Country Protocols, COVID-19 Updates

Country Protocols

BARBADOS
View COVID-19 Travel Protocols (Revised: Sept. 11, 2020)
COVID-19 Travel Guidelines 2020 website

BELIZE 
COVID-19 updates for travellers: https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/
Health and Safety Protocols in response to COVID-19: https://bit.ly/belize-protocols 
Tour Operator Guidelines in response to COVID-19: https://bit.ly/3jvbedL

CAYMAN ISLANDS
Sanitation Guidelines: https://www.visitcaymanislands.com/en-us/ourcayman/sanitation-guidelines

CURACAO
Protocols for entry to Curacao: https://bit.ly/curaco-protocols

DOMINICA
Protocols for safe entry into Dominica: Protocol document (pdf)

GRENADA

General tourism protocols – https://online.fliphtml5.com/mxxb/pqce/#p=1
Protocols for Travellers into Grenada: https://www.puregrenada.com/travel-advisory/

JAMAICA
Ministry of Tourism Health and Safety Protocols: National website | Protocol document

SAINT LUCIA
Revised entry requirements: https://www.stlucia.org/en/covid-19/

Framework to reopen Saint Lucia: https://www.covid19response.lc/p/reopening-saint-lucia

ST MAARTEN

Travel entry requirements: https://stmaartenupdates.com/

ST VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES
Protocol for the Entry of Travellers to St. Vincent & the Grenadines – Sept 17, 2020: View Protocols

THE BAHAMAS
Tourism Reopening: https://www.bahamas.com/tourism-reopening
Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan: https://bit.ly/Bahamas-readiness-plan

TURKS AND CAICOS
Turks and Caicos Travel Protocols (Sept 23, 2020): View Protocols
TCI Assured Pre-Travel Authorization Program:
https://turksandcaicostourism.com/tci-assured-faqs/

 

Guidelines and Checklists for Safely Resuming Business Operations and Restoring Caribbean Tourism in 2020

 

View CTO Member Countries Destination Organization Responses to COVID-19 (pdf)

 

Country, Airport and Passenger Protocols (compiled Excel)

View airport and passenger protocols for CTO countries and international airports: https://bit.ly/CAPprotocols

 

CARPHA Situation Reports

 

WHO Resources

 

UNWTO Resources

 

Other Resources

 
CTO webinar - The Future of Caribbean Tourism – Key Considerations for the COVID-19 recovery

Link to webinar video recording on CTO’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization/videos/686927202064165/

Neil Walters | Secretary General (Acting) | Caribbean Tourism Organization

View presentation: https://bit.ly/3bUeknt

Virginia Messina | Managing Director | World Travel & Tourism Council

View presentation: https://bit.ly/3d6MggZ

Alejandro Varela | Deputy Regional Director for the Americas | UNWTO 

View presentation: https://bit.ly/2Sm8cfQ

CTO Podcasts on COVID-19

Episode 1

In this episode Dr. Katija Khan, a clinical psychologist at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine, and a member of the UWI COVID-19 task force, shares some extremely helpful recommendations on hope to cope. She touched on issues that connect work, mental health and the coronavirus crisis. She  linked this to stress (the leading pathway to mental health problems at work), boundaries, mental flexibility, substance use, communication, support from supervisors, exercise and more.

Episode 2

In the second episode of ‘COVID-19 -The unwanted visitor’, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose talks with Carla Santiago, the general manager of Edelman Miami, a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organisations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.

Episode 3

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Emile Gourieux,  the Hotel Sector Business Development Executive for STR in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and Rico Louw, the Senior Account Manager and Client Liaison at STR, Inc., with a special focus in US Central States, Mexico, and the Caribbean region. STR provides clients with premium, global data benchmarking and analytics.

Episode 4

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Professor Clive Landis, the Chairman of the University of the West Indies Covid-19 Task Force.

Episode 5

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Communications Specialist Johnson Johnrose speaks to Peter Cerda, Regional Vice President, The Americas, The International Air Transport Association (IATA). IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic.

Episode 6

In this episode, Dr. Peter Tarlow, the world-renowned tourism scholars and expert who specializes in, among  other areas, tourism risk management and tourism and economic development, says the Caribbean can emerge as the jewel of tourism in the world.

“I think if the Caribbean is smart, and we have this little pause that’s taking place right now, we can use this as a wonderful period for the Caribbean to come back better and stronger than it ever was before. Let’s use this as a period, this pause when we can truly come together and show how the people in the Caribbean care not only for their guests, but also for each other, that will improve the quality of life,” he says.

Episode 7

This week we hear from Seleni Matus, the executive director of the International Institute of Tourism at George Washington University. GWU, in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, conducted a survey of CTO member countries and the greater Caribbean on preparedness for post-COVID-19 recovery and there are some eye-opening findings.

Episode 8

In this episode, we hear from Ed Limon of Winged Whale Media on how destinations and businesses can use virtual reality to market during COVID-19 and after.

Click to listen.

CTO on Coronavirus

A COVID-19 update featuring Acting Prime Minister, Santia Bradshaw – April 7, 2020. (PMO)

A 95-year-old man, who was very ill when he presented with symptoms of COVID-19 last Sunday, passed away early this morning, becoming the third Barbadian to die from the viral illness.

His death was announced by Isolation Facilities Manager, Dr. Corey Forde, at a press briefing this morning.  The deceased was infected after coming into contact with a known case.

Dr. Forde further announced that three out of 45 persons tested yesterday were positive, bringing the tally of cases in Barbados to 63. The Ministry of Health and Wellness identified the three new cases as Barbadians – a 28-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, who returned from overseas, and a 33-year-old woman, who is the wife of a known case.

Currently in isolation are 53 persons.  Dr. Forde reported that three of them, who are on ventilators at the Enmore facility, were critically ill, including a 52-year-old man, who the medical professional deemed extremely ill, with the added complication of diabetes. He outlined that there were 17 persons in isolation at Paragon, eight females and nine males, who are all in stable condition. At the Blackman and Gollop isolation facility, he revealed, that there were 29 patients, 16 females and 13 males, including four in the High Dependency Area, ranging in age from 60 to 80.  Four patients are in isolation at home.

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.

CTO Statement on Coronavirus (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.

CTO Brings Together Tourism Leaders and Agencies on the Frontline of Battle to Confront Coronavirus

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (5 March 2020) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has brought together tourism leaders and a key agency on the frontline of battle to confront coronavirus (COVID-19).

The CTO yesterday organised an information session for member governments, facilitated by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).

During the session, CARPHA assured ministers and directors of tourism and other senior tourism officials, that while there have been no cases of local transmission – the two cases reported in St. Martin and one in the Dominican Republic were all imported – it was working closely with member countries and Caribbean coordinating partners such as the CTO on mechanisms to prevent further transmission from any possible imported cases.

Yesterday’s session was part of the CTO’s programme of full engagement in the regional response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in collaboration with CARPHA, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and the Global Tourism Resilience Centre.

The CTO’s web site, www.onecaribbean.org provides updated information from member countries and links to the CARPHA site (www.carpha.org)  which is monitoring the virus and providing regular, reliable updates.

The organisation is also utilising a range of sources to track the global and reported regional impact of the virus, which has affected 93,090 people in 76 countries (80,422 in China alone), according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

In the meantime, travellers are advised to:

  • 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
  • Stay informed about the virus situation in any country to which you are travelling

Caribbean Tourism and Health Stakeholders Forge Alliance to Safeguard Visitors and Residents from COVID-19

MIAMI (March 5, 2020) – The leaders of the Caribbean tourism and health sectors, who are working together to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the region, are implementing readiness and response measures to prevent and contain the virus.
While there has been no local spread of the virus in the Caribbean, community transmission is now reported in many other countries than China, some of which have nonstop flights to Caribbean States.

Therefore, due to the current increased risk of importation of COVID-19 to the region, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has upgraded the risk of Coronavirus disease transmission from “low” to “moderate to high”.

In light of this, CARPHA Executive Director Dr. Joy St. John is urging health authorities of CARPHA Member States to shift their mindset from preparedness to readiness and rapid response and continue to do all that is necessary to strengthen their capacity to respond to possible importation of cases.

The recently established COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force comprises representatives from CARPHA, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre (GTRCMC).

In a statement issued by the leaders of the task force member organizations, they indicated that a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed upon by the organizations to foster closer collaboration.

“Recognizing the essential need to safeguard the health and safety of residents and visitors to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 threat to the Caribbean; and further recognizing the importance of building upon the collaborative efforts which are already underway, and the need to pool organizational resources to do so; we have agreed to formalize our efforts and messaging through the establishment of the COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force (CCTTF),” the MOU reads.

The organizations acknowledged concerns about the high level of misunderstanding about the virus which has elevated the panic at the global level and resulted in the dissemination of a high level of misinformation.

The CCTTF will focus on raising awareness and sharing accurate information; strengthening monitoring at airports, seaports, and hotels and accommodations; improving coordination among stakeholder organizations and locally between tourism and health officials; sharing best practices; training, education and capacity building; and conducting tourism impact research.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of the Caribbean so we’ve come together as organizations already engaged in readiness programs to pool resources so we can ensure the people of our region, and our visitors, remain safe from this viral threat,” read the task force’s statement, which adds “our ability to quickly contain any outbreak will be determined by how efficiently we can pool information and capacities – this agreement allows us to plan for an emergency and move our resources rapidly.”

Dr. Lisa Indar, CARPHA’s Assistant Director for the Surveillance, Disease Prevention & Control Division, explained that the organizations already collaborate, but in view of the spread of the virus in other regions, CARPHA and other task force organizations wanted to proactively solidify cooperation and ensure the task force had what it needed to keep COVID-19 from threatening the health of residents and visitors and the economies of the Caribbean.

The establishment of the Caribbean COVID-19 Tourism Task Force follows a Special Emergency Meeting of the CARICOM Heads of Government with health and tourism officials and cruise associations in Barbados last weekend, where they agreed to set up a regional protocol with the cruise industry.

As an immediate proactive measure to help fight the importation and spread of this novel viral illness, the CCTTF is urging hotel and tourism accommodation providers to register for CARPHA’s Tourism Health Information System (THiS), which was developed several years ago to provide support information, and to help identify and confidentially manage early warning symptoms by employees and guests in a rapid manner.

Since January, over 50 additional hotels have joined THiS. To register, visit http://this.carpha.org or https://tinyurl.com/txjo7al. Visitors are also encouraged to self-report at http://this.carpha.org, and click on the self-reporting tab to the bottom left of the screen.

CARPHA advises residents and visitors that the best preventative measures are individual ones they can take by exercising hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing (staying one meter away from persons with flu) as well as avoiding eating raw and undercooked meats.

Anguilla on Coronavirus

Government websites: http://www.gov.ai/covid.php | www.beatcovid19.ai

 

World Health Organisation Declares Anguilla COVID-19 Free

The Valley, Anguilla, June 19, 2020. Anguilla is now officially categorized by the Word Health Organisation (WHO) as having “no cases” of COVID19.  As part of the continual review of the transmission classification of COVID-19 cases, Anguilla’s Ministry of Health was notified on June 16th  that Anguilla’s classification was changed from “sporadic cases” to “ no cases”.  The change is reflected in the WHO’s situation report published on June 18th, 2020.

This is an important milestone and a major achievement for Anguilla.  The Ministry of Health and the Government of Anguilla expressed their sincere appreciation and congratulation to the people of Anguilla for this remarkable achievement and appealed for their continued cooperation moving forward.

As the government gradually begins to reopen the borders, they are encouraging the community to continue to practice the range of control measures that have been in place over the last few months.  This includes staying home if unwell, hand and respiratory hygiene and maintaining a physical distance of at least 3 feet from other persons, especially from those with respiratory symptoms, (e.eg. coughing, sneezing).  These practices are the new normal which must be maintained into the foreseeable future.

The island’s borders remain closed to commercial international traffic through June 30th.

For information on Anguilla please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

For the most recent guidelines, updates and information on Anguilla’s response to effectively containing the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.beatcovid19.ai

Anguilla’s Annual Summer Festival Rescheduled for 2021

New York, NY, April 30, 2020……The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) has announced that the Anguilla Summer Festival Committee and the Department of Youth and Culture have made the difficult decision to cancel the staging of Anguilla Summer Festival 2020.  This follows on similar decisions made with regard to Extraordinary Eats!, the island’s premiere culinary celebration held in April; Anguilla LitFest, A Literary Jollification and the Round the Island Boat Race on Anguilla Day in May; and a month-long  series of events in June, promoting relaxation, health and wellness on Anguilla.

These decisions have been taken in compliance with the global and national guidelines issued with the objective of mitigating and containing the COVID-19 pandemic.  Anguilla has had just three (3) confirmed cases to date, with none currently pending, and no new cases reported within the past 28 days. All three individuals have fully recovered and have tested clear of the virus.

“We believe that rescheduling these events is the only responsible course of action to take,” said Donna A. Daniels-Banks, ATB Chairperson.  “The health and safety of both our residents and our guests is always of paramount importance, and we take the principle of social distancing very seriously.  Hosting large gatherings at this time is premature; we are confident that all our events will be bigger and even more spectacular next year, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Anguilla to celebrate with us.”

The Anguilla Tourist Board is focused on the development and expansion of the island’s tourism product offerings, to fulfill the destination’s Beyond Extraordinary! brand promise. In 2019 the Destination Experience Unit launched five experiential pillars – Adventure, Extraordinary Eats, Spa and Wellness, Events and Culture and Romance – and created a series of corresponding events on island to market and promote these authentic experiences.

Planning for 2021 has already begun.  Extraordinary Eats! will once again take place next April, expanded to a month-long event for “foodies” and culinary enthusiasts. From March to August the focus is on Events and Culture, with the iconic MoonSplash, LitFest, Anguilla Day and Summer Festival, which includes the popular Poker Run.

The month of June 2021 has been designated Health & Wellness Month, featuring the bes wellness escape packages and spa services – that are uniquely Anguillian – yoga, healthy eating and much more.

The Fall months of September, October and November are intended to bring awareness to the Adventure Pillar, with new excursions and activities such as cave tours, sporting events, watersports, nature walks and more.  The final pillar, Romance, will be highlighted in November from the 1st to the 15th, when all of Anguilla’s romantic getaway packages, weddings, honeymoon and one-of-a-kind assets will be showcased.

For information on Anguilla, please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

For the most recent guidelines, updates and information on Anguilla’s response to effectively containing the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.beatcovid19.ai

Anguilla’s Government Lifts Restrictions on Movement

*As of Wednesday, April 29*

The Valley, Anguilla, April 28, 2020…… H.E. Governor Tim Foy and the Hon. Premier Victor Banks have announced the removal of all regulations restricting movement and gatherings, effective Wednesday, April 29.   Testing has now shown that there are no active or suspected cases of Covid-19 in Anguilla, and the Chief Medical Officer advised the Executive Council on April 27 that these restrictions can be safely removed.

This means that churches, places of worship, all retail stores, hair salons and barber shops, accommodation suppliers, gyms and spas, recreational facilities, official lotteries, restaurants and bars can re-open from Wednesday, 29 April.

The Governor and Premier thanked Anguillians for their support in following the restrictions while they were in place, and in bringing about this great achievement.  They also cautioned against becoming complacent and asked that everyone continue to practice social distancing.  Environmental health officials in Anguilla will be visiting all commercial premises in the coming weeks to check compliance with established environmental health regulations, bearing in mind the importance of good basic hygiene in preventing the spread of all infectious diseases.

The Governor and Premier also noted that these or other restrictions may be re-introduced if circumstances change.

Anguilla’s ports will remain closed for passenger movements until the situation outside Anguilla allows for the safe reopening to external traffic. No definitive date has yet been set, but it is unlikely to be before the end of May.  A limited number of repatriation flights for foreign nationals will take place this week. These flights – all of which have been formally requested by overseas governments – will take place under the same controlled arrangements as those previously implemented. All aircraft will arrive empty, with the aircrew remaining on board so avoiding any contact with ground staff.

The Hon. Premier Victor Banks is painfully aware that there are many Anguillians overseas who wish to return home but can’t because of the current border closure. They are working now to put in place arrangements to enable their safe return, and details will be announced in the coming days. Establishing an on-island capability to reliably test for the virus, expanding quarantine facilities and creating a phased program of returns that will match the island’s ability to test and quarantine people are the key requirements that are being addressed.

Illegal boat landings remain the greatest threat to Anguilla’s health and security and protecting Anguilla from illegal entry is a top priority for the Government. Coordinated land, sea and air patrols remain in place, and anyone attempting or assisting an illegal crossing will be arrested.

