Archive for 2021 News

Jamaica Announces New Air Service From Stockholm to Montego Bay, Jamaica

KINGSTON JAMAICA – 23 November 2021 – The Jamaica Tourist Board is delighted to announce that VING, operated by Sunclass Airlines, will be returning to the destination with direct flights from Stockholm, Sweden to Jamaica. The fortnightly flying programme will start November 2022 and run through to March 2023 as part of the winter season programme 2022/23. VING will operate a total of 9 rotations for winter 2022/23 with 373 seats on each flight, on its Airbus A330—900neo.

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism said, “We are delighted with VING’s decision to resume direct flights to Jamaica next winter. We are encouraged by the tour operator’s trust in our destination, and their charter service will significantly increase Swedish visitors, who usually stay on the island for 14 nights. He continued, ‘since reopening our borders last summer, our destination has continued to welcome visitors safely and seamlessly.  We are prepared and resilient and have been meticulous in our preparations for visitors in the post- COVID-19 world. Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to lead the recovery efforts for the island’s economy, and I am pleased to report that we are making steady progress towards recovering stronger”.

Donovan White, Director of Tourism, agreed, “it is safe to say that tourism is steadily rebounding and the demand for Jamaica is high. We are very pleased that tour operators such as VING believe in destination Jamaica and we look forward to welcoming their passengers, to enjoy a truly unforgettable Jamaican experience in an environment which is safe, seamless and secure.”

Claes Pellvik, Nordic Head of Communication, Nordic Leisure Travel Group, said, “Nordic Leisure Travel Group is happy to come back to Jamaica again with non-stop flights Stockholm-Montego Bay for the upcoming winter season 22/23, especially since our previous customer feedback has always been excellent for our Jamaica programme. What is new is that we will operate our brand-new Airbus A330-900neo from our own Sunclass Airlines. This state-of-the-art aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by -23%, and at the same time enhance the passenger experience. We see Jamaica as being a perfectly positioned destination for the future with its focus on well-being, a vast selection of interesting activities and culture to explore, and a fantastic hotel product on offer”.

Jamaica has been welcoming back Swedish visitors since borders reopened in June 2020. All travellers aged 12 and over need to show proof of a negative antigen test performed by an accredited lab within three days of travelling.  Home tests are not accepted. Travellers also need to complete a simple travel authorisation form before they arrive, which is accessible through https://travelauth.visitjamaica.com/ 

Jamaica’s extensive health and safety protocols, developed in conjunction with authorities across the health and tourism sectors, were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Grenada Updates Protocols For Fully Vaccinated Travelers

St. George’s, Grenada W.I. – November 23, 2021 – As the holiday travel season begins and with global vaccinations on the rise, Grenada has updated its Pure Safe Travel protocols. All fully vaccinated travelers entering Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, with a WHO-approved vaccination and a negative PCR test, taken no more than 72-hours before travel, will no longer be required to quarantine for 48-hours upon arrival in the country. This is the first major update to the health and safety protocols since July 31 when the destination instituted a policy requiring all non-nationals be fully vaccinated to be granted entry.

Along with the 48-hour quarantine removal, Grenada has made several other updates to its Pure Safe Travel protocols:

  • Persons traveling to Grenada will no longer be required to fill out a ‘Pure Safe Travel Authorization Certificate.’
  • Travelers will now be required to fill out a Health Declaration Form, which can be accessed at covid19.gov.gd. A physical copy of the certificate must be presented upon arrival to Grenada
  • Vaccinated visitors will no longer be tested on arrival unless deemed necessary by Health Officials during health screening (symptom review and temperature checks). As a result, the fee for on arrival testing has been waived
  • Fully vaccinated travelers are required to present their original vaccination card as proof of vaccination to the airlines and upon arrival in Grenada
  • Vaccination card or certificate must be in English
  • Fully vaccinated travelers can now use their personal transportation or can be picked up by a fully vaccinated individual

For more information on Grenada or to plan your getaway to the destination, visit www.puregrenada.com.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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Cabinet Approves Holland America Nieuw Statendam Cruise Ship to Call on Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (24 November 2021) – The Ministry of Tourism and Transport announce today that Cabinet has approved the Holland America Nieuw Statendam cruise ship to call on Grand Cayman on Tuesday, 28 December 2021. This marks the first cruise ship to be approved to call on Grand Cayman since cruise travel was suspended on Monday, 16 March 2020 as a preventative measure against COVID-19.

