Archive for 2022 News

Montserrat Reopens: COVID-19 Restrictions Relaxed

Brades, Montserrat – On Thursday March 31, 2022– The Government of Montserrat made some significant relaxation adjustments to the COVID-19 suppression regulations since the implementation of these measures in 2020.

Persons travelling to Montserrat are no longer required to fill out an online declaration form for permission to enter.  The pre-travel online declaration form is only required to be completed and submitted by non-resident technicians who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated.

The new regulations maintain the requirements for persons entering Montserrat to present a negative COVID-19 test result.  The negative test result document must include the full name, address, and date of birth of the person tested; the date the test was conducted and the date the sample was taken.

The pre-entry requirements are as follows:

(1) A person who intends to enter Montserrat shall take a COVID-19 test no earlier than three days prior to entry into Montserrat.

(2)  The following persons are exempted from this requirement:

(a)  a child under five years of age;

(b)  a person entering Montserrat in circumstances related to a medical evacuation; and

(c)  a person who has been granted permission by the Minister to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster,

The borders are also open to passengers arriving by sea, this includes yachts and cruise ship visits; only vaccinated persons arriving on yachts and cruise ships would be allowed on island. The owner of a vessel or aircraft must ensure that persons travelling are in possession of a copy of a negative PCR COVID-19 or RNA COVID-19 test, if not, the owner will be committing an offence.  Yachters and Cruise Operators must alert the Montserrat Port Authority ahead of their visit to the island via email [email protected]  and/or VHF Channel 16. Advanced clearance can be made on the regional pre-arrival notification system at www.sailclear.com.

Persons arriving on Montserrat are required to answer all questions asked by the Medical or Health Officer, and may be required to undertake health checks and screenings.  Individuals who are fully vaccinated must provide the Medical or Health officer with proof of their vaccination status. If this evidence is not provided, then the individual will be regarded and treated as being not fully vaccinated.

Fully Vaccinated Persons – Entry into Montserrat

A fully vaccinated person is required to be tested for COVID-19 on entry into Montserrat.  A traveler is considered fully vaccinated, 14 days after their second dose of a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after the traveler has received a single dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson’s). If the Covid-19 test result indicates that the person is not infected with COVID-19, then the individual is not required to self-quarantine or isolate. However, if the test result is indeterminate (unknown/inconclusive) then the fully vaccinated person must go directly to their place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility or place of isolation and shall remain there to await the results of further COVID-19 tests.

If further testing reveals that the fully vaccinated person is infected, then he or she is required to self-quarantine or isolate until:

(a)  he/she is not infected with COVID-19; or

(b)  he/she leaves Montserrat.

The regulations for a fully-vaccinated person will also apply to a fully-vaccinated non-resident technician.

All vaccines which have been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) are accepted for entry into Montserrat. 

Persons not fully vaccinated – entry into Montserrat

Individuals who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated upon arrival after undergoing the necessary COVID-19 screenings, are required to go directly to his/her home or place of occupancy, designated quarantine facility, or place of isolation and self-quarantine for 10 days.

Between eight and ten days after entering Montserrat, the individual will be tested for COVID-19 to determine if he/she is negative and can therefore be released from quarantine on day ten (10).

All persons entering Montserrat are required to pay the requisite fees for the COVID-19 test(s), where applicable (test on arrival for vaccinated – US$56; test for release from quarantine – US$56).   Additionally, Rapid Antigen tests have been added to the list of COVID-19 tests accepted for entry into Montserrat; the other two are RNA and PCR. However, antibody tests are not accepted.

Once on Montserrat it is mandatory for face coverings to be worn in public places where business is being conducted (Government and Private Business establishments). 

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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COVID Restrictions and Measures Eased in Martinique

Announced by the Prefecture of Martinique, the easing of measures to fight against the COVID epidemic allows tourism professionals to see light at the end of the tunnel, and for visitors and Martinicans alike, to once again fully enjoy the Isle of Flowers.

Curfew ended Friday, April 1, 2022

In place since July 13, 2021, the curfew was lifted on Friday, April 1, 2022. Starting Saturday, April 9, 2022 restaurants, bars and nightclubs will be able to resume normal operations, allowing these professionals to stay open later and for nightlife and festivities to resume.

Saturday April 9, 2022: the sanitary pass, mandatory mask requirement, capacity limits in public venues and constraints on the nautical activities will be suspended

Bénédicte di Geronimo, a participant in consultation meetings at the Prefecture, is very pleased with this good news. This will allow professionals in these sectors to expand their clientele.

However, the President & Tourism Commissioner of the MTA* underscores the importance of remaining vigilant in order to sustain the decrease in COVID infections in Martinique.

Good news also for Canadian travelers and for the serene resumption of cruising

In this favorable health context, cruise lines are hoping for a mitigation of present protocols before confirming their return for the 2022/2023 season. Most of them have reiterated their willingness to return to Martinique and are working in collaboration with the Martinique Tourism Authority (MTA) and local jurisdictions to improve conditions of return for both cruise passengers and local population.

Finally, the Trudeau government has announced that as of April 1, 2022, tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada. This is a great opportunity for our Canadian visitors and for those from Martinique who are planning to travel to Canada.

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Jamaica Lowered to Level 1 Travel Advisory by the CDC

KINGSTON, JAMAICA –The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has downgraded Jamaica to a Level 1 designation in its latest COVID-19 travel advisory to citizens released this week. Countries classified as Level 1 have low cases of the virus. Joining just a handful of countries globally at Level 1, Jamaica’s case levels have steadily decreased in recent months.