H.E. Governor Tim Foy and the Hon Premier Victor Banks acknowledged that the steps that Anguilla has been taking are helping to keep the island safe. However, no active cases does not mean that hygienic practices or respiratory etiquette should cease, and they urged all Anguillians to take the simple steps that save lives:

  • Wash your hands frequently;
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, or in the crook of a flexed elbow;
  • Frequently clean and disinfect shared spaces and work surfaces; and
  • Avoid contact with persons suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory infections such as the flu, coughs, and colds.

Anguilla Declares No Evidence of COVID-19 Virus Transmission Currently On Island

 The Valley, Anguilla, April 27, 2020……… Anguilla’s Ministry of Health and Social Development delivered welcome and promising news in their latest update on the island’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, issued on Sunday, April 26, 2020.

“At the present time there are no suspected cases and no evidence of transmission of the COVID-19 virus within Anguilla. Furthermore, all three confirmed cases have now recovered and it has been more than 28 days since our last confirmed case.

This is undoubtedly an important milestone and a great achievement for Anguilla. However, in order to maintain this status, we must remain steadfast in our efforts to prevent this virus from establishing a foothold in our community. The Ministry of Health urges residents to continue to comply with hygienic practices, respiratory etiquette and the social distancing measures.

Furthermore, should the current epidemiological situation prevail, members of the general public may anticipate a de-escalation of the current restrictions on movements and mass gatherings in a phased approach over the upcoming weeks. The Ministry of Health and the Government of Anguilla maintain that the health and safety of the nation continue to be the utmost priority.

The Ministry will continue to provide timely and accurate information as the situation continues to evolve. Persons with any questions or concerns should call the Ministry’s hotlines at 476-7627, that is 476 SOAP or 584-4263, that is 584-HAND. The Ministry of Health will continue to provide timely updates through our media partners, our official Facebook page or at www.beatcovid19.ai.”

2nd April 2020: COVID-19 Update – 1 new confirmed case; Six Negative and One Pending

Today, April 2nd at 9:53am we received notification from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), that 1 of the seven samples sent on Monday, March 30th tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The other 6 samples were negative for Covid-19.

The positive case is an imported case, a 78-year old male resident with a history of travel to a United States overseas territory within the incubation period. He presented with mild symptoms and remains isolated per the established protocol. All close contacts have been placed under quarantine and observed for the development of symptoms.

To date, Anguilla has confirmed three cases of the COVID-19 virus. The Ministry of Health is currently awaiting 1 pending result from a sample sent on Wednesday 1st April. The Government of Anguilla has been preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 since late January. We urge residents not to panic and instead be guided by the helpful practices that you can do prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Members of the general public are once again urged to follow proper hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and comply with the social distancing measures in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Ministry will continue to provide timely and accurate information as the situation continues to evolve. Persons with any questions, including those with concerns that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, should call the Ministry’s hotlines at 476-7627, that is 476 SOAP or 584-4263, that is 584-HAND.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide timely updates through our media partners, our official Facebook page or at www.beatcovid19.ai.

 

Today, March 26th at 1:04 pm we received notification from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), that two of the four samples sent on Monday, March 23rd have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and two have tested negative. The first positive case is an imported case – a 27-year old female visitor from the US, who arrived in Anguilla on March 11th. The second positive case, a 47- year old male resident, is a close contact of the first case. This is also an indication of local transmission. In accordance with public health practices for containment and prevention of spread:

 The individuals, who both presented with mild symptoms, were placed in isolation upon suspicion and they remain in isolation at this time.   the Ministry of Health and Health Authority colleagues have initiated aggressive contact tracing to identify every individual who may have come into close contact with this patient. All individuals thus identified will placed under quarantine and tested.

Furthermore, additional social distancing measures for the general public as outlined in the Plan for Escalation of Measures for COVID-19 will be announced shortly.

The Government of Anguilla has been preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 since late January. We urge residents not to panic and instead be guided by the helpful practices that you can do prevent the spread of COVID-19. To date, out of a total of nine suspected cases of COVID-19, five have tested negative, two have tested positive and two are pending.

Members of the general public are once again urged to follow proper hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and comply with the social distancing guidance in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.   The Ministry of Health and the Government of Anguilla maintain that the health and safety of the nation continue to be the utmost priority.

The Ministry will continue to provide timely and accurate information as the situation continues to evolve. Persons with any questions or concerns that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call the Ministry’s hotlines at 476-7627, that is 476 SOAP or 584-4263, that is 584-HAND.

The Ministry of Health will continue to provide timely updates through our media partners, our official Facebook page or at www.beatcovid.ai.

Anguilla’s Ministry of Health Launches New Information Platform for COVID-19

The Valley, Anguilla, March 25, 2020…… Anguilla’s Ministry of Health & Social Development has launched a new platform — www.beatcovid19.ai — which will serve as a central space for all Official News and Updates related to COVID-19.  The latest news and information from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Tourism, the Air & Sea Ports Authority (AASPA) and the Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) are all available on this site.

Comprehensive information on the facts about the Coronavirus, the status of the disease globally as well as in Anguilla (where no confirmed case has yet been reported), along with tips and resources outlining simple preventive measures that everyone can take to guard against the virus, are all presented in a clear, concise and easily accessible format.  The two emergency hotlines — (264)476-SOAP (7627) and (264) 584-HAND (4263) – that have been set up are also listed.

The updates on the Website extend beyond health-related concerns.  There is functionality for persons to input their Employment Status, a feature that provides the Government of Anguilla with key data on the impact of COVID-19 on the labour force and their needs.

The site also features updates from Education, on the status of all learning institutions; Tourism, on travel in and out of Anguilla; the Financial Institutions, on the latest financial relief measures;  and other key stakeholders that serve large segments of the population.

The Ministry of Health & Social Development worked with the Thoughtful Digital Agency on the development and launch of this platform.

For the most recent guidelines, updates and information please visit www.beatcovid19.ai

Contact:

Chantelle Richardson / Coordinator, International Markets / Anguilla Tourist Board / The Valley, Anguilla, BWI / E: [email protected]atb.ai

Alison Ross
Senior Vice President / The Portfolio Marketing Group
301 East 57th Street, Floor 3 , Manhattan, NY 10022

 

Anguilla Introduces New Preventive Measures to Safeguard Local Resident and Visitor Populations

H.E. The Governor and The Hon. Premier issued a Joint Statement regarding Covid-19, emphasizing the Government’s unwavering commitment to protect the safety and well-being of all residents.

There have been no cases of the COVID-19 (Novel Corona virus) in Anguilla to date.  However, in light of the most recent global developments, the following additional and new preventive measures at the ports of entry were approved at a special meeting of the Executive Council to guard against the threat of an imported case.
•           The closure of all Anguilla’s ports – sea and air – for 14 days for all passenger movements. This will come in to force from 11:59 pm on Friday 20th March (Anguilla time). This does not include the movement of goods.
•           All persons arriving in Anguilla who have traveled outside of the Caribbean Region within the last 14 days, will be quarantined for 14 days on their arrival. A judgement will be made on arrival by health professionals if this can be self-quarantine or in a government run health facility.
•           All non-essential travel for public servants has been suspended for 30 days. In addition, residents of Anguilla are encouraged to avoid all unnecessary travel overseas at this time.
•           Schools, which are already closed this week, will remain closed until and including Friday, April 3rd,  2020.
•           Persons are encouraged not to congregate, this includes in church, at sports leagues, political meetings, youth gatherings, and at any sporting activities.
•           Anguilla has an isolation area at the hospital to deal with suspected cases and additional infrastructural improvements are being finalized this week.  Plans are underway for a small isolation unit in the medium to longer term.
•           A 24-hour emergency hotline has been established for the general public seeking information on COVID-19 and for persons who feel they have been exposed to COVID-19. The number is 1-264-476-7627 or 1-264-476 SOAP.

Anguilla’s Ministry of Health is conducting an aggressive and expanded national campaign on respiratory hygiene as the main preventive/containment with a strategic focus on the tourism sector and children in addition to the general public, utilizing radio, jingles and PSA’s and social media.

The Ministry emphasizes that regardless of the evolution of the current situation the following basic principles reduce the risk of transmission of several respiratory infections including coronavirus:
•           Frequent handwashing, especially after contact with ill persons and their environments.
•           Covering of coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or in the crook of a flexed elbow.
•           Avoiding contact with persons suffering from or exhibiting symptoms of acute respiratory infections such as the flu, coughs, and colds.
•           Ensuring that shared spaces and work surfaces are cleaned and disinfected frequently.
•           Limiting physical contact with others, including no handshakes or physical greeting, and to avoid crowds.

For more general information and updates please visit the official websites of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organisation (WHO) and CARPHA:
· https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
· https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
· http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health/Novel-Coronavirus
For information specific to Anguilla please visit the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SocialDevelopmentAnguilla/.

 

Antigua and Barbuda on Coronavirus

Government website: https://ab.gov.ag/detail_page.php?page=42

 

Antigua and Barbuda Launches Space Travel

St. John’s, Antigua (June 23, 2020) The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority is staking its claim on owning the travel space with the launch of their new ‘Your Space in the Sun’ campaign today, Tuesday, June 23, 2020. The new campaign positions Antigua and Barbuda as the perfect location for travel in the new normal created in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ‘Your Space in the Sun’ campaign is designed to specifically speak to the new desires and needs of travelers and gives people something to dream about when they are ready to book their first holiday. The concept speaks to people’s newfound desire of space and freedom to move and explore after many have been trapped indoors, with little space to themselves, with restricted access to the outside world. The campaign shows Antigua and Barbuda has the perfect antidote of space. The campaign invites people to broaden their horizons and enjoy all the space they need: space to move, space to think, space to be you.

“All indications are that travelers’ expectations have fundamentally changed, and destinations must adapt and address these concerns in order to attract business now that travel is resuming and consumer confidence is being restored,” stated the Hon. Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism & Investment.  “One of the most profound differences centers on physical distancing. The concept of personal space has been amplified, and the aversion to mass gatherings and crowded spaces is likely to remain for the foreseeable future.”

The new campaign acknowledges and owns this reality and presents Antigua and Barbuda as the destination where space – in all its forms and in every context — is essentially what is on offer.

“After months of confinement, travelers seeking a well-deserved respite will find no better place than Antigua and Barbuda,” stated Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “With 365 beaches, an expanse of blue sea, secluded harbours, boutique properties, private villas and one-of-a-kind attractions, Antigua and Barbuda is the perfect place to escape, broaden your horizons and enjoy all the space you need. Highlighting our bountiful space will inspire people to confidently and safely explore the wonder and beauty of our destination.”

The campaign will utilize a blend of professional as well as user generated content, featuring a series of iconic locations with an open invitation to find “Your Space in the Sun” in Antigua and Barbuda. Each execution will highlight an experience which reflects one of the destination’s pillars — romance, wellness, heritage and yachting — inspiring travelers to see themselves in Antigua and Barbuda.

The campaign launches on June 23, 2020 and will continue to roll out over the coming months on a variety of platforms.

For more information on travel to Antigua and Barbuda go to: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.

Images:

Your Space in the Sun Images: Your Space in the Sun Campaign

Destination Images: aandbtourism.fotoseeker.com

 

 

As Tourism Reopens – No New COVID-19 Cases

June 15, 2020

St. John’s, Antigua:  Mr. Colin James, CEO of the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority, asserted that the total number of COVID 19 cases in Antigua & Barbuda remains at 26 with only 3 active cases where it has been since early May, as reported by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and The Environment.  The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority has refuted claims that some passengers arriving on AA2405 on Wednesday, June 10 tested positive for COVID 19.

Visitors arriving in Antigua & Barbuda on commercial flights staying at approved accommodation are evaluated for COVID 19 with a series of health screenings, temperature checks and nose swabs taken for the coronavirus test.  Returning nationals receive health screenings and temperature checks but are not routinely tested.  Returning Nationals are required to self-quarantine for up to 14 days when their home accommodation is deemed suitable.  There is an option to quarantine at the Government’s Quarantine facility if they are unable to safely quarantine at home.

At this time all results for persons arriving at the VC Bird International Airport have been negative.  There have been no positive results to date for those entering the country.

Mr. James said, “Health Officials have put a full system of protocols in place to protect both visitors and our own people from COVID 19.  For details on these procedures please refer to www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Antigua & Barbuda reopened for tourism on June 4th and the first American Airlines flight arrived at VC Bird International Airport at 11.15 PM.

For information on travel to Antigua and Barbuda go to www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

 

ANTIGUA IS OPEN…

June 4, 2020 (New York, NY): The Government of Antigua & Barbuda has announced a phased approach to the reopening of the country’s tourism and hospitality industry as they prepare to welcome the first guests back on island today. The Ministry of Health, Wellness & The Environment has determined that the country is now ready to reopen the borders to international and regional travelers, whilst utilizing a phased and controlled approach. A series of travel safety protocols are being introduced which impact every element of the visitor experience, from arrivals at ports of entry, through ground transfers, resort accommodations, restaurants, tours and attractions.

A series of travel safety protocols are being introduced which impact every element of the visitor experience, from arrivals at ports of entry, through ground transfers, resort accommodations, restaurants, tours and attractions.

“The health and safety of our residents and our visitors will always be our top priority,” stated the Hon. Charles “Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism & Investment.  “Despite the severe economic strain on our economy resulting from the closure of our tourism industry, we waited until we were in a position to reassure both our citizens and our prospective guests that every precaution is being taken to ensure a safe and enjoyable vacation experience.  The travel safety protocols have been developed under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, with the full support and cooperation of our stakeholders.”

“We look forward to welcoming our visitors back to Antigua and Barbuda,” said Colin James, CEO, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “While we look forward to our borders opening, this is still a highly unprecedented time and we realize that we are now entering a new and ever-changing landscape. Priorities in the travel industry have shifted, and our visitors’ priorities are different – we have worked diligently across all sectors on the islands as well as in collaboration with our Caribbean neighbors to prepare for the new normal and to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all.”

During Phase one, the following safety measures will be in place at ports of entry:

  • All arriving passengers must have a mask in their possession for use on disembarkation, which must be worn in public areas throughout their stay in Antigua and Barbuda.
  • All arriving passengers must complete a health declaration form.  Screenings and thermal checks will occur on arrival and passengers may be asked to undergo a rapid antigen test on arrival or at their hotel.
  • With regard to airport transfers, up to 4 members of a family are allowed in a single vehicle while larger commercial passenger transport vehicles are permitted to carry only 50% of the vehicle seating capacity, for example 7 passengers in a 15 –seater vehicle. Vehicles must be kept clean and sanitized after each trip, and all will be equipped with hand sanitizer. All vehicles will be subject to random inspections by public health officers and certified vehicles will clearly display a decal indicating safety approval.
  • Passengers arriving by sailing craft (private yachts/Ferry Services) are subject to the guidelines issued by Port Health.
  • All Marine Pleasure Craft and Ferry Services will enter ONLY at the Nevis Street Pier.
  • All hospitality accommodations to include hotels, resorts, villas and home rentals must satisfy the stipulations of the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment and be certified prior to reopening to welcome visitors.
  • Restaurant dining protocols include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces, incorporate physical distancing measures, and will offer à la carte dining and delivery or takeout services, instead of buffet. 

Images and video: https://we.tl/t-RNnA7WkNW0 and aandbtourism.fotoseeker.com

Five tourism businesses in Antigua and Barbuda that are changing their game as a result of COVID-19

Antigua and Barbuda’s azure waters, warm temperatures and friendly faces have for years lured vacationers to the twin-island paradise, located in the Caribbean.

So when a global pandemic strikes, curtailing travel, and introducing ‘social distancing’ and ‘shelter at home’ policies that made Antigua and Barbuda vacations a dream deferred, sending the country’s main industry – tourism — into a tailspin, tourism businesses showed their resilience.  Here are five positive stories of tourism businesses that got creative in Antigua and Barbuda as a result of Covid-19. 

ADVENTURE ANTIGUA

Eli Fuller has been exploring Antigua’s north-coast and off-shore islands all his life. He grew up swimming, snorkeling and boating within the North Sound area, so when in 1999, the opportunity came for him to open an eco-tour excursion company, that would allow him to take visitors out to his childhood playground, he jumped at the chance.  And Adventure Antigua was formed.

Fuller says, when he started the company, “it was with a little tiny boat taking four people out on snorkelling site-seeing tours.”

The company has grown since then and gained quite a reputation. “People come to Antigua and Barbuda on holiday and they have a fun holiday, but when we take them out, and they tell us that it was the highlight of their vacation, it makes us really happy, because we feel like we’ve accomplished something, and we’ve done what we’ve set out to do.”

