Posted on September 03, 2020
Depending on where you own timeshare, the impact of international COVID border closures has either had a negligible effect on your ownership or an enormous one. But one thing is certain – the ability to travel abroad through timeshare exchange has taken a huge hit, along with one of the primary benefits of timeshare ownership.
For U.S. owners who rely on exchange to get the most out of their ownership, you are certainly looking at domestic timeshare options until the border closures are lifted. Ironically, for those who own internationally such as in the Caribbean, exchanging into a U.S. resort is the primary way you can use your ownership for the foreseeable future. That is – unless you want to go through extensive COVID testing, health applications and 14-day quarantine restrictions upon arrival.
For you optimists, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Below are status updates on some of the borders which impact timeshare travel:
Canada – the Canadian government extended its travel ban on Americans to September 30. The ban had been in place until September 21 and has been extended on a month-to-month basis since March. The fact that the government only extended it for an additional nine days is encouraging if they think the end of September is a realistic timeframe to reopen the border.
Mexico – the closure of the land border with the United States is in effect until September 21. Visitors can still fly into Mexico from the U.S. and timeshare resorts are open in popular destinations such as Cancun. Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta. However, bars and nightclubs are still closed and COVID protocols are in place.
Europe – although Spain has seen a recent spike in COVID cases, the rest of the European countries have a much lower rate of cases per 100,000 residents than the United States. The latest EU safe travel list only lists 10 countries as safe enough to allow visitors from those countries – with Canada and Uruguay the only Western Hemisphere nations on the safe list. Even with the recent downward trend of COVID cases in the U.S., don’t expect European countries to open up anytime soon.
Caribbean – the latest change comes from the Bahamas which has, yet again, tweaked its requirements for entry. Starting this week, visitors must apply for a health visa as well as provide a negative COVID test result taken within five days of arrival. The 14-day quarantine remains in effect, even though it can be served in timeshare resorts as well as hotels or other rented accommodations. After the quarantine period is over, visitors must take another COVID test to be in the clear.
Aruba and St. Maarten are both open to U.S. visitors, with negative COVID tests required for entry. Jamaica remains closed for a few more weeks, with the Cayman Islands due to reopen on October 1. The U.S. Virgin Islands remain closed until September 19 following its latest increase in cases. Bonaire has closed its borders to the U.S. until at least October 1 with all flights from the U.S. cancelled.
Central America – Costa Rica has specified individual U.S. states for visitor entry, rather than assessing the United States as a whole. Twelve states have been identified as safe for residents to travel from, with visitors to provide proof of residency as well as negative COVID tests. Hotels and timeshare resorts are open at 100 percent capacity beginning this week, with amenities such as restaurants and gyms capped at 50 percent.
You can find the latest status updates below for branded timeshare resorts:
Bluegreen Vacations – Pono Kai Resort remains closed until September 30, with Hawaii COVID quarantine restrictions expected to be lifted on October 1. The other Bluegreen resorts are open, so for more details please click on https://www.bluegreenowner.com/featured/travel-advisory-resort-status.
Capital Vacations – No changes from last week as all U.S.-based Capital Vacations timeshare resorts are open. Sea Palace in St. Maarten and Coral Sands on Grand Cayman still show as closed, even though St. Maarten is open to visitors but under COVID protocols. Sea Palace is currently available for online bookings so owners should check directly with Capital for the latest details. As mentioned above, Cayman is scheduled to reopen on October 1. For the latest details and to contact Capital directly, please go to https://www.capitalvacations.com/covid.php.
Club Wyndham – Wyndham timeshares in San Francisco were scheduled to reopen this past Monday, with resorts showing an 8/31 opening date on the Club Wyndham website. Most Hawaii resorts are due to reopen on September 30 prior to Hawaii’s COVID quarantine restrictions being lifted. A few Wyndham resorts remain listed as closed, so for more information please visit https://clubwyndham.wyndhamdestinations.com/us/en/covid-19-information/list-of-impacted-resorts.
Diamond Resorts – The Governor of Hawaii recently announced the specific type of COVID test needed for entry into Hawaii once the quarantine restrictions are removed. Those details are available on the Diamond website through the link below. Diamond timeshare resorts in Hawaii are due to reopen on September 30 prior to the lifting of restrictions. Marquis Villas Resort in Palm Springs is due to open on September 30 while Alhambra Villas in Kissimmee is scheduled for a reopening on October 29. For the latest details please go to https://www.diamondresorts.com/covid-19-update.
Disney Vacation Club – Disney timeshare resorts continue to be open with the exception of Grand Californian in Anaheim and Aulani in Hawaii – both closed with no official reopening date announced. Earlier, Disney announced that the hotel portion of the Polynesian Village Resort would remain closed, but this does not impact the DVC villas and bungalows that are part of the resort.
Online rental bookings for Grand Californian are still available beginning September 16. Please click https://disneyvacationclub.disney.go.com/ for more information.
Divi Resorts – Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire is showing as unavailable until September 30, as the island is currently closed to U.S. residents. Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in Barbados is closed until October 3. Divi Carina Bay in St Croix remains closed for renovations, although the USVI is closed for at least two more weeks to prevent the spread of COVID. Divi timeshares in St. Maarten and Aruba (including Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort) are open, so go to https://www.diviresorts.com/news.htm for more details.
Grand Pacific Resorts – Indian Palms Vacation Club is still on track to open on October 1. All other Grand Pacific timeshare resorts are open. For the latest details visit https://grandpacificresorts.com/resort-reopening-updates/.
Hilton Grand Vacations – No changes here as those 10 Hilton timeshare resorts are still showing as closed on the Hilton website. They are The Quin Central Park by Hilton Club, The Hilton Club – New York, the Residences by Hilton Club, Hilton Grand Vacations Chicago Downtown/Magnificent Mile and the six remaining Hilton timeshare resorts in Hawaii. The other U.S.-based Hilton timeshares are open, so please click on https://www.hiltongrandvacations.com/en/travel-alert for more details.
Holiday Inn Club Vacations – Holiday Inn Club Vacations timeshare resorts, including Orange Lake resort, are all open per COVID protocols. For the latest details, please go to https://holidayinnclub.com/safe-travels/resort-updates.
Marriott Vacation Club –Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove on St. Thomas is closed until at least September 18 due to the COVID-related closure of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Marriott’s Waikoloa Ocean Club is still closed as are Marriott Vacation Club Pulse San Francisco and Marriott Vacation Club Pulse New York City. All other U.S.-based Marriott timeshare resorts are open. Please visit https://hub.vacationclub.com/resort-updates/for the latest on Marriott timeshare COVID protocols.
Vistana Signature Experiences – Westin St. John Resort Villas remains closed until at least September 18 due to the USVI COVID closure to visitors. All other Westin timeshares and all Sheraton timeshare resorts remain open.
Westgate Resorts –Nothing new here as Westgate Leisure Resort, Westgate Blue Tree Resort, Westgate Palace Resort and Westgate Towers Resort are still closed until November 19. Westgate New York Grand Central and Westgate Tunica Resort are closed with no announced reopening date. All other Westgate timeshare resorts are open. For more details, please visit https://www.westgateresorts.com/coronavirus-travel-advisory/ .
WorldMark – No changes here as San Francisco and Hawaii remain the only two concern areas for WorldMark timeshare resorts. WorldMark resorts in Hawaii are still closed until September 30 on the expectation that the State of Hawaii will lift its COVID travel quarantine restrictions. WorldMark San Francisco remains closed until February 21, 2021. All other resorts in the WorldMark timeshare network are open. For further information please go to https://www.worldmarktheclub.com/news/covid19_impacted_resorts.shtml.