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Recent EHAS experience #253631
04/22/2021 07:47 AM
04/22/2021 07:47 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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Thought I'd share a recent experience with EHAS for anyone headed down to SXM in the near future.

My wife and I are headed down to SXM tomorrow (Friday). I scheduled rapid antigen tests from a private lab for us for Wednesday, but to be safe, we also got what I thought were rt-PCR tests offered free by the county on Tuesday. I've never had a COVID test, so I didn't know what to look for or what to expect.

We got the county results back quickly, but it turns out they were PCR, not rt-PCR, so no bueno for SXM travel according to the EHAS website. We then scheduled rt-PCR tests at a local urgent care that day. Confirmed that they were rt-PCR, and were processed by LabCorp. All tests came back negative - yay! Wife and I both submitted EHAS forms with the antigen test results. Within two hours, I received pre-authorization - yay! My wife, who submitted the exact same test documentation for the same test from the same facility, was declined! The reason given was that the antigen test was "not FDA approved". My wife was NOT happy, but I assured her that I would still have a great time wink That didn't seem to make her any happier, however.

Fortunately, we had the rt-PCR results from LabCorp in hand. Re-submitted her form with those results, and within an hour her pre-authorization came through.

Based on our experience, I would suggest having a couple of results ready to submit in case something unexpected like this happens. We had to pay a co-pay to get the rt-PCR done at the urgent care facility, but it turns out to have been money well spent, as it would really have messed up our plans if we hadn't.

SXM Sponsors
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253638
04/22/2021 08:24 AM
04/22/2021 08:24 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,438
Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
GaKaye Offline
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Peaceful Eastern North Carolin...
We had a similar experience last November, when the only acceptable tests were rt-PCR. I was approved and my husband was declined. The reasons given for his denial were incorrect, so we resubmitted his, and it was approved.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253640
04/22/2021 08:36 AM
04/22/2021 08:36 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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I have no idea if the test we got was FDA approved or not - the results did not say one way or another, and I didn't think to ask the provider beforehand. I just assumed they would be. If we didn't have the rt-PCR results on hand, I would have re-submitted the antigen test results and asked for reconsideration, but since there's no way I could have proved the test was FDA approved, I don't think the chances would have been good. And even though my pre-authorization came through, I will be bringing my rt-PCR results with me in case they decide after the fact that they don't like the antigen test results I submitted (that were approved).

Either way, I won't feel completely comfortable until I am sitting on Orient Beach with a cold Carib in my hand...

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253641
04/22/2021 08:39 AM
04/22/2021 08:39 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,662
United States of America
bdeeley Offline
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I have yet to see one story of anyone actually denied entry to SXM. I have seen EHAS applications originally denied and then approved with 're-submission. In my own case in November, I was originally denied because I got click happy on the form instead of taking my time and reading each question. After the initial denial, I took my time and checked my application, saw my mistake and resubmitted for pre-approval. SXM has not had the most simple or clearly explained process, but it is all there if you take your time and follow their requirements. TTOL has been an invaluable tool in helping to understand the process and learn from fellow travelers the best practices that work.


Be Happy! Simply because you deserve to be. 😁
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253642
04/22/2021 08:40 AM
04/22/2021 08:40 AM
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SammyM Offline
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Thanks much for sharing your experience with all of us. This kind of information is very helpful for those planning to visit this summer. It's a bit complicated, so the advice you put forth is well received.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: bdeeley] #253645
04/22/2021 08:55 AM
04/22/2021 08:55 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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bdeely - We filled out the forms correctly, followed all instructions, and submitted them all correctly. That was not the problem. I actually found the online form itself to be quite clear. The SXM authorities approved one set of test results and declined another set of test results of the same test from the same facility on the same day. That's inconsistency on their part, not a mistake on ours.

Would a re-submission have been approved? I don't know, and I'm glad I don't have to find out!

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: bdeeley] #253648
04/22/2021 09:00 AM
04/22/2021 09:00 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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bdeeley--I don't remember the person's name now, but someone did post a report here that they were in fact ultimately denied entry to SXM, maybe two or three months ago, so it does happen. I believe the SXM officials were absolutely wrong in denying that person's application, but the poster I guess eventually gave up.

There have been numerous reports of people taking exactly the same test and getting different responses from SXM officials. In the vast majority of cases, it seems that re-submitting the forms have done the trick, but not always.

Lucky--best wishes and hopefully everything is clear sailing from here!


Carol Hill
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Carol_Hill] #253650
04/22/2021 09:06 AM
04/22/2021 09:06 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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Thank you, Carol. Last time we were on the island was during the December 2019 protests, so things are bound to be better this time, right?!

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253651
04/22/2021 09:08 AM
04/22/2021 09:08 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Lucky--wow, what an UNlucky time to visit!! smile Yes, very hopeful for your sake that this is a better trip!