Fuller has been keenly following developments surrounding Covid-19; when news of the novel coronavirus started getting closer to home, he decided to find an alternative means of providing employment for his crew members, one that would ensure their families were fed. And so, with lockdowns looming, the Adventure Antigua Farm was conceptualized.

“We decided at the beginning of March, long before the lockdown, that the Adventure Antigua team needed to make sure that our boats had up-to-date commercial fishing licences, and to make sure that some of our crew members who liked fishing had their commercial fishing licences.  It was critical that we  could legally go out and catch fish both during the lockdowns, and during the period of time when tourists weren’t here. We ordered a bunch of fishing equipment from the USA, to make sure that we could target various species in a sustainable manner. We also invested in purchasing topsoil and seedlings and lumber to make boxes for vegetable gardens, and we started a little farm on a 1/4 acre of land. The Adventure Antigua snorkelers and captains and sight-seeing tour guides helped create the farm, and we still have a skeleton crew coming to work and maintaining the farm.

Today, the Adventure Antigua Farm grows a huge variety of crops  for sale, which include cucumbers, pumpkin, cassava, sweet potato, yams, peas, beans, okra, some herbs, peppers, finger rolls, plantain, banana, avocado, guineps, mangos, beets, onions and tomatoes. And of course, there’s also fresh fish available for purchase.

Fuller notes that the response from the community has really been positive, with the Adventure Antigua farm inspiring others to create gardens of their own. And, while we don’t know how long this crisis will last, “my company is going to be ready when the day comes that we reopen borders and welcome guests back to Antigua and Barbuda.  And when they come, we are going to be serving food that either we catch or that we grow.”

Buy local at Adventure Antigua

 

TIMMY TIME COCKTAILS

An old-fashioned rum punch, margaritas, mojitos, piña coladas and daiquiris are just some of the refreshing tropical vacation drinks that award-winning mixologist Daniel ‘Timmy’ Thomas is used to mixing up for beach-goers and visitors turned friends at a beach bar along Antigua’s North Coast.

While the bars may be closed, with no tourists sipping piña coladas in sight, that has not stopped Thomas from shaking up some of his most requested drinks and serving them up to the local market.

“While I wait for guests to return, I’m doing my own stuff, ‘Timmy Time Cocktails’. Not just cocktails, but great cocktails from a top mixologist on island”, says Thomas.

And with all orders of Timmy Time Cocktails coming with free island-wide delivery, Thomas has gained quite a following.

His cocktails come highly recommended, and while they may not be able to end their day sipping drinks at one of Antigua and Barbuda’s 365 beaches, Timmy Time Cocktails are still bringing a bit of paradise to customers stuck at home in lockdown.

Order your Timmy Time Cocktail

 

WALLINGS NATURE RESERVE

Wallings Nature Reserve is a 1,680 acre protected rainforest in Antigua that offers a hiking, birding and nature experience.  While the forest has always been a popular hiking area, the location got a boost when a little over a year ago, nature-lover Refica Attwood and a group of like-minded individuals from the John Hughes community, where the nature reserve is located, got together to revive the area as part of a community tourism project.

Described as a go-getter, Attwood has been known to take to the hills with chainsaw and weed whacker in hand, clearing trails to ensure ease of access for hikers. This is not unusual for the Wallings Nature Reserve Executive Director, who has also for the last four years, operated RA Events which offers logging services for fishermen and farmers.

Ask Attwood what she likes best about her job, and she will tell you, “I can be myself and do what I really love!!”

Wallings Nature Reserve has been on a go slow since the beginning of March, but Attwood maintains that she and the team have been using the time to do some much needed upgrades. These include putting in place amenities such as a restroom for the physically challenged, an administration building, a museum and gift shop. They are also clearing out trails, adding additional signage, and preparing the reservoir.

To our visitors past and present, we are taking the time to ready ourselves and look forward to seeing you trekking with us again.

In the meantime, you can also catch Refica making a batch of guava cheese for sale, or out logging within the hills of the rainforest.

Look out for the new upgrades at Wallings Nature Reserve

 

VILLAS AT SUNSET LANE

Jacqueline Thomas has been a small hotelier for the past 10 years, since opening the Villas at Sunset Lane, and has always enjoyed sharing her Caribbean culture, especially around Caribbean cuisine with her guests.

“It is always a pleasure to get a request from a guest asking to share a particular recipe that they truly enjoyed”, she says.

So it came as a natural option, that while there are no guests, but fixed costs of the hotel still to be met, to launch VSL’s Home Cooking and Home delivery services.

“We have decided to develop a simple lunch menu to meet what we believe is a growing demand since many people do not want to or cannot leave their residences for fear of the virus.  On the other hand, some individuals simply cannot cook or dislike cooking and as a result, are looking for some respite.“

Thomas is mindful of the possibility that this first step may lead to the development of a catering business for small to medium size events.

But by no means is she quitting the accommodation business. Her message to future visitors, “We are doing all we can to think of ways to transform our facility based on the recommended health guidelines.  It is critical to us that we allay your fears and gain your trust, giving you the assurance that you will be safe when you visit us again. We miss you and look forward to welcoming you back in the future.”

Order home delivery from The Villas at Sunset Lane 

NICOLE’S TABLE“I love working with people and I love food; this is the best of both worlds.  I get to meet people and exchange ideas about food while cooking,” says a bubbly Nicole Arthurton from Nicole’s Table, who offers hands-on Caribbean cooking classes.

As of this month, she will be doing Instagram Live cooking shows.

“This year we had a large number of returning guests so we are trying to keep Nicole’s Table top of mind for all of them.  We are staying visible on social media and communicating with past guests, cancelled guests and future guests. We post pictures and we’ve done a live cooking show on Instagram.”

She’s now researching and laying out plans to do more Instagram shows, with the next set of shows scheduled to start in about two weeks.

“Besides that, I’m tinkering in the garden trying to expand from just herbs to a range of vegetables that will grow well together… I’m crossing my fingers that all my plans will pay off.”

She’s also giving tips to other local tour operators. “Be creative now no matter how bad things look for you.  Don’t go outside the box; break it!  Adam and I are doing a lot of experimenting right now, trying to figure out new ways we can make our business.  Things are very tight, but that Instagram show I did the other day was just the first piece of our new approach to building our brand.”

Tune into Nicole’s next cooking show

For more information on travel to Antigua and Barbuda go to: www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

State of Emergency: 24-hr Curfew Guidelines

As part of measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the twin-island state, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has imposed a 24-hour curfew. The mandatory seven-day curfew starts from 12:01am on Thursday, April 2nd (immediately after midnight on Wednesday) until April 9th.

Please read the full advisory here

Antigua and Barbuda Shares Encouraging “Messages in the Sand” Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

St John’s, Antigua (March 31, 2020) – Antigua and Barbuda is spreading words of encouragement and kindness around the world, by writing messages in the sand, aimed at uplifting persons around the world during the coronavirus pandemic.

The inspiring messages will be written on some of Antigua and Barbuda’s beautiful 365 sandy beaches.  Launched by the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, the ‘Messages in the Sand’ imagery aims to bring a slice of Antigua and Barbuda’s tranquility to everyone’s home.

The first message in the sand, “Stay Safe” was written on the shore of Antigua’s breath-taking Fort James beach on Monday 30 March and revealed on Tuesday 31 March.  Messages will appear across social media, weekly on Mondays.

People can get involved by sending suggestions for messages to be written in the sand, to the Tourism Authority’s social media platforms. To do so, visit the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s social media pages on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  Reply to the ‘Messages in the Sand’ post with your suggestion for a ‘Message in the Sand’, sending motivational affirmations to loved ones, and strangers.

View the first ‘Message in the Sand’ here:   Facebook: AntiguaBarbuda;  Twitter: @antiguabarbuda; Instagram: @antiguaandbarbuda.

 

Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism Holds Virtual Tourism Industry Briefing to Discuss Cornonavirus

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (March 26 2020) – Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez, on Tuesday hosted a virtual industry briefing where he addressed a wide cross-section of tourism industry stakeholders on the latest effects the coronavirus (covid-19) was having on tourism in Antigua and Barbuda.

In support of the recent health protocols, an online method of communication was used, to update all industry partners collectively. With the impact of covid-19, top of mind amongst stakeholders, over 200 participants from the hospitality and tourism sector joined the online meeting, for addresses by the Tourism Minister, and CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA), Colin C. James.

The Tourism Minister spoke about the Government’s response to the crisis and expressed concern about the rapid impact that the coronavirus was having on the industry and Antigua and Barbuda’s economy. He ensured stakeholders that it was the priority of the Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Authority to remain in constant communication with all tourism partners and stakeholders both local and international, throughout the crisis.

“The next phase is to be prepared with our plans which will be critical for our recovery once this is all over, said the Tourism Minister.

CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James shared with the participants highlights of the destination’s three-pronged response to managing the covid-19 crisis, throughout its various cycles and marketing plans for the recovery. He noted, that in light of the global effects of covid-19 on world economies, this response would now take precedence over the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s originally proposed 2020 summer marketing plan.
The industry briefing also featured updates from stakeholders throughout the sector, to include Executive Director of the Antigua and Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association Patrice Simon, Restauranteur Alex Grimley of the Rocks Group of Restaurants (Sheer Rocks and Catherine’s Cafe), Parks Commissioner at the National Parks Authority Ann-Marie Martin and Geo W. Bennett Bryson’s Shipping and Tropical Adventures Managing Director Patrick Ryan, who joined the session as online panellists.

A question and answer segment allowed participants to pose questions online, to the Tourism Minister, the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, as well as to panelists online.
For media enquiries, please contact:

Maria Blackman
Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority
T: 1 (268) 562 7600/464-7601
E: [email protected]

A personal message from Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority about some of the precautions put in place by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to protect, residents and visitors in our beautiful twin-island state from covid-19 / coronavirus. 

Dear Visitors:

Hello, I am Colin James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and I’ld like to take this time to let you know what Antigua and Barbuda is doing to address the coronavirus crisis.

First and most importantly, the safety and health of our citizens and visitors like you are of great importance to us. We’ve collaborated with the Ministry of Health, all the relevant Government departments, and tourism partners to ensure that the necessary precautionary measures are in place to detect and prevent the spread of the virus in our beautiful islands.

Travel advisories were put into effect and health protocols on-island activated to protect the health and safety of our  twin-island nation, its people and our visitors. 

So, while we’re still welcoming visitors, we understand that during these uncertain times, many have been advised and opted not to travel  as Governments around the world tackle the issue of controlling the spread of covid-19.

So if your travel plans to visit are affected, we encourage you to contact your travel adviser, hotel or airline representative to reschedule your trip for a future date when we will all be ready for that much needed getaway.

For current updates  on travel to Antigua and Barbuda go to  www.visitantiguabarbuda.com

Have a look at  our F.A.Q. page which has lots of information that will help answer some of your questions and concerns. 

We are continuously monitoring the situation and we will keep you updated.  We want you to have the utmost confidence that the two most beautiful islands in the world, Antigua and Barbuda, with our warm friendly people, will still be here and ready to welcome you as soon as you are ready to travel again.  So until then stay safe and God Bless.

 

ST.JOHN’S, ANTIGUA (March 16, 2020) –  The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority continues to keep abreast of the latest developments related to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 and would like to assure travellers that precautionary measures are being implemented to guard against further spread of the virus within the destination.

Antigua and Barbuda has one confirmed case of Coronavirus.  The individual is currently in self-isolation at home in Antigua and is being monitored. All identifiable contacts that this person has had, are being investigated.

Antigua and Barbuda remains open for travellers. However, foreign nationals (including passengers and crew) who have travelled to China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past twenty-eight (28) days, will be not be permitted entry into Antigua and Barbuda. Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda as well as resident diplomats will be allowed entry.

Several precautionary measures have also been put in place including educational campaigns at hotels, with a focus on identifiable prevention, preparation and identification tips. The general public and travellers are reminded to take general measures against becoming ill, which includes regular hand-washing, good cough and sneeze etiquette, social distancing and avoidance of sick persons.

The national multi-sectoral COVID-19 task force established by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda continues to meet regularly, to assess all international and regional developments related to COVID-19.

For more information and updates on COVID-19 and the Government of Antigua and Barbuda’s response go to: www.ab.gov.ag .

Barbados on Coronavirus

Government website: https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/covid-19/

 


BARBADOS ENTERS PHASE 3 OF REOPENING

On Monday, May 18, Barbados entered Phase 3 of the reopening of its economy following its suspension of non-essential services in the fight against COVID-19.

Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, made the announcement saying that the decision was made based on public health recommendations, and outlined the updated protocols which she stressed will be constantly under review. To date, there have been 88 confirmed cases, 68 total recoveries and seven deaths. The active cases remain in isolation and are receiving care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

The protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to contain the virus for visitors arriving from other countries, remain in effect. All persons coming to Barbados will be quarantined for a period of fourteen days.

Focus on health and safety

In Phase 3, a number of businesses have been allowed to reopen, including key Government offices, construction, manufacturing and delivery companies.

The Government of Barbados has also issued a number of mandatory health and safety protocols for the reopening businesses, including limiting work requiring human contact, wearing face masks, increased sanitising of facilities, and practicing social distancing.

“This plan is about three main things. First and foremost, it is about public health and keeping people safe post-lockdown. Secondly, it is about exiting full lockdown, bringing back activity, and stopping the spread of severe risks to society and security from not doing so. Thirdly, it is about breathing hope and killing despair. It is a plan that engages all of society and makes a subtle shift from command and control to a sense that individuals  are doing something positive about their lives, their communities, and the circumstances,” Mottley said.

For the wider public, Phase 3 has also seen the relaxation of previously implemented measures, including returned beach access between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. However, residents remain under curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

The future of tourism

Speaking to the country’s key revenue generating industry, Mottley indicated that the Government of Barbados is committed to supporting the sector through this critical time.

“Tourism will still be a mainstay of our economy; all different types of tourism from the traditional sun and sea to medical and educational tourism, from new visitors to repeat visitor to those from the diaspora.”

As such, a BDS $200 million Barbados Tourism Facility will be created in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank’s private sector lending arm. This facility will provide support to hotels in need of urgent working capital and give them the opportunity to become more profitable through upgrades, expansion and modernization. It will also focus on lending for good development outcomes such as jobs retention, and to hotels that achieve better integration with local agriculture, use renewable energy, and upskill local staff.

In addition to the lending facility, Mottley announced the resumption of several major construction projects across the island, including the BDS $400 million development at Sam Lords, 75 apartments at the Crane, and BDS $25 million improvements to the Apes Hill Golf Course.

More updates on Barbados’ response to COVID-19 can be found at https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/covid-19/.

Barbados Crop Over Festival Set to Return in 2021 

In keeping with ongoing global efforts to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Barbados has made the difficult decision to cancel the country’s Crop Over Festival this year.

The island’s premier arts and culture showcase celebrates the end of the sugar cane crop with craft markets, soca and calypso competitions, parties and much more, and was scheduled to launch in June 2020. The festival usually runs for two months, culminating on the first Monday of August with a colourful street parade dubbed Grand Kadooment. On Kadooment Day, thousands of locals, visitors and even celebrities that have included Cultural Ambassador Rihanna, and Lewis Hamilton, take to the streets in costume to party.

Also cancelled this year due to COVID-19 is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), which was slated for October and November 2020. This annual festival, which celebrates the best of Barbadian performing, visual and culinary arts, will return in 2021.

The Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports responsible for these two key events, will instead dedicate this time to a national training programme in schools and communities to ensure the continued development of local arts despite the festival cancellations.

More information will be provided on the national training program as it becomes available.

For more on Crop Over and Barbadian arts, visit http://www.ncf.bb, and follow the National Cultural Foundation on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thencfbarbados/

COVID-19 Update: Two More Recoveries & One New Case

Two more people were declared free of COVID-19 and released from isolation yesterday, after testing negative for the virus twice.

Meanwhile, one more Barbadian tested positive. The new case is an 84-year-old Barbadian woman, who had contact with a known case who travelled abroad.

Barbados has to date recorded 72 positive cases of COVID-19 out of 839 tests done since February 11. Thirty-four of those tests were carried out yesterday.

The two newly-recovered persons bring the number of recoveries to 13. The number of deaths remains at four. There are now 55 persons in isolation.

Barbados records 68th case

The number of persons infected with COVID-19 in Barbados today rose to 68, with one positive result out of 11 tests done by the Best-dos Santos Public Health Laboratory yesterday.