The Nieuw Statendam was approved to call on Grand Cayman in accordance with the following negotiated conditions:

  1. Grand Cayman must be the first port of call.
  2. Passenger capacity is limited to a maximum of 1,600 representing 60% capacity of the vessel.
  3. All guests and crew having the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise.
  4. All guests must have a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) taken within 2 days of their embarkation.
  5. All guests and crew going ashore must observe local requirements for wearing the require PPE such as facial masks and 6 feet physical distancing.
  6. No unwell guests or crew will be allowed ashore.

“The health and safety of our people and visitors to our shores continues to be a priority in our phased reopening plan. Currently, over 1,000 Caymanians are displaced due to the closure of our cruise ports, and as we safely reopen our borders, the cruise sector will be a key part of the tourism industry’s recovery. This single cruise ship call presents an opportunity for us to find the safest way to welcome back our cruise visitors while we can continue to navigate the challenges of the pandemic,” said Minister for Tourism and Transport, Hon. Kenneth Bryan.

“Grand Cayman will be the first port of call for the Holland America Nieuw Statendam, and the capacity will be limited to 1,600 passengers. Guests and crew aboard the ship will be subjected to exactly the same requirements as stayover visitors, such as a pre-arrival testing.”

The Ministry and Department of Tourism will work with the Port Authority of the Cayman Islands to execute the single cruise ship call on 28 December.

“This has been an ongoing conversation with the cruise industry about what conditions are required to make this a safe experience for everyone involved and how to make that feasible. We thank Holland America for being an excellent partner and leading the way for this new era of cruise travel in the Cayman Islands for the foreseeable future. My people can be assured that my approach and negotiation strategy is for quality first,” continued Hon. Minister Bryan.

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BVI Food Fans Gear Up For The 2021 Anegada Lobster Festival

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, 24th November, 2021 ̶  One of the British Virgin Islands’ most popular annual culinary events is making a strong comeback this year. The Anegada Lobster Festival is getting ready to welcome foodies from the BVI, the Caribbean and international destinations, to the island of Anegada from November 26 to November 28, 2021.

Part of the activities roster for the annual BVI Food Fête, the Anegada Lobster Festival is designed as a scavenger hunt that encourages its attendees to explore various restaurants and attractions in Anegada and sample a variety of dishes featuring the island’s spiny lobster. The event is produced by the BVI Tourist Board & Film Commission and sponsored by Road Town Wholesale, CCT Global Communications and Cape Air.

According to Director of Tourism Clive McCoy, “the Anegada Lobster Festival will kick off BVI Food Fête 2021.  There will be 10 participating restaurants, live entertainment, exciting excursions, opportunities to win prizes and of course, tantalising lobster dishes. Our restaurants have gotten quite creative this year and will showcase dishes such as curried lobster, jerk lobster, lobster beignets, lobster fritters, lobster quesadilla, to name a few. One of the restaurants will even feature vanilla lobster ice-cream!”

A new BVI Food Fete event dubbed Jost Van Dyke Fish & Fungi Frenzy, is set for Thursday, December 30, 2021. That event will have a similar format to the Anegada Lobster Festival, encouraging patrons to restaurant and bar hop around Jost Van Dyke, sampling a variety of mouth-watering fish dishes, while exploring the island.