According to Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism for Jamaica, with the destination at its lowest level for COVID-19 risk since the pandemic began, a strong tourism rebound can continue to occur.

“A Level 1 travel advisory is amongst the best news the tourism industry can hope for,” said Minister Bartlett. “This reduced designation is a testament to the work of our government and the Jamaican people as well as a hopeful incentive to keep our tourism recovery moving forward.”

Minister Bartlett noted that visitor arrivals to Jamaica have been increasing with hopes of full recovery in 2023.

“In 2021, Jamaica welcomed more than 1.5 million visitor arrivals to our shores. These visitors’ on-island spend contributed over USD $2.095 billion into our country’s economy, positively impacting local businesses and tourism stakeholders,” said Minister Bartlett. “For 2022, the outlook for the tourism sector remains positive with projections for approximately 2.45 to 2.5 million visitor arrivals and a total visitor spend of about USD $2.9 billion.”

The health and safety of every visitor and citizen remains Jamaica’s top priority through its comprehensive Jamaica CARES protocols. These protocols were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition that allowed the destination to safely reopen in June of 2020. While Jamaica requires a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) or antigen test conducted within three days prior to travel, additional travel protocols, including the removal of the island’s Travel Authorization Form and travel-related quarantine, were updated as of March 1.

“Travelers can continue to rest assured that our island is among the safest choices in the Caribbean and in the world,” said Minister Bartlett.

For more information on Jamaica, please go to www.visitjamaica.com.

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19), Destination News

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Jamaica’s Visitor Arrivals and Spend Beat Projections

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – Maintaining its position as one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, Jamaica reports that it welcomed a total of more than 1.5 million visitor arrivals to its shores in 2021. These visitors’ on-island spend totalled over USD $2.095 billion into the country’s economy, positively impacting local businesses and tourism stakeholders.

Visitor arrivals and spend for full year 2021 had originally been projected to be approximately 1.5 million and USD $1.9 billion, respectively. Of the total 1,535,165 visitor arrivals recorded, 1,464,399 were air stopover arrivals. The U.S. was both the largest and best-performing market, accounting for 1,278,679 air stopover arrivals in 2021. Overall, visitors have been staying longer in 2021, with the average length of stay increasing to 9.1 nights in 2021 as compared to 7.9 nights in 2019.

“The fact that we exceeded visitor arrivals and spend projections for 2021 is a clear testament to the strength and resilience of Jamaica’s tourism product as well as the excellent relationships we enjoy with our travel industry partners,” said the Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. “As we are gradually relaxing travel restrictions, we fully expect a stronger recovery as consumers from our key source markets are resuming international travel in steadily growing numbers.”

For the month of December 2021 alone, air stopover arrivals reached 223,333 or 79.4% of December 2019 levels. Tourism and infrastructure developments across the island continue to move forward and the destination retains a positive outlook for the tourism sector in 2022, the year of Jamaica’s 60th Anniversary of Independence. For 2022, Jamaica is projecting approximately 2.45 to 2.5 million visitor arrivals with a total visitor spend of about USD $2.9 billion.

This past weekend, March 3-6, 2022, Jamaica welcomed approximately 27,000 visitors to island including some 8,700 visitors on Saturday alone, the highest number for any one given day since the reopening of its borders in June 2020. Current bookings indicate a very strong month for March 2022, with projections for it to be on par with March 2019.

Jamaica continues to welcome visitors safely through its highly acclaimed Jamaica CARES program, which prioritizes health and safety of every Jamaican and every visitor to the country. The program was among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition and allowed the island to safely reopen.

For more information on Jamaica, please go to www.visitjamaica.com.

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Destination News

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Airbnb and Belize Tourism Board Sign MOU to Drive Sustainable Tourism Through Home Sharing

Belize City, Belize – Airbnb and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) have signed a MOU initiating a mutual collaboration between both organizations to drive sustainable tourism in Belize through home sharing.

The agreement aims to promote Belize as a world-class tourism destination, highlighting cultural festivals, local tourism experiences and other unique events. Additionally, the MOU refers to the mutual cooperation aiming to share best practices globally for a modern and simple regulatory framework for short-term rentals in order to grow and diversify the country’s tourism product in keeping with global demand.

“The Belize Tourism Board is excited about this new cooperation agreement with Airbnb, and in working together to develop an equitable and sustainable business environment for this important segment of the tourism offer in Belize. With new engaging features on its platform, Airbnb is not only about room stock generation, it is also moving towards the creation of authentic destination experiences, an area where Belize thrives and seeks to engage,” said Mr. Evan Tillett, Director of Tourism at the Belize Tourism Board.

The home sharing community in Belize is a growing component of the local tourism industry and an important asset to the country’s wealth. Within this sector, the unrivaled global community of hosts and guests on Airbnb has created a whole new way to travel and experience a destination.

“Belize is an important destination for Airbnb, and we are pleased to continue working together with the BTB to develop a strong, democratized tourism industry through home-sharing, in which Belizeans can benefit directly,” stated Carlos Munoz, Airbnb Campaign Manager, Public Policy and Communications for the Caribbean and Central America.

Through its strong partnership with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), of which Belize is a Government Member, Airbnb is steadily working to drive tourism to the region and expand economic opportunity by promoting safe, authentic travel throughout the Caribbean.  Belize was recently featured in one such initiative, Discover the Caribbean, which sought to promote tourism to destinations as they safely re-opened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the tourism industry in Belize grows, the Belize Tourism Board and Airbnb, aim to encourage environmental sustainability while empowering local people and their communities to be the primary beneficiaries of this economic growth.

Posted in: 2022 News, Blog, Destination News

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