The new patient is a 53-year-old Barbadian female, who returned from abroad on March 11. This brings the number of patients in isolation to 53.  The number of people who have recovered remains at 11 and the number of deaths at 4. The public health laboratory has carried out 747 tests to date.  Of these, 33 males and 35 females have tested positive for COVID-19.  They range in age from seven to 95.

Barbados Extends Curfew to May 3 

On Saturday, April 11, 2020 Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, announced that the current curfew will be extended until midnight on Sunday, May 3, 2020.

Prime Minister Mottley explained that the decision was based on public health recommendations as the country continues its fight against COVID-19. To date, there have been 73 confirmed cases, 15 total recoveries and five deaths. The active cases remain in isolation and are receiving care from the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

Under the 24-hour curfew, only essential services will operate, and movement of non-essential personnel is restricted. Regular movement will resume on Monday, May 4, 2020 unless otherwise stated. The Government of Barbados continues to work closely with both private and public sector entities to ensure necessary operations continue safely and efficiently. Arrangements have been made for supermarkets and banks to open to the public. Barbadians have been advised to wear cloth masks and to practice physical distancing while conducting business.

The protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to contain the virus for visitors arriving from other countries, remain in effect. All persons coming to Barbados will be quarantined for a period of fourteen days.

More updates on Barbados’ response to COVID-19 can be found at https://gisbarbados.gov.bb/covid-19/.

April 2, 2020
Barbados has announced a 24-hour curfew. As of 5 pm tomorrow (Friday) all supermarkets and minimarts shall remain closed until further notice and people can only be on the road if they are seeking  medical attention or going to the pharmacy, or if they are part of the essential services.

Please click on the following link for the full statement from the acting prime minister, Santia Bradshaw. https://bit.ly/2R8IFGF.

Barbados Moves to Stage 3, Announces New Measures 

On Thursday, Prime Minister of Barbados, the Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, announced that the country has now recorded 24 cases of COVID-19. As a result, the Government has activated Stage 3 of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

In Stage 3, only essential services will operate, and movement of non-essential personnel will be restricted between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily, from Saturday, March 28 until Tuesday, April 14. Regular movement will resume on Wednesday, April 15 unless otherwise stated. Prime Minister Mottley also urged Barbadians to minimize their movements during the day.

The 24 patients who tested positive for the virus are currently receiving care in isolation, and are showing mild symptoms. The Ministry of Health and Wellness continues its contact tracing efforts to ensure the containment and proper treatment of COVID-19.

More updates will be shared as they come.

The Government of Barbados has advised that at this time there are no restrictions on travel to Barbados as a result of COVID-19. In a release, the Ministry of Health and Wellness confirmed that their measures of screening and testing are underway and “no-one has tested positive for the respiratory illness so far.”

With no known cases, we continue to welcome and embrace visitors to our shores, however the protocols established by the Ministry of Health and Wellness to contain any potential spread of the virus, remain in effect.

They are:

  • Surveillance measures including utilisation of advance passenger information, immigration screening, and Port Health monitoring. All current and proposed actions are based on level of risk determined by Public Health Authorities.
  • All persons coming to Barbados with a history of having travelled to countries with widespread local transmission are quarantined for a period of fourteen (14) days after last exposure.
  • Barbados has a programme for both quarantine and isolation based on the level of risk determined by Public Health Authorities. Both units are guided by standard operation procedures and protocols. Barbados is able to accommodate both high and low risk travellers.
  • The mandatory quarantine facility is to be used for high risk persons without symptoms.
  • Any person with potential exposure who develops symptoms consistent with coronavirus will be admitted to the National Isolation Facility for testing and further management.
  • Visited countries identified for quarantine are: China, South Korea, Iran and Italy.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness has also announced a 24-hour hotline to respond to public queries about the coronavirus. The telephone number is 536-4500.

More updates on Barbados’ response to COVID-19 can be found at https://gisbarbados.gov.bb.

Belize on Coronavirus

Government website: https://www.covid19.bz/

 

COVID-19 Update from the Office of the Director of Health Services

22 June, 2020 – Given that we had an arrival with 40+ persons this past Friday, samples were pooled and processed today, this is outside of our established testing days (Tuesdays and Fridays).
A further 45 samples were processed today and this has identified a further case of COVID-19.
The person is a young female who arrived on the flight on Friday. She is asymptomatic with no treatment required. She went into immediate quarantine upon arrival as part of the established protocol.

Belize Releases New Protocols & Guidelines for the Accommodation Sector

Earlier today, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) officially released the new operating protocols for Hotels & Restaurants which will be required for Hoteliers to prepare their properties and

employees as the country readies to welcome back international travellers. These enhanced health and safety protocols for hotels have been approved by the Honourable Jose Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, and will serve as the foundation for addressing the new health and safety challenges presented by Covid-19.

Alongside these new protocols, the BTB is introducing a new “Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program”. This 9-point Program is focused on enhancing the hotel and restaurant cleaning practices, social interactions, workplace policies, and standard operating procedures, while ensuring minimal impact on the guest experience. The program also aims to guarantee that both tourism employees and travellers are confident in the cleanliness, health and safety of Belize’s tourism products.

Some of these enhanced protocols include:

  • Identification of a Gold Standard Program Manager to implement and monitor the new protocols and act as the health liaison between the Ministry of Health, employees and guests.
  • Enforcing social distancing and the use of face masks while in public spaces.
  • Deployment of technology to provide for online check-in/out, contactless payment systems, and automated ordering/booking systems to reduce physical interactions.
  • Installation of hand hygiene and sanitization stations across the property.
  • Enhanced room cleaning and increased sanitization of public spaces and high touch areas.
  • Implementation of Reporting and Monitoring processes to provide for daily health and temperature checks for guests and employees. This includes Registering and implementing the use of THIS (Tourism & Health Information System).
  • Development of a Response Plan to handle sick employees or guests.
  • Training for all employees in the new protocols.

As the country continues to prepare for re-opening, Belize wants to assure its citizens and visitors,

that their health & safety is of highest priority. Training sessions for the entire accommodation sector will be held next week, to guide them in the implementation of these new protocols.

The complete Accommodations Protocols can be found at: https://bit.ly/3egSYlz

 

Ministry of Health Confirms 20th Case of COVID-19

Belmopan. June 9, 2020. 4:45 p.m. 

As a result of a revised protocol that came into effect this week, persons entering Belize either legally or illegally are being swabbed and tested for COVID-19. That process identified a positive case for COVID-19 in a 22-year-old female who was caught entering Belize illegally on Sunday, June 7th.

The female was traveling with a one-year-old child and a 63-year-old female, who were all placed in the mandatory quarantine facility in Punta Gorda. The patient is asymptomatic.

The contact tracing process for this positive case is currently underway and once further relevant information is available, it will be shared through the routine information channels. The Ministry of Health urges the public to adhere to its protocols and to continue to exercise the prevention measures at all times.

Ministry of Health Confirms 19th Case of COVID-19

Belmopan. June 5, 2020. 4:30 p.m.

The Ministry of Health informs the public that a 19th case of COVID-19 was confirmed earlier today. This comes after the last four cases reported 53 days ago.

The case is that of a 27-year-old male who arrived on Saturday, May 23rd, from a cruise ship as part of the established repatriation process for Belizeans. The male is asymptomatic for COVID-19 and was detected as part of the routine testing being done on all those placed under mandatory quarantine which is a requirement before their release. The contact tracing for this individual is starting now and the due process of informing the cruise ship and relevant counterparts has started.

The Ministry of Health continues with its enhanced surveillance across the country and urges all to continue to exercise the necessary prevention measures.

Statement by Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Barrow May 18, 2020

Today marks Belize’s 31st day without anyone testing positive for the novel Coronavirus. We, therefore, are holding steady at 18, the total number of persons to have been infected in our country. Of these, very sadly two have died. But all the others have recovered. So that Belize is now one of only 12 countries and territories in the entire world to be currently COVID-19 free.  That is quite an achievement, and I want immediately to congratulate all Belizeans, but in particular, to single out the essential service workers, all essential workers and in particular, of course, the frontline workers – doctors, the nurses, all the medical personnel.

Download full May 18 statement.

Statement by the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow

May 8, 2020

There is still no new confirmed COVID-19 case and Monday will be the 28th day, we will reach that 28th day marker, providing this position of no new positive holds through this weekend. If it does so, and we do reach that 28-day milestone, we can promise you a further relaxation of some of the remaining restrictions.

View Belize PM full update.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s Update on COVID-19 Response

April 30, 2020

Today marks something of a milestone in our national campaign against COVID-19. The first state of emergency (SOE) proclaimed by His Excellency the Governor General expires at midnight tonight; and this is also, I believe, the 17th straight day that we have gone without recording any new positive case. We, therefore, are turning a corner and at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, May 1st, a new, or extended, state of emergency goes into effect.

That means, there will be in effect a new proclamation issued by the Governor General. Thereunder, there will also be a new statutory instrument (SI), with new regulations that His Excellency will also sign into law. The new state of emergency and the new regulations will, as mandated by the National Assembly, last for 60 days unless sooner revoked by parliament.

The principal reason for this press conference is to sketch for you the changes that the new regulations will effect. I use the word sketch advisedly. All I will do is to highlight some of the new features that the new regulations will usher in. Later on today, it is the Attorney General that will walk the public step by step through every provision of the new statutory instrument. That statutory instrument will, of course, also be available on various GOB websites and generally on social media.

In parliament, and elsewhere, I had made the point that there was no need to fear that the extension of the state of emergency necessarily meant the extension of the regime, in all its rigour, that existed under the previous state of emergency. In fact, I signaled that given how comparatively well we are doing in keeping new cases at bay, we expected to relax the strictness of the last set of regulations. I am, therefore, here to tell you that it is precisely as I intimated: there is a substantial easing that the new regime will bring. I am also pleased to be able to say that the new measures are the product of an agreement between both the National Oversight Committee and the Cabinet of Belize.

Before I go any further, I must make one thing clear. There is no way that, in those famous words of President Bush, that we can declare “mission accomplished”. We see what is to happen now as a breathing space, a somewhat uneasy truce. We will use the opportunity to plan, to prepare for the distinct possibility of a second wave of cases. If that hits, we ask our people to be ready to do it all over again, including returning to the most draconian of lockdowns.

One of the worst things about this virus is that nobody in the world has been able to figure out exactly how it works. It is an unpredictable, insidious enemy that can double back on itself and quickly upend whatever progress we initially make. This is a long-haul struggle and we will no doubt have to make long-haul sacrifices.

For now, though, we believe we have caught a little bit of a break, however short-lived it may prove. We, therefore, seize the opportunity to restart, to the maximum degree possible in the circumstances, internal business and economic activity.

Accordingly, under the new SI, all government departments and all statutory bodies will reopen on Monday, May 4th. We have, naturally, added to the list of approved private sector businesses also permitted to operate; and those add-ons can actually begin on Saturday, May 2nd – after the Labour Day holiday – if they normally employ Saturday opening hours. Lawyers, accountants, real estate brokers, are some examples of private sector, professional service providers that are now on the approved list. There is, as well, a category compendiously described as local manufacturers, under which our carpenters, building contractors, plumbers, electricians, and so on, will also be able to operate. The wholesalers and retailers generally are being freed up, and even call centers can reopen, particularly for training purposes. Belize call center services are increasingly in demand as a result of the pandemic, and the centers can take on well over a thousand new hires if training is allowed. Very very significant for the economy.

Hotels will also now reopen, if they so choose, to cater to a Belizean clientele. Their restaurants will be limited, though, to providing room service and take-out meals.

As a result of all this, the general restriction on movement is being lifted to the extent that it will now permit the public to attend at the various government and private businesses for such services as they require, in addition to the purchase of supplies and essential needs. And in one more concession, beauty salons and barbershops can also resume operations, although, only by appointment basis, dealing with one customer at a time. Spas, I am afraid, will still have to remain closed.

There is much more to the statutory instrument than I have outlined, but as I said, I leave the detailed, line by line exegesis to the Attorney General, whom you will see later today.

I, therefore, have only one other thing to add in this regard. The relaxation, the opening up, is not a free for all. Every business activity, all economic operations, are subject to the social distancing requirements. No public establishment can suffer any member of the public to enter its premises without wearing a face mask, and managers and staff must themselves wear the masks. Also, none can operate without putting in place the six-foot dividers to keep both staff and the public properly spaced apart.

It is then, critically important for us to grasp that ultimately everything depends on our observing the physical distancing and other rules. Thus, it is that we are actually increasing the penalties for particular breaches. As just one example, those caught using the illegal crossings to go especially into Mexico and Quintana Roo, where the proliferation of coronavirus cases has skyrocketed, will, upon conviction, go straight to jail for three months. A second conviction will result in a one-year prison sentence.

I wish to stress again that this breather that we are taking is an opportunity to ramp up our defenses for the possible second wave. Key to that strategy is continued testing. It is for that reason that CEO Dr. Gough is here. He will go over our inventory of tests and accompanying supplies that are in hand, and what is on order. This is for one overriding reason: transparency. You must know our state of readiness. You must know of any shortcomings and what we are doing to fix those. You must know what money has been spent and how it has been spent. You must know our funding sources and what has been promised versus what has been received.

Before I turn it over to Dr. Gough, I will say one last thing. We are all hoping soon for the internationally certified rapid tests that will help us to do two things: increase our own local testing capacity, and enable us effectively to test visitors so that we can reopen our all-important tourism industry.

In the meantime, though, let us understand something. We will never be able to test every single Belizean. Furthermore, the science suggests that that is simply not necessary. What the international benchmarks, from WHO and others, say is that there is no exact number of tests to aim for. The guiding principle, rather, is this: you want a low percentage of your tests to come back negative, around 10% or even lower, says William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard. This is because if a high percentage of tests comes back positive it is clear there is not enough testing to capture all of the infected people in the community. The lower the percentage of tests you are doing that comes back positive, the better. By that standard, Belize with only the cases that we have documented from over 700 tests, is doing well percentage-wise. We are certainly well below that 10% positive benchmark that signals the need for greatly accelerated testing.

Also, at the beginning of an outbreak where the number of people infected with the virus is low, a much smaller number of tests is needed to accurately assess the spread of the virus. As the virus infects more people, testing coverage needs to expand in order to provide a reliable number of the true indication of infected people.

All that notwithstanding, Belize is moving on with increased testing as Dr. Gough, to whom I now turn, will also explain.

Belize City, Belize (April 28, 2020)

Belize’s health officials have been effectively managing the COVID-19 outbreak with support from the public. Belize has a total of 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 9 of which have fully recovered, and it has been 16 days since the last confirmed case. A total of 995 tests have been administered so far. While the country remains under a State of Emergency (SoE), there has been an ease in some restrictions over the past few days.
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting all segments of Belize’s population, primarily people living in poverty situations. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) recognizes that it is imperative to reach out to help those in need. On this premise, BTB’s staff has come together to donate towards community outreach initiatives in several areas of the country. The first outreach was carried out last week, resulting in food packages being distributed to 100 families in Calla Creek village, Cayo district. The staff effort will continue over the next few months, with projects anticipated to be carried out across the country.

While dealing with the present social and economic impact of this pandemic, Belize remains optimistic that the industry will rebound and we are employing a strategic, proactive and inclusive approach to accelerate recovery.  Most recently consultations were held with a wide cross-section of tourism stakeholders, as their input and participation will be vital to the restoration of the industry once travel resumes.

On Friday, April 24th, 2020, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), in collaboration with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), hosted a virtual meeting which had the participation of approximately 100 tourism stakeholders. The objectives of the meeting were to identify the financial and technical needs of the tourism industry during the COVID-19 crisis and recovery period; advise stakeholders on the level of support currently available; and determine how best to fill the gaps. The information gathered from the meeting will enable the DFC to reach out to international lenders for financing that can be tailored to suit the needs of industry stakeholders.

Additionally, the BTB has been actively engaged with the travel advisor community.  One of main engagement tools has been the creation of a Facebook group called “Belize Travel Advisors & Friends”. The group aims to bring together members of the trade to educate on the destination, and for members to simply connect on the basis of Belize travels.  On Friday, April 24th, a Webinar was held for stakeholders to discuss the strategies planned to keep the trade engaged and preparations for welcoming visitors back when travel is safe again.

The public is encouraged to continue practicing social distancing, avoid being in public places unless absolutely necessary and, when doing so, practice good hygiene. Any questions, concerns, information or clarification should be channeled through the Ministry of Health at 0-800-MOH-CARE. Persons can also contact the Ministry via its Facebook Page ‘Ministry of Health Belize’ or visit www.covid19.bz.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow Updates Nation on the Existing State of Emergency

April 23, 2020

My Fellow Belizeans,

I take this opportunity to update you on the most recent developments in our ongoing struggle against COVID-19.