“We are thrilled to welcome our residents and visitors back to Anegada and the BVI for this event. Our digital Anegada Lobster Festival Experience Guide contains all you need to know about the event including, menus of participating restaurants, ferry schedules, an island map, health and safety protocols and fun activities. Persons attending the weekend event are encouraged to download the guide at this link before departing for Anegada.” Mr. McCoy added.

Visitors arriving in the BVI for the Anegada Lobster Festival can fly or ferry to Tortola and connect to Anegada via scheduled ferry or private air or sea charter directly to the island. While most accommodations on Anegada are sold out, other options include staying overnight on Virgin Gorda or Tortola and commuting by ferry, boat or air charter or chartering a sailboat or motor yacht to spend the weekend in Anegada.

For additional information about these activities visit bvifoodfete.com and for general information on the British Virgin Island including travel protocols, visit bvitourism.com.

Posted in: 2021 News, Blog, Destination News

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British Virgin Islands Announce No Entry Testing for Fully Vaccinated Travellers

Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands, 23rd November, 2021  ̶  The Government of the Virgin Islands announced via the Official Virgin Islands Gazette on 16 November, that fully vaccinated arrivals in the Territory are no longer required to test for COVID-19 upon arrival.  Travellers would have to produce a negative result for a RT-PCR or approved rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test taken no later than 48 hours before arrival in the Territory.   Fully vaccinated passengers that present proof of vaccination and a negative test result are also no longer required to pre-register on the Hummingbird portal.  However, fully vaccinated passengers who present a negative test older than 48 hours, whether due to reasons such as delays and overnight layovers, will be required to pre-register on the Hummingbird portal and take a rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test on the day of arrival into the Territory.  Pre-Registration is based on the port of arrival. Travellers  arriving at West End Ferry Terminal must pre-register at https://westend.bvi.care/; travellers  arriving at Road Town Ferry Terminal must pre-register at https://rtferry.bvi.care and travellers arriving at TB Lettsome International Airport must pre-register at https://airport.bvi.care.  It should be noted that West End Ferry Terminal is designated for the entry of vessels carrying fully vaccinated passengers and crews only.

The protocols for unvaccinated and partially vaccinated travellers remain the same.  This includes the requirement to seek travel authorization via the BVI Gateway portal at https://bvigateway.bviaa.com, test on arrival and quarantine for seven and four days respectively.

Additionally, the Gazette also announced that fully vaccinated cruise ship passengers or crew members who embark a cruise ship and have a negative test result from a RT-PCR or approved rapid antigen SARS CoV-2 test before arrival in the Territory, shall not be required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in the Territory; and shall be allowed to move freely within the Territory, adhering to all the Territory’s COVID-19 Protocols.

Commenting on the new protocols, the British Virgin Islands’ Director of Tourism, Mr. Clive McCoy said, “Our Government has taken a phased approach to reopening the Territory during the COVID-19 Pandemic and what was gazetted on 16th November is another step towards easing the COVID-19 protocols for travellers arriving in the British Virgin Islands.  We are very encouraged with the response from travellers to the phased relaxation of our protocols, as our tourism partners have reported strong bookings for the 2021/2022 tourism season, reminiscent of pre-pandemic numbers.  However, we still caution guests and the local population to strictly adhere to all the existing protocols that will ensure our safety, including, social distancing, mask wearing and observing hygiene and sanitization best practices.”

The Director added that guests should be reminded to confirm and comply with the COVID-19 protocols of the countries they are returning to or transiting through.  Some countries require testing and there are several departure testing options in the Territory, including the BVI Health Services Authority (BVIHSA) and several private sector service providers.  Travellers returning via ferry through the United States Virgin Islands, must present a negative COVID-19  nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT)  (e.g., RT- PCR) or COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 5 days of travel and pre-register on the USVI’s travel portal, https://www.usvitravelportal.com/.  For more information on the British Virgin Islands’ travel protocols visit https:bvitourism.com/reopening.

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