Carol Hill
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: bdeeley] #253652
04/22/2021 09:13 AM
04/22/2021 09:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 18,586
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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Our flight back to the island in November, two people were denied boarding due to improper or no documentation.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Carol_Hill] #253654
04/22/2021 09:17 AM
04/22/2021 09:17 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,662
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bdeeley Offline
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Carol, I agree wholeheartedly that the SXM messaging on Covid-19 requirements has not been clear, consistent or concise and they have not been consistent in their pre-approval process as related to the EHAS submission, but if one has the desire to travel to St Maarten , it's not all that hard to accomplish. With 10's of thousands of travelers to the island since visitation was reestablished, it seems very few have been dis-allowed.


Be Happy! Simply because you deserve to be. 😁
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: bdeeley] #253655
04/22/2021 09:20 AM
04/22/2021 09:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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bdeeley--absolutely, things have been very inconsistent and the vast majority of people have ultimately been granted clearance, but you first said no one has been denied, which is not correct.


Carol Hill
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: BillandElaine] #253656
04/22/2021 09:21 AM
04/22/2021 09:21 AM
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Posts: 209
Maryland
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ScottW Offline
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We also saw people denied boarding in Philadelphia for not having the EHAS form. Some of the family got on the plane. Others did not.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253658
04/22/2021 09:27 AM
04/22/2021 09:27 AM
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geomo Offline
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As mentioned previously, I would suggest paper copies of #1 test results and #2 EHAS tentative aprpoval forms to present to airline and customs in St. Martin as opposed to phone presentation.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Carol_Hill] #253660
04/22/2021 09:32 AM
04/22/2021 09:32 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,662
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bdeeley Offline
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Carol, what I said is "I have not seen one story" of anyone being denied entry, not that it hasn't happened. I don't deny that it happens or happens more often than any of us know, but if you follow the requirements it is not all that hard to gain entry, that is my point.


Be Happy! Simply because you deserve to be. 😁
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253661
04/22/2021 09:44 AM
04/22/2021 09:44 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 658
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
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I would assume that they should only zap your card for the insurance if your submittal is approved. I did read a post where someone got zapped twice from a resubmittal and had to fight it out after their trip, so I guess keep an eye on that too!



Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: bdeeley] #253665
04/22/2021 10:05 AM
04/22/2021 10:05 AM
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Ohio
ruralcarrier Offline
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Originally Posted by bdeeley
Carol, I agree wholeheartedly that the SXM messaging on Covid-19 requirements has not been clear, consistent or concise and they have not been consistent in their pre-approval process as related to the EHAS submission, but if one has the desire to travel to St Maarten , it's not all that hard to accomplish. With 10's of thousands of travelers to the island since visitation was reestablished, it seems very few have been dis-allowed.

It has been a total cluster from the beginning, mixed messaging, flip-flopping and conflicting information within the official government sites. They are lucky people are still willing to jump through the hoops and deal with the utter incompetence.


J.D.
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253667
04/22/2021 10:20 AM
04/22/2021 10:20 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 14,656
Brookfield, CT.
pat Offline
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And as one who has now faced those hoops twice, let me tell you, it is extremely frustrating. We’ve done everything right twice and both times the application process was a giant cluster ..........!

Without the assistance of a very persevering daughter we probably wouldn’t have made either trip though I have to admit, the second time the problem was more on the part of our local testing site who actually lost our tests and never submitted them. Good thing by then the island was accepting the rapid antigen test with a narrower window for submission.

But trust me, the whole procedure, while doable, is very daunting and more so yet to those of us who are computer and technology limited. And that would be Moi!! 😊😊


Respectfully,

pat



"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat
them."
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253668
04/22/2021 10:20 AM
04/22/2021 10:20 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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geomo - yes, paper copies of EVERYTHING are coming to the airport with us tomorrow

SXMbeacher - thanks for the heads up

SammyM - glad you found it helpful!

Carol - that is why my username is Lucky13, and not just "Lucky" smile

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253671
04/22/2021 10:36 AM
04/22/2021 10:36 AM
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Lucky13 Offline OP
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So the takeaways here are:

- SXM (or the airlines) CAN and WILL deny you entry if your forms are incomplete or incorrect
- SXM MIGHT deny entry even if you forms are correct based on technical reasons or grounds that may be incorrect or unclear, so submit the forms as early as possible to give yourself time to re-submit if needed
- It's advisable to have multiple negative tests from different providers in case one gets rejected. Because of the testing delay and the short time window, it is advisable to line up multiple tests beforehand
- Carry paper copies of your test results and pre-authorization when you travel
- Be on the lookout for double charges for insurance if you have to re-submit

And finally:
- Carib is clearly superior to both Presidente and Heineken

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253672
04/22/2021 10:42 AM
04/22/2021 10:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,063
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Lucky--thanks very much for the summary! And here's hoping there are many ice cold Carib's in your near future! toast


Carol Hill
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253674
04/22/2021 10:53 AM
04/22/2021 10:53 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 658
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
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quote (And finally:
- Carib is clearly superior to both Presidente and Heineken)

I agree with the beer analolgy! LOL

Good luck on your trip!



Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: SXMbeacher] #253680
04/22/2021 11:17 AM
04/22/2021 11:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 247
zeus1963 Online content
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I do miss my Caribs. May cannot get here soon enough.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: zeus1963] #253683
04/22/2021 11:39 AM
04/22/2021 11:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 658
Maine
SXMbeacher Offline
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Will be there in May for a few Caribs myself! ...........Stay thirsty my friend!



Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253691
04/22/2021 01:15 PM
04/22/2021 01:15 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 335
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Very helpful thread....thanks for posting, Lucky!

Another May/June traveler here.....see you all on the beach!

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253698
04/22/2021 03:09 PM
04/22/2021 03:09 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 247
zeus1963 Online content
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May 1 thru May 15 for us. Hope everyone has a safe trip and lots of beer.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253704
04/22/2021 05:08 PM
04/22/2021 05:08 PM
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 11
Waco, TX
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One more experience on this can't hurt. 11am last leg from Miami this past Monday. So, logged in with local CVS 7 days before trip. We both checked fever and asthma, and submitted insurance, and chose this over "voluntary for travel" because VFT did not allow the rt-pcr lab test, and we wanted the 5-day lead. We checked "lab test", then scheduled for Wednesday before trip, in the afternoon, drive thru self-administer. I received email of negative results on Thurs morning 7am, and my wife got her negative Thurs afternoon 4pm. When we both got to the pharmacist window, we confirmed "..rt-pcr lab, not rapid..". They confirmed rt-pcr. We downloaded the CVS PDF, and submitted to EHAS. Don't assume, like me, that just because I uploaded the Negative test result does not mean it will not be asked for again. They did at SXM airport, and I frantically logged into SXM wifi and presented negative report to immigration. Whew. Been here 3 days. Happy traveling.



AUC MD Dad
5 past visits
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253707
04/22/2021 06:12 PM
04/22/2021 06:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 112
STATEN ISLAND NY
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Richie Offline
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Question If I leave Newark as my first leg of trip and my second leg is Ft Lauderdale to St Maarten on the EHAS form as far as port of embargo do I put Newark or Ft Lauderdale

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253709
04/22/2021 06:51 PM
04/22/2021 06:51 PM
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South Coast of MA
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Ft Lauderdale

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: MulletBayMan] #253715
04/22/2021 08:15 PM
04/22/2021 08:15 PM
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Posts: 4,714
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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For future You should have printed it along with your EHAS pre approval. By not printing it, you really hold up everyone. It was a disaster at JFK at the Delta desk last month, to the point they were yelling at people to please have all info printed.

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: kim] #253720
04/22/2021 08:44 PM
04/22/2021 08:44 PM
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Posts: 11
Waco, TX
MulletBayMan Offline
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Originally Posted by kim
For future You should have printed it along with your EHAS pre approval. By not printing it, you really hold up everyone. It was a disaster at JFK at the Delta desk last month, to the point they were yelling at people to please have all info printed.

DFW AA only requested to see the EHAS Pre-approval. No holdup. On arrival at SXM, went to the window, no printed Negative report. Sent me to the "corner" with my wife, uploaded my document, waited till *everyone* was complete, then presented. No one was held up.



AUC MD Dad
5 past visits
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253722
04/22/2021 09:23 PM
04/22/2021 09:23 PM
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Posts: 716
People's Republic of Md
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We're headed down on the 30th, staying for a month. Can't wait!

Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: Lucky13] #253726
04/22/2021 11:25 PM
04/22/2021 11:25 PM
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Posts: 7,457
Yonkers, NY
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They will ask for pcr-r or antigen with results when you arrive at SXM airport in addition to EHS pre-authorization. We had a heck of a time getting that info in a pdf but eventually received it from testing facility at home. Initial results were sent via a text to our phones with screen shots not giving complete info.

JFK and JetBlue asked for usual boarding passes, passport and pre approval but not negative test results that SXM immigration agents asked for. We arrived 3/30.


Last edited by fabila; 04/22/2021 11:26 PM.
Re: Recent EHAS experience [Re: MulletBayMan] #253743
04/23/2021 07:32 AM
04/23/2021 07:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 4,714
Newtown, CT
kim Offline
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So do they no longer we have the desks/tables lined up where they had you disinfect your hands and check your paperwork upon arrival before heading to immigration? January and March that’s how it was. As far as printing everything. Just makes things move faster . As I stated. JFK was a nightmare at the Delta desk in March. Many people missed flights because of documentation. Agents were telling people for future please print. They don’t want to be handling phones etc. it was a very chaotic time!!


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