Thankfully, we are holding steady on the health front. Thus, there has been no new positive since Monday, April 13th. There were the two lamentable deaths; but no other of the 18 cases originally diagnosed is even in hospital. In point of fact, five are now pronounced as fully recovered, and all the others are at home recovering.

The mapping and tracing exercises done in San Pedro, San Ignacio, Corozal and Belize City, are just about complete, but random sampling continues. Also, we expect this Saturday out of Miami a resupply of reagents that will enable us to proceed with the full scope of necessary testing. The fact is, though, that we appear for now to have contained the clusters that arose particularly in San Ignacio and Belize City. This, of course, is no reason to let our guard down. Indeed, the opposite is true and our health care professionals will try to build on their success.

We have, since about a month ago, implemented the required measures to enforce social distancing, including constraints on business activity. Most recently, when our fear of Coronavirus spread was at its height, we actually enhanced our protective bulwarks. We did this by way of SI No. 55 of 2020, which came into effect at midnight on Holy Saturday. In consequence of that SI, there was the imposition of a complete Sunday lockdown, public transportation was brought to a halt, Government offices were closed to the public and additional private sector businesses were shuttered. Unless extended, these extra barriers were to last until April 25th, 2020, except for the Sunday lockdown. That was to remain until April 30th, the full life of the rest of SI 55.

I am now able to declare officially that there will be no extension of the additional special buffers. They will, therefore, expire at midnight this Saturday.

We feel able to mandate this relaxation, precisely because of the containment of the cluster spread. Thus, in-country public transportation by land, air and sea will resume for essential workers and essential purposes. Those passengers, though, whether on bus, boat or plane will be required to wear face masks. Government offices will reopen and those additional businesses placed on total cessation can go back to operating during limited hours. As well, the special Sunday quarantine will disappear.

I repeat, however, that we are not flinging caution to the winds. So, after midnight on Saturday, all that will happen is that we will go back to the state of affairs that existed immediately prior to the inclusion of the additional measures in SI 55 of 2020. In other words, we will still be in lockdown mode though in a manner not quite as draconian as provided for by the additional special measures.

For avoidance of any confusion, the Attorney General will make media appearances as soon as possible after this statement. He will remind of the details of SI 55 minus the special measures and will answer all questions in order to make the new position absolutely clear.

And going forward, this is what will happen.

The original State of Emergency Proclamation will itself expire on April 30th, 2020. An extension is clearly needed but that can only be done by way of a Resolution of the National Assembly. There will, therefore, be a meeting of the House on Monday coming, and a meeting of the Senate the following day. Those meetings are for the sole purpose of approving the State of Emergency extension, and physical attendance in the Chambers will be limited to the bare minimum of members needed to constitute a quorum. Once the extension of the State of Emergency is approved by Parliament, a new SI will be drafted for the signature of the Governor General.

The National Oversight Committee is currently being advised by the National Task Force, the economic czars and the Health Team as to further relaxations that the new SI could safely permit.

The point is that we are looking at the commencement of a phased, calibrated restart of business and economic activity in Belize.

I repeat, that this will have to be a finely balanced exercise, especially since we cannot discount the possibility of a Coronavirus second wave. To underscore that, the National Assembly is being asked for a two-month extension of the State of Emergency; so, there will be an easing of rigor in the new regulations coming into force on May 1st, 2020.  However, it will be to a studiously calculated degree as we continue to treat the preservation of life and health as our first priority.

In this regard, I wish again to salute all those on the front lines of this Coronavirus battlefield. I also wish to thank the Belizean people for their understanding, forbearance and the spirit of cooperation that has been in evidence since the start of the crisis. I reiterate the need for us to maintain strict adherence to social distancing and personal hygiene, as well as that good neighborliness that I just commended.

The two key citizen support programs, unemployment relief and food assistance, are proceeding apace. I thus record that as of this morning 33,771 persons had been approved for the jobless benefits, with actual payouts to 23,680 of them; and 8,017 households of 32,871 individuals have received grocery baskets. This is in addition to the 4,000 households that get pantry under that preexisting, long-standing initiative.

In light of all the advances we are steadily making, I wish to close on a note of confidence. I, therefore, restate my unshakable conviction that this fight against COVID-19 is one that we can win, one that we WILL win.

Thank you.

Update on COVID-19 Cases – Belmopan. April 13, 2020. 1:00 p.m.

The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize now stands at 18, with four new confirmed cases identified over the last 24 hours.

The confirmed cases are distributed as follows:

• A female in San Ignacio Town, as a close contact of a confirmed case from that town.

• Three cases in Belize City, which are all close contacts of a previously confirmed case in that city.

Patient #3 also remains positive at day 15 after initial confirmation of his case.

With this, the Ministry of Health can confirm that there are two active clusters that are being closely followed, one in San Ignacio and one in Belize City. The latter seems to have originated after a social activity on Saturday, March 14th. This particular active cluster in Belize City has identified five cases, therefore, the Ministry is asking the public to call 0-800-MOH-CARE or 613-0787 (Central Health Region) if they attended a social gathering at Plaza Diner in Belize City on March 14, 2020. If you were at this event and have developed a fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or difficulty breathing, please remain in isolation and call the numbers provided.

The Ministry of Health has, effective immediately, increased the quarantine period to 21 days. If you have been an immediate contact of any of the known cases you are also required to self-quarantine.

Two More Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed 

Belmopan. April 6, 2020.  

The Ministry of Health has continued to scale up testing for COVID-19 and a further 26 samples were tested on Sunday, April 5th. That scaled up testing has identified two further cases, both males residing in San Ignacio.

One of the males identified is a contact of patient #4. He developed minor signs and symptoms that included diarrhea and loss of sense of smell. This patient, the sixth case, has not required medication and is currently in self-isolation at home. Another male person, who is being treated as a pneumonia case, was also swabbed this weekend and is also positive for COVID-19.  The patient is currently hospitalized at the Western Health Region and remains stable. Mapping exercises are currently underway for both cases.

The total number of confirmed cases is now seven out of a total of 268 tests done. Some of the samples tested included contacts for patient #4, so that through the weekend a total of 128 samples were tested. Further screening tests are anticipated contingent on mapping exercises and enhanced surveillance activities.

Prime Minister Announces Lockdown of Cayo District and Additional Nationwide Measures 

Belmopan. April 6, 2020. 6:15 p.m. 

This evening during a live address, the Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced additional measures including a 14-day lockdown for the Cayo District. These measures will go into effect at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Further details on these additional measures will be forthcoming as soon as the statutory instrument is signed.

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow Announces Closure of Borders to Nationals

My Fellow Belizeans,

Earlier today, the Ministry of Health’s leadership team publicly announced the worrying news of test results having this morning   confirmed Belize’s fourth case of COVID-19.

The infected person is from the Cayo District, but up until about 11 days ago, had been traveling to and from Belize City where he worked. He is in isolation at the Western Regional Hospital and the DHS and his team have already commenced their mapping and tracing exercise. Indeed, swabbing of contacts as a prelude to testing has already started; and the exercise includes coverage of the medical professionals involved in the treatment of the patient.

In view of all this, my message today is for a two-fold purpose.

It is clear now that the State of Emergency declaration and the shuttering of the country came not a moment too soon. Still, there are people insisting that we are overreacting in promoting some of the draconian measures contained in the revised statutory instrument signed last night by His Excellency the Governor General. I hope that this fourth case will help to persuade them of the absolute gravity of the situation.

Accordingly, I also appeal to everyone not to try to beat the system. Stop trying — and here I pitch my petition to business owners and individuals — stop trying to find workarounds or opt-outs of the restrictions that force you to close and that limit your activities. I repeat that your movements must only be purpose-driven, confined to the reasons clearly listed in the Emergency Regulations.

Travel across district lines is curtailed, and Easter is cancelled except, of course, as an opportunity for prayer, reflection, and virtual attendance at the religious services that our churches will live stream.

You all know that our first two cases, one of which led to the infection of a third person, were imported. This fourth one seemingly was not. It, therefore, makes crystal clear the urgency of the heightened vigilance and protective measures that the State of Emergency is designed to achieve. And there is yet more to be done. In the result, I will now, after a word of explanation, announce an additional ramp-up to our Emergency Regulations.

Some days ago, we notified of our decision to place all Belizeans entering or re-entering Belize, under a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Since that time around 19 Belizeans are now confined in Corozal Town at two facilities. Yet, they keep on coming. This is a stark reminder that our first two cases were brought in from L.A. and New York. The situation of Belizeans that have been in the U.S. and Mexico simply returning to the country willy nilly, cannot be allowed to continue. It leaves the door wide open to importation of the virus and this can upend all our war efforts against COVID-19.

As a consequence, and after obtaining the unanimous support of the National Oversight Committee, the Government of Belize has decided that our borders are now to be closed even to Belizeans seeking to enter the country. Except in the case of those that are returning from travel for urgent medical attention or some other emergency purpose, no Belizean currently abroad can return to Belize. This prohibition will, in the first instance, last for the duration of the State of Emergency; and it will begin at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, April 5th.

It is, I readily admit, an extreme move. There is, however, no doubt that it has become necessary as we do everything to head off the swamping of our health system and the serious loss of life that the proliferation of the virus would entail. I, therefore, ask all Belizeans, and particularly those in the diaspora, for their understanding. This is the fight of our lives and I deliberately use the metaphor when I say that Belize must absolutely be placed on a war footing.

Our new decision is, as we have checked and double-checked, entirely legal and grounded in the powers contained in the Constitution of the country and under the Governor General’s Emergency Proclamation. We shall therefore proceed and for the next 30 days our position is irreversible. That, however, is not all.

The circumstances of the Cayo case make clear that the danger of extensive human-to-human transmission is now upon us. I, therefore, reserve the right to come back to you next week to announce even more stringent shutdown directives.

Some businesses that escaped first round closure might find themselves included in a second round. Naturally, this would only happen after the National Oversight Committee meeting on Monday and consultation with Cabinet.

I close by sharing some good news on the economic front. The application forms for those that have lost their jobs and are to be provided GOB relief are now available. In fact, there has already been a first rush of applications. The verification process is underway, and people should be seeing their money in the banks within two or so business days.

Finally, OFID has confirmed its agreement to the reprogramming of 10 million Belize dollars from the infrastructure component of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project. That money will now be used to augment our cash to the people program. Additionally, OFID is fast tracking approval for a new Belize loan in the amount of 20 million dollars. When all of this is placed in the pool of funds to come from the World Bank and the IDB, we are well on our way in the effort to leave no one behind in the exercise to cover comprehensively our unemployed and those struggling to feed themselves and their families.

As always, then, together we do our best and together we shall prevail.

Venceremos,

And God bless Belize.

 

The prime minister, Dean Barrow, has announced a national state of emergency for the entire country of Belize. The prime minister’s statement can be downloaded from  the following link.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dafx22m1y4lfx7j/Pm%20Adress%20March%2030%202020.mp4?dl=0

Belize ministry of health confirms third case of COVID-19

26 March – The Ministry of Health has completed a further screening of laboratory tests for COVID-19 and nine additional tests were done today, March 29th, on samples from across the country. Through that screening process, a third confirmed case of COVID-19 has been identified.

The case is that of a 38-year-old Belizean male with travel history to New York. He arrived in Belize on March 20th, and went immediately into self-isolation.  The patient started to show minor signs and symptoms on March 25th, for which he sought medical guidance on March 27th and was swabbed on that day. The confirmatory test was completed today.  This is also an imported case.

The patient remains in self-isolation with minimal symptoms and is stable.

The surveillance team of the Ministry of Health has started a mapping exercise of this patient and any potential contacts.

The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow will be making a statement on Monday, March 30th, on new measures to be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

 

Government of Belize Enacts Quarantine Order for Entire Country

Belmopan. March 26, 2020. The Government of Belize, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, and in an effort to mitigate the negative impacts that could result from a potential community spread of the deadly virus enacted Statutory Instrument Number 38 of 2020 on March 25, 2020.

This Order made by the Quarantine Authority of Belize, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by section 6 of the Quarantine Act, Chapter 41 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011, outlines a set of immediate measures to be implemented by the Government that are deemed as necessary to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This Order shall apply to the country of Belize with the exception of Ambergris Caye, which is governed by the Belize Constitution (Emergency Powers) (Ambergris Caye) Regulations, 2020, provided however that on the expiration of the period of emergency pursuant to the Proclamation declaring a state of public emergency in Ambergris Caye, this Order shall apply to the entire country of Belize.

These measures, referred to generally as the QUARANTINE (COVID 19 EMERGENCY MEASURES) ORDER, 2020 include the following:

  1. Limitation of gatherings of ten persons or less

Subject to the provisions of this Order, no person shall gather in numbers of more than ten persons at a time, anywhere in Belize, whether in any public place, public space or on private property provided that a gathering of ten or more persons on private property is allowed where persons are residents of that property.   Except for residents of private property, persons in a gathering of ten persons or less shall maintain a distance of no less than three feet between each person.

Social distancing.

For the purposes of this Order, every person shall practice social distancing.

  1. Transportation.
  • Notwithstanding the restriction and limitation on public gathering, the provision of public transportation by bus is limited to the seating capacity of the bus.
  • Every bus operator arriving at a terminal in Belize shall park the bus, instruct the passengers to disembark and oversee the sanitization of the bus by personnel on site at the terminal.
  • Prior to boarding any bus at a terminal, every passenger shall wash and sanitize his hands at the conveniences provided at the terminal.
  1. Closure of businesses.

The following establishments shall close until further notice­–

    • casinos and gaming establishments;
    • spas, beauty salons and barber shops;
    • gymnasiums (gyms), sporting complexes;
    • discotheques, bars, rum shops and night clubs;
    • restaurants, saloons, diners, and other similar establishments, provided that restaurants, saloons diners and other similar establishments may operate to offer take out services only;
    • any other establishment or business designated by the Quarantine Authority by Notice published in the Gazette.
  1. Social distancing protocols.

Every business establishment allowed under this Order to operate shall­:

  • ensure that all customers and staff maintain physical distancing of no less than three feet (3ft.) in or outside their business;
  • determine the number of persons that may be permitted in the establishment at any one time;
  • within twenty-four hours of the commencement of this Order, place distance markers three feet apart, indicating where each customer must stand on a line at a check out point;
  • within twenty-four hours of the commencement of this Order, place distance markers three feet apart on the outside of the establishment, indicating where customers must stand while waiting to enter the establishment.
  1. Restriction on social activities.

No person shall host nor attend–

  • a private party which includes any person from outside of the immediate household of the house occupant;
  • a recreational or competitive sporting event;
  • a wedding which hosts ten or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer;
  • a banquet, ball or reception;
  • any social event;
  • any other ceremony of public worship in any facility or public place which involves the participation of any member of the general public or a congregation;
  • a funeral, except ten members of the immediate family and at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff; or
  • a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organization.
  1. Closure of markets and other public places

In the interest of public health and safety, the Quarantine Authority may by Notice published in the Gazette, declare the closure of any market or other public place.

  1. Reporting of suspected COVID 19 to Ministry of Health

A person who develops flu-like symptoms and who reasonably suspects he may have had contact with someone who has travelled to a country affected by COVID 19 or is infected with COVID 19­

  • shall immediately inform the Ministry with responsibility for health; and
  • go into self-isolation in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry responsible for health.
  • Every person, upon entry into Belize from any port of entry, shall (1) immediately inform the Ministry with responsibility for health of their entry into Belize; and (2) go into self-isolation in accordance with the guidelines of the Ministry with responsibility for health.
  1. Employers to grant permission
  • An employer shall have a duty if satisfied that an employee is able to discharge the duties of that employee from the employee’s place of residence, to grant the employee permission to do so without imposing any adverse consequences to the employee in respect thereof.
  • An employee whose assigned tasks can only be discharged at the place of employment is required to attend for work at that place unless otherwise permitted by the employer as a part of the employer’s measures to combat the risk of transmission of the COVID 19 at the place of employment.  The grant of permission to an employee under this paragraph shall not count against the leave entitlements of that employee unless otherwise agreed between the employer and the employee.
  1. Offence and Penalty

A person who contravenes or incites a person to contravene any provision of this Order, commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months or to both fine and imprisonment.

  1. Duration of order

The Order shall be in valid until revoked by the Quarantine Authority.

Anyone having any questions regarding this Order, may contact the Ministry of Health in Belmopan at 0-800-MOH-Care, or visit covid19.bz for more information.


