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Archive for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Caribbean hospitality youth encourage peers to get behind COVID-19 directives

MIAMI – Young leaders of the Caribbean tourism sector are throwing their support behind calls to heed the advice of public health officials to stay at home so that the region’s leading economic sector can rebound quickly once the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic subsides.

The recently established COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force is enlisting the dynamism and innovativeness of young hospitality professionals to encourage protective practices by Caribbean nationals, especially younger ones, many of whom have been slow to respond to the urgency of the outbreak.

Striking messages of encouragement from young professionals in Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks and Caicos, released by the task force, implore fellow youth to take more seriously the dangers of the contagion to the Caribbean.

The Task Force, which comprises representatives from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC), unveiled the two-minute video, which contains essential guides to safeguard communities and individuals.

The Task Force initiatives support those of Caribbean tourism leaders and health organizations, who are working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the region, and are implementing response measures to contain the spread of the virus.

In the video, Kamille Huggins, Executive Assistant of The Landings Resort & Spa in St. Lucia, echoing job loss concerns of many of her peers, said: “We have to get back to work to pay the bills and to feed our families. When are we going to lick this thing? It’s hurting all of us.”

“Listen. The power is in every one of us to end this isolation sooner rather than later. This invisible virus can disappear so much sooner if each one of us does what the experts tell us. The sooner we do that, the sooner we can go back to work and return to normal,” declared Sonia Simmons, Communications Manager of the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.

“Here’s what the health experts tell us. Please stay at home. We cannot contain this threat to our lives if we continue to go out carousing,” stressedJamal Griffith, Sales and Marketing Manager of Bougainvillea Barbados, while Issia Thelwell, Sales and Marketing Manager of Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Jamaica, pointed out, “If (you stay at home), you may be a part of a new dynamism we need to restart Caribbean tourism.”

The message, which has generated strong interest on social media, is especially important since many young people across the region have been ignoring public health advisories which warn residents of the danger of spreading the virus by hanging out in groups.

CARPHA Executive Director Dr. Joy St. John welcomed the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) calls for leaders in the private sector to support efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. “We need to lock arms across the region to ensure that we have adequate medical supplies and testing equipment,” she said. “But we also need to work together to educate our communities about this dangerous disease, and develop strategies which focus on what our post-COVID recovery looks like in the months ahead.”

Drawing on information presented in a recent CHTA webinar, young professionals agreed it was imperative for the region’s public and private sector representatives to work closely together to prepare for the post-pandemic recovery. They opined global travelers have become more inured to global shocks, such as natural disasters and geopolitical events, and were optimistic that the Caribbean region would recover faster than many areas in the rest of the world.

“By staying home today, we can travel tomorrow,” they stressed

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Jamaica Hosts “Together We Stand” Telethon to Raise Funds for PPE

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – April 10, 2020 – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is raising awareness to help Jamaica fight the spread of COVID-19 with ‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand.’ On Sunday, April 12 at 4:00 pm ET (3:00 pm Jamaica time), the virtual fundraising concert will feature remote performances by some of Jamaica’s leading artists and celebrities including Koffee, Shaggy, Sean Paul, Maxi Priest and Richie Spice. The six-hour event will be livestreamed on VP Records’ YouTube channel and a portion of the broadcast will be aired live on Television Jamaica and various digital platforms.

“‘Telethon Jamaica, Together We Stand’ is a call to action to support our doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals during this challenging time,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “The donations made will provide essential resources to continue protecting our healthcare workers on the frontline and help fight the spread fight the spread of COVID-19 across all our communities. I have been inspired by Jamaica’s display of solidarity thus far and I am confident that as a resilient nation, we will get through this together.”

To make a donation, please visit www.jatogetherwestand.com or call toll free 1-866-228-8393 from the United States, Canada, and Jamaica; or +44-808-189-6147 from the United Kingdom and Europe.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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COVID-19 FORCES POSTPONEMENT OF CTO’S 10TH TOURISM HUMAN RESOURCES CONFERENCE

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Date) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) advises of the postponement of the 10th Tourism Resources Conference, which was scheduled to take place in May. The new date for the event, being organised in collaboration with the Nevis ministry of tourism, is 25-27 November 2020.

