancelled.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are a potential threat and tremors are felt occasionally in the Caribbean, In the event of an earthquake, you should be directed by the local authorities. To learn more about what to do before, during and after an earthquake, visit the website of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Volcanoes

You should monitor the alert level of the underwater volcano ‘Kick’em Jenny’, located 5 miles off the coast of Grenada. Observe any maritime exclusion zones and follow the advice of the local authorities in the event of increased activity or an eruption.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send us a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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