COVID-19 Test Samples

Belmopan, March 25, 2020. The Ministry hereby provides a report on an initial mapping exercise in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The mapping exercise allowed the Ministry to test seven persons who were the immediate contacts of the index case. One immediate contact from those individuals resulted as a positive case. The patient is stable and has no signs or symptoms as of today. All other samples are negative. To date, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize.

In addition, five other samples which were collected from two other districts all tested negative. As part of the ongoing enhanced surveillance, further tests which were collected today, March 25th, in San Pedro and other districts will be processed at the lab later today. The Ministry of Health will continue its enhanced public surveillance across the country.

The public is advised that the Central Medical Laboratory in Belize City is the only laboratory certified to test for COVID-19. Therefore, the public is urged to disregard and avoid sharing all unconfirmed, misleading and/or false information about COVID-19 cases. The Ministry will continue to provide accurate information to the public in a timely fashion

Additional Measures Following the Announcement of First Case of COVID-19 in Belize

Belmopan. March 23, 2020. The Government of Belize continues to make decisions based on science, facts, and lessons learned from other countries for the safety and well-being of all citizens.

Coming out of the COVID-19 National Oversight Committee meeting held today, March 23rd, the following additional measures are going into effect:

  1. A state of emergency has been declared for Ambergris Caye for 72 hours to allow the Ministry of Health to conduct the proper mapping and tracing of contacts following the announcement of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Therefore, no person will be allowed to leave or enter Ambergris Caye during this time. Unauthorized vessels will be banned from leaving or arriving to the island.
  2. With immediate effect, all bars, clubs, lounges, and casinos countrywide will be closed.
  3. Restaurants will be closed for dining-in effective Wednesday, March 25th at 11:59 p.m. Thereafter, only take-out services will be allowed.
  4. A press conference will be held on Wednesday, March 25th to present economic relief measures in order to ease the burden on Belizeans who are being affected by this crisis.

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge to our way of life as Belizeans; however, we must all do our part to ensure our safety and the safety of others. The Government continues to emphasize the best practices to avoid the spread of COVID-19:

  • Practice social distancing by staying home and avoiding large crowds.
  • Wash hands regularly with soap and running water for 20 seconds.
  • When coughing or sneezing, cover the mouth in the inside of elbows or inside a tissue to be disposed of immediately.
  • Avoid close contact with persons who have flu-like symptoms.
  • Avoid sharing personal items and disinfect common surfaces.
  • If you have travelled to areas where COVID-19 is circulating and you are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.

The Government advises the public to be guided by facts. To stay informed and updated on the evolving COVID-19 situation, follow the Facebook pages of the Ministry of Health, the Office of the Director of Health Services, and the Government Press Office. Updates can also be viewed at www.pressoffice.gov.bz. The dedicated hotline is 0-800-MOH-CARE (0-800-664-2273). Queries can be emailed to [email protected].

Ministry of Health Announces First Case of COVID-19

Belmopan. March 23, 2020. The Ministry of Health announces the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Belize. The patient is a 38-year-old female, Belizean national who resides in San Pedro.

The patient arrived in Belize on Thursday, March 19th, and sought medical attention at a private health facility with symptoms on Friday, March 20th. Her recent travel history shows she travelled from Los Angeles, California and transited through Texas. Based on this travel history and symptoms she exhibited, Belize’s health system was alerted and due process and protocol started. All necessary precautions were taken on the Ministry’s end.

The sample was processed for other flu viruses and an initial screening for COVID-19 was carried out at the same time. It was confirmed as positive for COVID-19 at approximately 10:45 p.m. on Sunday, March 22nd.

The patient’s infection seems to be travel-related and the necessary steps are being taken to contain community spread. The initial measures include:

  • Dispatch of two health teams to San Pedro to continue with the mapping exercise of all potential contacts;
  • The timely identification and contact tracing for all potentially exposed persons; and
  • Shifting of health tasks at the San Pedro Polyclinic.

In addition to the restrictions already implemented, the Government of Belize will now scale-up restrictions and recommendations for residents/non-residents of the island of San Pedro to prevent community spread.

In accordance with international standards, the Ministry of Health will proceed to notify the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization through the International Health Regulations platform.

At this time, the surveillance team is still conducting investigations with the patient to determine the level of contact she may have had with other individuals. Those persons may now be isolated, tested and closely monitored for 14 days, and it may include mandatory quarantine.

The Ministry continues to investigate and report on any suspected cases. There is ongoing monitoring of Belize’s points of entry, and the reviewing and adjusting of methods or protocols to further strengthen prevention and precaution methods, insisting on self-isolation methods and mandatory quarantine as the cases may require.

The public is hereby advised to remain calm and to continue to follow all the necessary prevention messages. Continue to wash hands frequently with soap and clean water, cover the mouth when coughing and sneezing, and to avoid close contact with those who are ill. All persons having flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home, self-isolate, and call the hotline at 0-800-MOH-CARE for further guidance.

Remarks by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister At Press Conference on COVID-19 – March 12, 2020

The main priority of the Government of Belize is the safety and wellbeing of the citizenry.  As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Belize but this is an ever-evolving situation. The public health, social and economic ramifications are such that absolute focus and the greatest concentration of effort are required to grapple with them. Belize is therefore preparing for all scenarios and being guided by the lessons and best practices coming to us everyday from our own professionals and from the experiences of countries regionally and globally.

The Cabinet convened a special meeting yesterday to address COVID-19.  Coming out of that meeting, Cabinet confirmed the establishment of a COVID-19 Task Force and a COVID-19 National Oversight Committee.  I have asked the Leader of the Opposition, and he has accepted, to co-chair with me the National Oversight Committee. Apart from Government and Opposition, the Committee will be made up of representatives from the Belize Council of Churches, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize National Network of NGOs and the Belize Social Security Board. The NTUCB has also been invited to name a representative but has not yet responded.

The purpose of this Committee is to provide ultimate overall supervision of Belize’s efforts to deal with COVID-19.  The day to day public health response will, of course, be the principal responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Task Force and you will shortly hear extensively from the DHS in this regard. Accordingly, while the National Oversight Committee in its efforts at superintendency will look at everything, it will especially zero in on the economic aspects of the crisis. Thus, at our first meeting scheduled for this coming Monday, we will hear from the Governor of the Central Bank, the Financial Secretary, and the CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development. They, together with SSB, will help the committee map out the necessary response to deal with the impacts of the crisis on employees, employers and all sectors of the Belize economy.  Matters we will be looking at include: emergency aid to workers; a possible tax payment extension; a supplementary allocation for Corona-related outlays; duty free importation of essential supplies; a moratorium on loan repayments at banks and credit unions; and post-Corona stimulus by even more accelerated capital spending, salary advances etc.

The second entity we are creating is the COVID-19 Task Force.  That will be chaired by Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services. It will include mainly representatives from the frontline Government and quasi-government agencies. But all the Social Partners are being asked to participate as well in this committee. We are also seeking expert assistance for the committee, to come from both locals not in the public service and from foreign Governments willing to help. We have in particular reached out to our Cuban friends and will seek from them one or more public health experts to join their medical brigade already in our country. Taiwan seems to have had great success in dealing with this crisis so we will also be looking to borrow some of their officials. Locally, persons such as Laura Longsworth, Head of the National AIDS committee, retired Belizean Dr Michael Vernon who worked in the US with the CDC, and the heads of agencies like the Diabetes Association can also be pressed into service.  I need to make clear that while this Task Force is now being expanded and formalized, the Ministry of Health has had its own working group operational since January 2020. Dr Manzanero will also say more about this and speak to all that has already been done and is being done. The newly named and beefed up Task Force will meet weekly or as often as may be needed.

I also need to point out that as the key implementing agency the Ministry of Health already has in place a COVID-19 plan. The Task Force will refine and further develop this plan as we go along; but one of the elements already agreed on is a communications strategy to ensure the delivery to the public of accurate, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Internationally, COVID-19 is constantly evolving. Thus, the Government is also working with our external partners to coordinate responses and to keep updated on the latest information and best practices. We will continue to do everything in the effort to keep Belizeans safe. In this context we have to be prepared at any moment to respond properly as the threat evolves. Accordingly decisions have to be taken on the following:

Whether or not to allow cruise ships to enter;

Whether or not to disallow large gatherings;

Whether or not to close schools;

Whether or not to ban air travel;

Whether or not to restrict freedom of entry at our land borders;

These are not easy decisions to make given the obvious and astronomical impact they would have on us and the economy, especially tourism. But nothing is more important than preserving the health of our people; nothing is more important than saving Belizean lives. I did not want to announce any such decision today without putting our country, as well as those that visit and service Belize, on notice. But I advise now that immediately after this press conference I will be meeting with the health team and speaking to the Leader of the Opposition. I will, of course, also be talking to tourism and business stakeholders.

Shortly thereafter I would expect to announce when, not if, any or all of the cited measures will go into effect.

Meantime, we want immediately to discourage all non-essential travel and prescribe the start of social distancing.

I want to close on a note of reassurance. I wish not to be facile, not to be simplistic because I cannot underestimate the looming danger. But neither can I sell short our ability to get through this. At a time like this Government is called upon to be the nation’s guardian; and each of us is called upon to be the other’s keeper. It is together, therefore, that we face this crisis; it is together that we will address this crisis; and it is together that we will overcome this crisis.

Belize will emerge, Belize will rebound, God bless Belize! Thank you.

BVI on Coronavirus

Government website: https://bvi.gov.vg/covid-19

 

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone has confirmed that there are no new cases of COVID-19 in the British Virgin Islands.

During his update on April 29, Honourable Malone stated that over the course of the week, 27 new samples were tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and all results were negative. The negative results include the 10 recent samples tested that were reported on April 25. The BVI’s epidemiological summary as of April 29 is as follows:

  • 120 total tested
  • 114 tested negative
  • 6 tested positive
  • 3 recoveries
  • 1 death
  • 2 active cases
  • 1 hospitalised
  • 9 new pending results

As of April 29, the Caribbean Region has confirmed 11,170 cases with 540 deaths and 2,508 recoveries. The World Health Organization reports 3,018,952 confirmed cases globally and 207,973 deaths. The Ministry of Health and Social Development’s epidemiological unit continues an aggressive contact tracing strategy in accordance with World Health Organization technical guidance.

Honourable Malone further stated that the British Virgin Islands Health Services Authority expects to receive additional supplies during the course of this week that will enable the Territory to increase testing for the virus.

“It is through extensive testing that we will be able to detect and contain any remaining cases of COVID-19, thereby minimising the risk of transmission in the Territory,” the minister said.

Honourable Malone added, “Together with the excellent work of our dedicated surveillance and contact tracing team, I am extremely pleased to witness the ongoing expansion and enhancements of healthcare infrastructure, technology, and services to meet the new demands of COVID-19 prevention, detection, treatment and care.”

Persons who have recently travelled or who may have come in contact with a possible case or contact of a case of COVID-19 and show any symptoms such as a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache or recent loss of taste or smell should stay home and seek medical advice early by contacting the medical hotline at 852-7650.

Premier Andew A. Fahie Statement On the FIRST CASE OF Coronavirus Disease COVID-19
March 25, 2020

Good day and God’s blessing to all.

Thank you for joining us today for what is an important development with the Coronavirus Disease COVID-19. I wish to officially announce that the British Virgin Islands today has confirmed its first (two) imported cases of Coronavirus Disease COVID-19. We received the information this morning and we were taking the time to confirm the details surrounding the cases and we needed to ensure that the patients were notified.

I will share with you the information we have available now, and additional information as soon as it becomes available. One patient is a 56-year-old male resident who had travelled recently from Europe exhibiting mild symptoms. The male patient arrived on Tortola from the Terrance B. Lettsome Airport on March 15. Because of his travel history and symptoms, this patient contacted the medical hotline on March 16 and was tested on that day and has been in quarantine at his home since then.

Patient B is also a 32-year-old male resident who had travelled recently from New York, USA and came in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 8. The patient arrived on island on March 10. He was notified on March 15 of him coming into contact with a positive case and contacted the Medical Hotline on the same day. He was tested on March 16 and remained in quarantine at his home since then. Both cases are unrelated.

The samples were collected and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), where laboratory tests confirmed positive results today on March 25. The two patients and their close contacts have already been informed are under mandatory quarantine at home. The two patients infection were travel-related.

However, the Ministry of Health and Social Development’s epidemiological unit is taking the necessary steps to prevent the risk of community spread. You will hear more from the Minister of Health on those specific measures. This is not the time for anyone to fear. Instead, let us continue to take every precautionary measure to prevent the virus from spreading. Practice social distancing. Wash and sanitize hands regularly. Avoid touching the face. Cover your mouth when you cough. If you feel sick, do not go to the doctor.

Call the medical hotline at 852-7650, so that you can get the appropriate treatment and to protect others. Vigilance is very important. We all have an individual responsibility to do not become complacent. We have to now protect each other.

People of the Virgin Islands, we must continue to do your part. Each of you must ‘keep you safe’, so that everyone else can be safe.

I want to reiterate that your Government has been and continue to be fully transparent with you in this matter of protecting your health, safety and welfare, and that of your loved ones. We have been providing regular updates on all relevant information. We are working round the clock because this is a fluid situation and we know you are concerned, but now is the time for all of us to remain calm. There is no need to feel ashamed or to stigmatise anyone who gets tested. We have to look out for each other, for in doing so we are looking out for ourselves.

We can and we will successfully overcome the challenges of this time. Our God is with us and he has seen us through many challenges. Let us continue to pray and to take the precautions. Let us continue to unite in the face of adversity, and we will prevail. Let us continue to do our part so that all would be well.
May God continue to watch over His Virgin Islands people.

The British Virgin Islands Places Moratorium on Cruise Ships for Next 30 Days to Protect Against COVID-19

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, March 16, 2020 – On March 14th, citing the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, the Government of the Virgin Islands announced the immediate closure of the Tortola cruise port, allowing no cruise ships to call on the territory for a 30 day period in an effort to protect the Territory from potential contamination. At present there are no confirmed cases in the islands.

Also, the number of international ports of entry into the British Virgin Islands (BVI) have been limited to facilitate the effective screening of passengers. The three ports that remain open are Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, Road Town and West End Ferry Terminals, and one cargo port of entry – Port Purcell. The entry of passengers and crew members who have traveled to, from or through COVID- 19 affected countries as specified in a list of countries of special interest within a period of 14 days or less, will not be allowed. Additionally, the entry of passengers and crew members who have traveled to, from or through COVID-19 affected countries classified as a high-risk country within a period of 14 days or less immediately preceding their arrival in the territory, will be subject to advanced screening procedures and may be quarantined for a period of up to 14 days based on the outcome of the risk assessment.

Locally, any mass gatherings or festivals that were scheduled to take place in the BVI during the next month will be postponed until further notice. This includes the 2020 BVI Spring Regatta, scheduled for March 30 – April 5, and the Virgin Gorda Easter Festival scheduled for April 11-13.

“After extensive consideration, the British Virgin Islands made the prudent decision to put stringent measures in place to temporarily enhance the protocols for entry into the Territory until April 13,” said Honourable Andrew A. Fahie, Premier, Minister of Finance & Minister responsible for Tourism. “It is imperative that we prioritize our limited resources to safeguard our residents and our guests. Tourism is our mainstay and it is important that we take measures to ensure our long-term sustainability.”

Premier Fahie continued, “Our tourism industry has faced many crises before, from natural disasters to epidemics, and we have always come out strong on the other side. After much anticipation, we are at the start of a big celebratory year as many of our beloved resort products are finally reopening following extensive rebuilding. We also expect this summer to be busy in the BVI with rerouting of cruises and airline service in and out of the Caribbean.”

The public is reminded to take all necessary precautions against contracting the coronavirus. The risk can be reduced by implementing personal protective measures, such as frequent hand washing, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses.
For more information visit https://bvi.gov.vg/covid-19 .

About the British Virgin Islands
Known as a treasured destination rich in undiscovered experiences, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is an alluring archipelago comprising 60 islands and cays located 80 kilometers (60 miles) east of Puerto Rico, in the northwestern region of the Caribbean Sea. The main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke have attracted travelers globally with their cultural Caribbean authenticity. Located in Tortola, Road Town is the BVI’s capital. Ranked #1 Best Place to Visit in the Caribbean by U.S. News for three consecutive years in 2017, 2018 and 2019, the BVI is where nature’s best secrets are kept with an abundance of pristine beaches, azure seas, towering sage mountains and burnt-orange sunsets. It’s no wonder the BVI’s Virgin Gorda and Jost Van Dyke were featured on the “Top Islands in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas” list in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2017 and 2018. Despite its status as a United Kingdom territory, the BVI uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency. For more information please visit www.bvitourism.com.