“In light of the constantly changing nature of the coronavirus crisis and in the wake of the decision by the World Health Organization to declare COVID-19 a pandemic, the CTO and the government of Nevis have decided that postponing the conference is the best course of action,” said Sharon Banfield, the CTO’s director of resource mobilisation and development.

The CTO will continue to diligently monitor the situation and pay close attention to guidance from regional public health officials.

For more information on what the CTO and member countries are doing to limit the spread of coronavirus in the region, visit www.onecaribbean.org. And for the regional health response, visit www.carpha.org.

Posted in: 2020 News, Coronavirus (COVID-19), HR Conference

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CTO Statement on COVID-19

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (12 March 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) continues to closely monitor the coronavirus virus (COVID-19) situation. We continue to engage our member countries, as well as the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and our tourism partners, to inform travel-related health measures that are proportionate to the public health threat and based on local risk assessment.

While there continues to be a limited number of imported coronavirus cases and no cases of local transmission in the region, the health authorities across our membership are taking the necessary steps to limit the number of new cases and to curb the possible spread among our populations from the confirmed imported cases.

The CTO would like to emphasise that the World Health Organization (WHO) has not called for any travel and trade restrictions as a result of the coronavirus. As a matter of fact, the WHO continues to advise against such restrictions. Local populations and visitors alike are assured that the Caribbean remains open for business.

Consequently, we advise travellers to follow the health and travel advisories issued by the authorities and to take appropriate precautions.

  • Closely monitor www.carpha.org and www.onecaribbean.org for important information and updates
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid travelling if sick.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
  • Follow local authority instructions
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing immediately of the tissue and performing hand hygiene
  • Refrain from touching mouth and nose.
  • Follow proper food hygiene practices

In addition, before you travel, please check whether any travel restrictions have been issued by your intended destination.  You should also consider investing in  comprehensive travel insurance.

 

Posted in: Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Preventative Action Against Coronavirus

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 5, 2020) – To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in St. Kitts & Nevis. However, in response to the COVID-19 global outbreak and the subsequent international spread of the disease, the destination has strengthened surveillance and pre-emptive healthcare procedures at its air and seaports as well as throughout the Federation. The health system has moved to detect, contain and manage the situation in the event the virus reaches the Federation.

• At St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, all incoming air passengers to the Federation must at all times complete question #17 of the Customs/Immigration Form, which requires a listing of “countries visited during last six weeks.”
• At the cruise port, inspectors from the Environmental Health Department board each vessel that docks to review the passenger travel manifest and all medical reports for any passengers exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Any passenger displaying such symptoms is not permitted to disembark.
• Any and all incoming passengers who have traveled to or from any of the following countries within the last 14 days will be asked to provide travel history, history of exposure to the virus and contact information: China, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran.
• Persons traveling to/from these destinations within the last 14 days are asked not to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis. Persons who do travel to St. Kitts & Nevis from these destinations will be subject to screening at the ports of entry and may be monitored by the public health team or quarantined at home or at a designated facility based on risk assessment.
• The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis reserves the right to deny entry to any non-Nationals who have visited the countries listed above within the incubation period of 14 days. Nationals and/or residents who have visited those countries within the 14-day incubation period will be required to go through the established screening process.
St. Kitts & Nevis is complying with International Health Regulations and reporting to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / the World Health Organization (WHO) as appropriate. Following the WHO’s declaration on January 30th, 2020 that the outbreak of the Coronavirus constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis advises citizens and residents to restrict travel to the aforementioned destinations until the WHO gives the all clear in relation to the COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health is working closely with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and all appropriate government agencies to execute national disaster preparedness and response plans so as to prevent, monitor and manage the spread of the virus if and when a national or visitor tests positive for the virus . The Disaster Mitigation Council is in place to handle the response to the disease and the Ministry of Health has conducted training exercises with frontline workers including police and immigrations and customs officers.

A destination-wide awareness and education campaign is being implemented within schools, the workplace and communities to remind the public of everyday preventative actions such as including basic hygiene best practices to help stem the spread of the virus. These include frequent handwashing with soap and water or 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with people who exhibit signs of respiratory illness.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and/or http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health/Novel-Coronavirus.

For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

Posted in: 2020 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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