Media Contacts
Alexis Whitley, NJF /[email protected] /(646) 237-4526

Keith Dawson, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission
[email protected] / (284) 494-3134

Cayman Islands on Coronavirus

Government website https://www.exploregov.ky/coronavirus

Date: Wednesday, 20 May 2020; Issued by: Ministry of Health

COVID-19 Testing Update

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Lee, reports a further 494 COVID-19 tests which have been completed over the last 24 hours, all of which are negative.

Dr Lee feels that it is important to note, especially for regionally interested neighbours, that the Cayman Islands has had no new positive COVID-19 cases requiring clinical management since 27th April.

All the positive cases reported since then have been discovered through our wider screening programme and these people have not presented with any symptoms.

COVID-19 Update for Tuesday, 19 May 2020

  • Out of 1182 test results conducted over the public holiday weekend, 17 positive cases were reported today.
  • Two of the positive cases announced occurred in Cayman Brac and two were reported at HMP Northward.

Grand Cayman (GIS) – At the COVID-19 press conference today, Tuesday 19 May 2020, 17 positive cases were announced, out of 1182 results screened over the long weekend.

Cayman Islands leaders urged persons to remain cautious, practise social distancing, handwashing etiquette and wear a mask in enclosed, public spaces, in spite of the relaxing of restrictions which came into effect today on Grand Cayman.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee reported:

  • Out of 1182 test results conducted over the long weekend (1088 at HSA and 94 at Doctors Hospital), 17 positives from the screening programme were reported (including two cases in Cayman Brac and two at HMP Northward) and 1165 negatives.
  • With these numbers, the average positive rate is 1.44% (17 positives out of 1182 tests).  The highest the average positive rate has been in the past is 2.57%,
  • Screening of frontline health workers is complete and testing of other frontline workers, including a considerable number of supermarket workers, is well underway, including the majority of the prison having been tested; screening is now also underway for the construction industry.
  • Out of 111 positive cases so far, 3 have occurred in Cayman Brac, 12 are symptomatic, 43 are asymptomatic, no persons are currently in hospital and 55 persons have recovered.
  • The ‘flu clinic had 10 visits between 15 and 18 May and the ‘flu hotline had 62 calls but 52 were not related to symptoms, they were administrative calls, such as persons inquiring about test results.
  • HSA’s testing equipment will undergo a scheduled maintenance day on Thursday, 21 May.

 Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • The message today is that with 17 new positives, all being asymptomatic and discovered through enhanced testing, the real indication is that the virus is still very much about us and across the community although the prevalence is very low.  The need to physically distance yourself, wash your hands regularly and wear a mask in enclosed public spaces has not abated.
  • Government’s strategy regarding reopening the economy is being implemented in a controlled and managed way, so that the virus does not take off in the community making the measures we have implemented thus far redundant. We do not want the hard work and sacrifices that we’ve all contributed to so far, be in vain and so we proceed carefully and slowly.
  • Testing of the construction sector has started and will continue over the next two weeks. The NRA staff that were tested have restarted roadworks and good progress was made over the long weekend.
  • The economy is reopening, albeit slowly. We want this to be a success; we do not want to suffer the setbacks seen in other jurisdictions. For the foreseeable future, we will have to practise the new social behaviours adopted during the pandemic until a vaccine is found or the virus burns out.
  • We are not contemplating opening our borders until it’s safe to do so.
  • The Legislative Assembly will meet tomorrow (Wednesday, 20 May) to discuss a number of bills related to the financial services industry. If the session carries over into Thursday, the press briefing will be postponed until Friday 22 May.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • 17 cases over four days, with 1182 tests completed is a sign of outstanding work by those conducting the testing.
  • The Cayman Islands has tested 10% of the population, placing us eighth in global testing per head.
  • As we open up the economy, do not let your guard down. Stay home where possible.
  • Fast and effective work has been done by the Prison Director and his staff. Prison-wide screening ensures the wellbeing and safety of staff and inmates.
  • The evacuation flight to Manila, Philippines via London on Saturday, 23 May is now full.
  • Further flights to Miami will be arranged, but will not bring anyone back to the Cayman Islands as the Government Isolation facility is currently at capacity.
  • Progress is being made with Indian authorities to organise an evacuation flight. But no progress on Jamaica or Nicaragua flights at this stage.
  • One member of the UK logistics and assistance team tested weakly positive for COVID-19 before returning a negative result; out of an abundance of caution, the remaining team will stay in isolation for the next ten days.

 Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

  • The Ministry of Health has produced guidance with Public Health to ensure workplaces are safe for employees returning to work.
  • During the phased reopening of the economy, employers will be required to implement health and safety measures, including designating officers to implement and coordinate systems.
  • Employees who can continue to work from home should continue to do so, otherwise employers should implement measures like split shifts and staggered work hours.
  • Face masks and PPE must be worn as appropriate and necessary and good hand washing hygiene must be ensured.
  • The first priority must be a person’s health.

For the official Cayman Islands Government web portal, www.gov.ky:

Monday, 11 May 2020 COVID-19 Update

• 761 negative are reported today and three positive cases of which one is a contact with a known positive case.
• 4,187 cases are tested in the Cayman Islands so far.
• Two drive-through facilities are testing some 300 per day.
• The number of tests is targeted for 450 a day.
• Patience of the community towards reopening is continued to be sought.

Download full May 13 update.

HSA expands COVID testing capacity

The Health Services Authority has expanded their testing capacity for COVID-19 screenings with the opening of two drive through screening tents for frontline workers and expansion of their laboratory to increase the processing of samples in a day.

HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said she is pleased with how the drive through screening has gone since opening last week. “There are many logistics and steps in the process to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible.”

Upon arrival at the HSA’s drive through screening area, the whole process takes approximately 5 minutes.

HSA has also expanded physical laboratory space at the Cayman Islands Hospital, partnered with a private lab and has hired and trained additional laboratory staff in order to increase testing capacity. “It has been a tremendous effort from many persons to get us to this point, and we continue to look at ways to further increase testing capacity, said Yearwood. “These latest improvements and expansions are a significant step in the right direction to increase testing.”

Public Health is scheduling appointments with frontline workers for the foreseeable future while the testing efforts have ramped up. Phase 2 frontline workers and a percentage of construction workers are currently being scheduled for screenings.  HSA, Public Health and the Chief Medical Officer are working together to prioritise persons or business who are deemed essential frontline workers.

“There are thousands of individuals that are deemed frontline workers, so it will take a few weeks to get through the majority. We understand there is anxiety in the general population to be tested so we making all efforts to screen as many eligible persons as possible,” said Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health. “In addition to the drive through screening, members from Public Health are also conducting screenings on-site for larger businesses, which enables employees to be swabbed without having to leave the workplace.”

Persons who are screened for COVID-19 will receive results through the online MyHSA Patient Portal, which provides a secure method to accessing lab results. Public Health will continue to contact anyone who tests positive for COVID by phone. All persons screened will be provided a free patient portal account.

As the COVID pandemic is a national crisis, HSA is working collectively with the local private hospitals in an effort to screen as many essential workers as possible.

“We are currently working with Doctors Hospital by sending them various businesses to be screened in an effort to ensure they maximize their testing capacity,” said Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Medical Officer of Health. “Health City Cayman Islands will be an additional screening site for essential workers in the Eastern Districts.”

All screening facilities are by appointment only and businesses will be contacted by Public Health for specific appointment times.

COVID-19 Update for Friday, 8 May 2020

  • Out of 297 test results today, 296 were negative and one positive, who had no symptoms, no travel history or contact with COVID-19 patient or positive person.
  • The Cayman Islands’ ethos in the fight against COVID-19 continues to be that saving lives, especially those of the elderly, is more important than any other consideration.
  • Two field hospitals are set up to ensure adequate medical coverage of COVID-19 and other medical needs should this become necessary.
  • One minute silence held for late MLA, Mrs. Esterleen Ebanks.

Download full May 8 update.

Update on COVID-19 for Thursday 7 May 2020 

  • Seventy four negative and two positive test results reported.
  • Hard curfew Sunday lifted from Cayman Brac immediately and changes to soft curfew gazetted tonight.
  • Fishing and boating, with a maximum of two persons in one boat, are allowed outside of the 8pm-5am curfew period on Cayman Brac. Restrictions by last name are rescinded.
  • Police planning stringent enforcement of regulations this weekend.

View full update for May 7, 2020.

 

Update on COVID-19 for Tuesday, 5 May 2020

  • Little Cayman’s hard curfew has been lifted, with effect from this evening.
  • Three positive results reported today: one was a contact of a known positive person and two from the screening programme. 221 negatives were announced.
  • Two evacuation flights, to Costa Rica and Honduras will take place this Friday, 8 May.
  • Landscapers wishing to dispose of green waste at the landfill must be exempted by the competent authority.

Download full update May 5, 2020

  • 392 test results today, one positive from community transmission and 391negatives.
  • New COVID 19 regulations with a number of new additional essential services and personnel and changes to soft curfew come into effect from Monday, 4 May 2020.
  • Until then, existing hard and soft curfew measures are extended to continue until 5:00 am Monday when the new measures commence.
  • Number of essential services and personnel are to be expanded from Monday, 4 May 2020. These will, however, in the majority, have minimal contact with their service seekers by providing collection and/or delivery service of items and goods only.
  • All protocols and restrictions remain in place and have to be strictly followed to avoid penalties, if charged and convicted.
  • Money remittance facilities are now added to the essential service providers list.
  • Hours of operation of existing essential service are also being extended from Monday which is the start of Level 4 of COVID-19 response, which is a scaling down from the Level 5 that the Cayman Islands has been in since 24 March 2020.
  • Little Cayman will be out of hard curfews early next week and Cayman Brac later next week, subject to favourable test results
  • Government is sending 5,000 test kits to St. Lucia and in return getting much needed pipettes, vital tools in the testing procedure.

 Download full MAY 1, 2020 update

 

COVID-19 Update for Tuesday, 28 April 2020

  • Out of 187 latest test results received, 3 have tested positive. The positives respectively have a travel history, contact with a previous positive and one assumed as local transmission.
  • Any easing of restrictions will be in phases with two weeks between each phase during which testing will continue rigorously to ensure the present phase is not curtailed and the next phase can start.
  • Phase one is slated to commence on Monday, 4 May 2020 if test results this week are encouraging enough to allow for that to happen. Phase one is expected to allow for kerbside delivery of more goods.
  • Phase two of the reopening is scheduled for Monday, 18 May and will include reopening of sectors such as construction. Details for all are still being worked on.

Grand Cayman (GIS) – With the phased easing of the current regulations, Government is working out details for Phase One, while continuing rigorous testing to ensure reopening can happen as planned.

At the COVID-19 press conference today, Tuesday, 28 April 2020, after prayer by Pastor Dave Tayman, public sector leaders noted that even if the virus is contained, the Cayman Islands faces a long and hard economic recovery.

It was also announced that a total of 742 persons have either departed from the Cayman Islands, or are departing this week on scheduled flights to the UK, Miami, Canada and Cancun, Mexico.

Additionally, 198 Caymanians and Permanent Residents have returned to the Cayman Islands on the flights so far.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee reported:

  • Private sector companies that employ frontline personnel will be receiving emails from the Department of Commerce and Infrastructure with regards to testing of their staff.
  • Three positive cases out of 187 test results revealed. One of them has a travel history, one has had contact with a previous positive case and one is assumed to be through local contact.
  • Of the three positives, one is a health care worker at HSA, where patient and health care providers strictly maintain and use all required PPE protocol. Anyone sent home to recover after testing positive is monitored daily and under strict supervision. All are advised to call 911 early should they feel worse or become concerned about their condition.
  • Care and monitoring are tailored to individual cases.

Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said:

  • HSA continues to provide emergency and urgent care and is also now considering offering elective care.
  • The use of PPEs has been followed diligently for several weeks at HSA now. 

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • The positive results today underscore that the Cayman Islands cannot consider itself out of the woods yet, although it is trending in the right direction. The next few weeks are going to be critical.
  • With this trend, Government is planning for easing restrictions in phases from Monday, 4 May. While the Cayman Islands is doing well in the number of tests conducted, there are still not enough to make categorical statements about the virus’ prevalence in the community. Therefore prescribed protocols including physical distancing, frequent hand washing and proper respiratory etiquette should continue to be strictly maintained.
  • Problems accessing WORC’s phone 945-9672 are being addressed to ensure as the earliest that call queueing is reinstated. If people are unable to get through on  this number, they should text or WhatsApp WORC at 925-7199 for customer care assistance. This number is for messaging only. Additionally, further information can be obtained at www.WORC.ky.
  • The laws passed in the legislature last week – the National Pensions, Customs and Border Control, Labour, Immigration (Transition) and Traffic Laws — are all assented to by the Governor and are being gazetted today.
  • In response to concerns about the inability of some to reach their pension providers, the entities have informed that, barring one which has a portal problem, all are operating remotely and some 6,000 queries have been received and are being attended to. If problems persist, persons are asked to email [email protected] with details.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • The flight to Honduras that is confirmed for Monday, 4 May is completely sold out. A second flight is being worked on with details expected tomorrow, Wednesday, 29 April.
  • Further details about the flights to the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica are also expected and will be released.
  • The BA flight arriving later today will bring returning Caymanians and Permanent Residents as well as 12 UK security personnel, all of whom will face 14 days’ mandatory quarantine at government facilities.
  • Additionally, a team going on to the Turks and Caicos who arrive today, will be in strict isolation along with the BA crew until the flight departs tomorrow.
  • The rumour that the arriving BA flight was delayed to offload someone returning to the Cayman Islands after testing positive for COVID-19 is entirely untrue. A technical issue delayed the flight for 45 minutes before it took off for the Cayman Islands earlier today from London.
  • HE The Governor warned that the spreading of false information by rumours is “very negative” for all in the Islands.
  • Since 5 March, 408 persons have departed via one BA flight, two Miami flights and one Canada flight. This week 334 will be leaving via the one BA flight, two flights to Miami and one flight to Cancun, Mexico.
  • The cancelled flight to Nicaragua is being discussed with that country’s authorities with a view to organizing another flight as well as a flight to Colombia.
  • Governor issued a shout out to the staff of the Civil Aviation Authority for their help with these flights.
  • The Cayman Islands’ testing is very robust, with the staff doing the testing deserving kudos. 

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

  • A recent meeting among clinicians in the public and private sectors who are dealing with responding to the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the high quality of care being provided in the Cayman Islands.
  • Those seeking urgent care should visit the HSA acute care clinic which is open Monday to Saturday. Only true emergencies should go to the A&E unit. For all flu symptoms, persons should contact the flu hotline. Persons needing to go hospital are permitted to drive to and from the hospital.
  • Minister gave a shout out to all who have arrived in the Islands, and made positive impacts to taking the Cayman Islands forward, and also to Tilly’s Restaurant for providing meals to healthcare workers. 

From the Commissioner of Police:

  • Hard curfew begins daily at 7 pm and continues until 5 am. All, except those deemed essential staff, should operate under a strict lockdown during these hours. On Sundays, the lockdown is for the full 24 hours.
  • All protocols during soft curfew are also to be practised to avoid facing penalties. This means non-essential workers may only leave the house to run essential tasks approved in the Public Health Regulations.
  • All beaches remain off limits.

For the official Cayman Islands Government web portal, www.gov.ky.

Monday, 27 April 2020 COVID-19 Update

  • No positive results and 208 negative results are highlights today.
  • Total results reported since the start of the COVID-19 crisis reached 1,148 today.
  • People are requested to wear masks, if possible, when in public places such as supermarkets.
  • An evacuation flight to La Ceiba, Honduras is arranged for early next week.
  • Also flights to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are in negotiation.
  • Limited postal services will begin Wednesday.
  • Based on testing, easing of shelter in place restrictions are likely for Little Cayman and Cayman Brac in that order.

 

Grand Cayman (GIS) – Starting the week on an optimistic note, Cayman Islands leaders welcomed the “no positive” results announced today and noted that if similar results continue during the rest of this week, limited easing of the Shelter in Place provisions are possible in the near future.

At today’s press conference (Monday, 27 April 2020), prayers were led by Pastor D.A. Clarke of the Pastors Association.

Cayman’s leaders expect that with increased testing to gauge the spread of the disease in the community, all going well they would be able to take decisions in short order to relax some of the strict restrictions placed on the Cayman Islands community to combat COVID-19.

Government’s emphasis continues to be elimination of community transmissions and the success here will guide decisions on relaxing of the shelter in place restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee reported:

  • No positive results and 208 negative results were reported today.
  • The total positives remain at 70 which include 22 asymptomatic cases, five hospital admissions – three at Health Services Authority and two at Health City Cayman Islands, with none on ventilators and 10 fully recovered.
  • A total of 1,148 have been tested, including some screening samples.
  • A different approach can be adopted for the Sister Islands which have been in isolation with one positive case and where testing will be completed this week. Government may be able to relax restrictions on Little Cayman and Cayman Brac earlier than on Grand Cayman, if there is no evidence of COVID-19 on the Sister Islands.
  • Masks are valuable in prevention of COVID-19 when used in conjunction with other required protocol including washing hands and practising social distancing.
  • He requested persons to wear masks, if they can get hold of one, when moving about in public places.
  • While there is no current target for the number of tests to be conducted by the labs at Health Services Authority (HSA) and Doctors Hospital, they have the potential to do 1,000 a week.

Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • Premier hailed as “very good news” the 208 negative results received today but cautioned that “we cannot be carried away” by this information.
  • There are 500-600 samples in the testing process and if those revealed no positive results along with continued larger scale testing, there is reason to hope that the Cayman Islands do not have broad community transmission.
  • While individual positives are expected to crop up in results from broader testing, Cayman Islands will continue to work on elimination of the disease, as opposed to eradication, similar to New Zealand’s approach to the crisis.
  • Individual cases can be swiftly identified, then isolated and healthcare provided quickly to those in need so that there is no community transmission from further positives.
  • Globally, those who reopened too quickly have had to reinstate restrictive measures such as curfews. “We are determined not to let that happen here – and lose the gains from the past month of sacrifices.”
  • Government has a plan to reopen which will be discussed and reviewed in Caucus and then Cabinet to help determine the steps in loosening the restrictions.
  • If Little Cayman’s borders are kept closed and there is no case found there, the island can be declared COVID-19 free. Likewise, on Cayman Brac, though larger in population, it would be reasonably possible to reduce the risk of community spread.
  • On Grand Cayman, it is going to take longer. With shelter in place restrictions to expire on Friday, 1 May, if test results during the rest of the week are as encouraging as today’s, Government can make changes to the shelter in place restrictions now in place. An analysis is underway to determine which areas of activity and which groups in the community pose the least risk for major community transfer.
  • The postal service is reopening on a limited basis from Wednesday, 29 April, including opening of one post office location on each of the three islands as well as sorting of all mail received and delivery to individual post boxes in post offices.
  • It seems likely that the tourism industry will be closed for the rest of this year.
  • Regarding pensions payments, Premier McLaughlin said the law is set to come into effect in short order. Recipients, if approved, can expect to get their payments within 45 days of making their applications. Following applications made to pension providers by individuals seeing payments from their pension contributions , he said providers have to acknowledge receipt of the applications within seven days, decide on the application in 14 days after that and provide payments if approved, all within 45 days in total.
  • One of the first to be allowed to reopen, when restrictions are eased, would be pool cleaning companies.
  • Beach use restrictions are likely to continue in the immediate future.
  • He thanked Fosters for donating mobile phones to seniors in residential care so that they can contact their families.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • Early next week, a flight will depart to La Ceiba, Honduras.
  • He encouraged Caymanians in the Bay Islands who might wish to return to the Cayman Islands via the return La Ceiba flight but cannot reach La Ceiba to contact the www.emergencytravel.ky so that his office will have an idea of numbers and could dialogue with Honduran authorities.
  • Those travelling to La Ceiba should carry with them a doctor-provided certificate that they are COVID-19 free to be allowed to land in Honduras by that country’s authorities.
  • Further such flights, if there is a demand, could be attempted again. His office could help with diplomatic requirements to facilitate.
  • A small number of Caymanians and PR holders will arrive via the return flight from Honduras and they will go into the mandatory 14-day isolation at a government run facility.
  • A flight to Mexico is now scheduled for Friday, 1 May for Mexicans preapproved by the Mexican Government and Cayman Airways would contact them directly.
  • The BA airbridge flight Tuesday is now full. A number of those waiting to leave, including 40 Filipinos, will be leaving on the flight.
  • The flights to Miami, on 1 May, are also full.
  • A private charter to Canada which will allow for pets to travel is being organised by a private individual at a cost of 1,300 Canadian dollars each ticket. Details will be provided on the Governor’s social media posts.
  • Flights to Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic are expected to be announced for next week.
  • He thanked the Honorary Consuls, as well as all at Cayman Airways and the Airports Authority for their work in this regard.
  • Private sector organised funds which are expected to be announced might help those in need of financial assistance for accessing flights.
  • If there is further demand, further flights will be pursued. He encouraged all to use the online form to provide their details rather than on the phone.
  • He encouraged those wishing to leave in the coming days to email [email protected] to ensure the Governor’s Office is fully aware of the demand for future flights.

Minister for Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour said:

  • Minister gave a shout out to Dart Organisation for all their work during this time.
  • He announced a second Blood Bank now available at the Red Cross HQ on Huldah Avenue, which received its first donations last week. The facility is open on Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm. For appointments to donate blood, contact www.bloodbank.ky or call 244-2674. The primary Blood Bank unit is at the HSA. Those who have been sick recently cannot donate for two weeks.
  • He thanked Davenport Development for donating 7,000 masks for HSA.
  • He lauded the Second Chances programme that helps offenders to reintegrate into society and noted that two from the programme have been successfully integrated into the Department of Environmental Health staff and they are working well in their jobs.
  • He underscored DEH requirements to dispose of COVID 19 protection paraphernalia notably masks and gloves properly.
  • He also shouted out to children and students doing school work and helping their parents at home.

Update on COVID-19 for Wednesday, 22 April 2020

  • Eight negative results reported.
  • Evacuation flight to Miami planned for Friday, 1 May at 10.30 a.m.
  • Police Commissioner appeals for road safety rules to be obeyed and all road-users to be alert.
  • Minister Seymour marks fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day.
  • Tomorrow’s press briefing will not take place in the usual format, as LA will be in session.

 Grand Cayman (GIS) – There were eight negative results reported during today’s (22 April 2020) COVID-19 press briefing.

His Excellency the Governor announced a further evacuation flight to Miami will take place on Friday, 1 May and explained conversations were ongoing with four to five other regional governments regarding repatriations.

Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin stated that today’s in-person session of the Legislative Assembly had enabled, subject to approval by the Governor, a substantive virtual meeting to take place tomorrow.

Finally, the Health Minister marked the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day with a summary of initiatives underway to combat climate change in the Cayman Islands.

Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported:

  • 8 negative results reported; 150 samples are currently being processed at the time of the press briefing and 700 results are still pending. 80 of these are being prioritised, including approximately 50 who arrived on the British Airways flight and around 30 others for clinical reasons.
  • The number of persons previously reported symptomatic/asymptomatic remains the same, but those who have been suffering are all improving, including the inpatients.
  • Tomorrow at 2 p.m., in a recorded session on Government’s Facebook and Twitter channels, three clinicians from HSA, Health City and Doctors Hospital will discuss and answer media questions on COVID-19: how it presents and what to do in the event of a flare up. The session will be broadcast on CIGTV at 8 p.m. in the evening, following the Legislative Assembly meeting.

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Derek Byrne reported:

  • No significant issues of a policing nature overnight and crime remains stable.
  • 21 interceptions occurred on Cayman Brac overnight, with two breaches reported, who have both been warned for prosecution. On Grand Cayman overnight, 231 vehicles were intercepted and no-one was found in breach; separately two pedestrians and one cyclist were stopped by police and warned for prosecution for breach of curfew.
  • Since 6 a.m. today, three persons were found in breach of shelter in place rules (one was engaged in commercial activities without permission and two were out in a vehicle without lawful purpose); all three were issued with tickets.
  • Speeding trucks continue to cause issues; a serious accident occurred in the eastern districts this morning. The driver is expected to recover, but has sustained serious injuries.
  • Speeding has also been reported at Spotts Newlands, West Bay and on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. Commissioner asked people to please slow down to save lives.
  • All pedestrians and motorists should please exhibit courtesy on the roads, especially when close to the soft curfew’s end at dusk to protect people out exercising.
  • A reminder was issued that hard curfew returns at 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. tomorrow; exercise is permitted for 90 minutes between 5.15 a.m. and 6.45 p.m. Monday-Saturday.; beaches are still in hard lockdown until Friday, 1 May.
  • The RCIPS will now deliver a weekly/fortnightly update at the COVID-19 briefings. The Commissioner thanked His Excellency, the Premier and Minister for Health for their leadership during this time; the listening/viewing public for their support; communities across the Islands for their patience and understanding; the men and women of the RCIPS and colleagues at CBC, as well as the special constabulary and WORC who are working long hours to keep the Cayman Islands safe.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:

  • Proceedings in the Legislative Assembly amended the Standing Order of the House to allow, subject to approval by the Governor, for virtual meetings to take place in the Legislative Assembly.  The first of which will take place tomorrow and this will be broadcast live on CIGTV.

Amendments to the following Laws will be considered during this meeting, as previously announced: Traffic Law, National Pensions Law, Customs and Border Control Law and Labour Law.

In addition, the House will vote to appoint a new Deputy Speaker

  • Persons who have left the Islands before 1st February are not entitled to emergency withdrawal from their pension funds under the new amendments. Persons who are planning to leave the jurisdiction must arrange access to pension funds before departing.
  • The press conference scheduled for tomorrow will not take place as the LA will be in session. (See final bullet point from Dr Lee above.) 

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:

  • Eight negatives and expanded testing are reasons to be optimistic, but results should not be expected until Friday.
  • The low number of cases present in the Cayman Islands, with few persons in hospital and reporting to the flu clinic, is a sign that measures such as  social distancing, closing the borders and aggressive testing, tracing and isolating is working.
  • The UK is at the forefront of vaccine development; there is a reasonable chance it could be the first country to produce a vaccine.
  • Another evacuation flight to Miami will take place on Friday, 1 May at 10.30 a.m. Tickets can be booked directly with Cayman Airways on 949-2311; lines will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and booking opens tomorrow.
  • This flight will not bring anyone in from Miami as quarantine facilities are at capacity once those arriving from London have been received.
  • For passengers expecting to travel on the second British Airways air-bridge, the link to book is www.otairbridge.com/trips/london-repatriation.
  • Flight to London leaves on Wednesday, 29 April at 6.05 p.m., arriving into London Heathrow on Thursday, 30 April at 11.35 a.m. with a brief stop in the Turks and Caicos Islands to collect passengers that are returning to London.
  • Please call the Governor’s Office on 244-2407 if you wish to travel on this flight with a pet.
  • Passengers who are returning from London to Cayman, will be contacted by the London Office, with priority travellers being contacted in the first tranche, to provide flight booking and payment details. You will be contacted later today or tomorrow if you have not yet been contacted.
  • Additional evacuation flights are being organised as a matter of high priority; conversations are ongoing with at least four to five governments regionally.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:

  • He thanked Brasserie for providing lunch daily to Public Health staff, and also expressed gratitude to CIAA staff and their partners for their efforts during this time. He also reminded the public that Lands and Survey is open for business online.
  • He appealed to the banks in terms of access arrangements on behalf of customers from East End, North Side and Bodden Town and to provide provisions against inclement weather.
  • He celebrated the occasion of 50 years of Earth Day, where millions have joined forces to protect local and global environments while climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity.
  • He thanked groups from both the private and public sector like the DOE, DEH, National Trust, Botanic Park, Plastic Free Cayman and the Chamber of Commerce for their efforts in this space.

He announced recycling processing will begin again after generator issues have been resolved and power restored. The DEH has still been collecting recyclables while processing has been temporarily unavailable.

Update on COVID-19 for Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Grand Cayman (GIS) – There were no results reported during today’s (21 April 2020) COVID-19 press briefing.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee detailed who is being included in the first wave of increased testing. Meanwhile, His Excellency the Governor provided more details about the arriving military, civilian and logistics support team from the UK next week.
Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin laid out arrangements for this week’s meeting of the Legislative Assembly and addressed Caymanians living overseas. Next, the Health Minister provided an update on newly commissioned equipment at Cayman Islands’ hospitals.
All the panellists wished Ms Ethel Ebanks a happy 102nd birthday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr John Lee reported:
• No new routine results today and the health status of persons reported yesterday continues to be the same.
• Machines at the Health Services Authority are undergoing scheduled maintenance and quality checks.
• The expanded testing of frontline workers has begun. The first wave of this testing includes: all current hospital admissions; all current inpatients; all frontline healthcare staff; anyone presenting with respiratory symptoms or on the recommendation of a healthcare professional; prisoners and frontline prison staff.
• The expanded testing programme will increase in due course.Flu hotline calls continue to decrease: there were 16 calls yesterday and six attendees at the flu clinic.
• He estimates 1,000 cases will be tested in the first fortnight of ramped up testing procedures

Commissioner of Police, Mr. Derek Byrne reported:
• No significant issues of a policing nature overnight.
• Ten interceptions occurred on Cayman Brac overnight, with no breaches reported. On Grand Cayman overnight, 341 vehicles were intercepted and one person was found in breach and warned for prosecution; since 6am today, there has been considerable traffic. One person was found in breach of shelter in place rules and was issued with a ticket.
• A medevac successfully took place from Little Cayman, but this was not COVID-19 related.
• A reminder was issued that hard curfew returns at 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. tomorrow; exercise is permitted between 5:15 a.m. and 6:45 p.m.; beaches are still in hard lockdown.
• Business owners with private security arrangements in place should use those systems to check in on their premises. Those owners without private security should contact the police to arrange checks.
• UK military delegation will work collaboratively with RCIPS when they arrive, as per normal pre-hurricane season procedures.

Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin said:
• The Legislative Assembly is preparing for the meeting which will begin tomorrow and continues on Thursday.
• Tomorrow’s meeting is structured to ensure compliance with social distancing: six elected members of government will be present, plus the Attorney General and Leader of the Opposition. One Opposition Member and two independent Members will also be attending and one Member of the Opposition will take the Chair.
• Tomorrow’s meeting will serve to amend standing orders, so a substantive meeting of the House can take place electronically on Thursday in order to elect a Deputy Speaker, change membership of the Business Committee and make amendments to legislation, as previously announced.
• Caymanians residing overseas were also addressed and reminded that Government is concerned about them and their welfare.
• CIGO-UK was thanked for their work, assisting Caymanians in the UK and in Europe. Examples include weekly Zoom calls, as well as interactive culinary Zoom calls offering local fare with some ingredients creatively replaced.
• He wished Ms Ethel Ebanks, many happy returns on her 102nd birthday today. He reiterated that she is well loved, and it is for people like her we must stay home and keep the community safe. He alluded to a proverb that suggests “anytime an elder dies, a library burns down” and reminded us that all lives are equally precious and valuable.

His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper said:
• The second British Airways air-bridge flight will arrive on Tuesday, 28 April and depart on Wednesday, 29 April at 6.05 p.m., with a brief stop in the Turks and Caicos Islands to collect passengers that are returning to London.
• The flight will bring extraction kits and swabs, as well as a number of Caymanians returning to the Islands.
• All those who have registered via the travel hotline will be sent a link to book tickets.
• Pets will be allowed to travel and details will be provided to those who have registered.
• As reported yesterday, the flight will also transport a small team from the UK, similar to one already deployed in TCI.
• The law and order situation is stable and the Governor has confidence in the Cayman Islands’ capacity to manage risks. But the present situation is unprecedented; this small military, civilian and logistics team will provide support, expertise and resources, to ensure we can manage risks such as curfew handling, the prison, economic and social factors.
• The team will also assist in hurricane preparedness, working with Hazard Management Cayman Islands, and coordinating with other UK assets. It will consist of medical and security planners alongside logisticians.
• This deployment is a strong signal of UK support for the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Islands defence regiment will work together closely with the new arrivals.
• Her Majesty the Queen was also wished a happy birthday.

Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said:
• He implored persons not to withdraw funds from private pensions, if it is not necessary. He listed persons such as the unemployed, or those who work in tourism, as categories with a genuine need to access their pensions.
• He applauded the ramped up testing measures.
• Laboratories in the Cayman Islands are equipped with four PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machines: three at HSA, including one new about to be commissioned, and one at Doctors’ Hospital. They also have six biosafety cabinets able to test for COVID-19 across the three hospitals, two of which are new and soon to be commissioned.
• Masks have been given to many frontline staff, including police and prison officers. The goal is for the Red Cross to make 4,000 masks, and of this total 350 were already distributed last week. Dr Lee and Red Cross volunteers were thanked for supporting this initiative.
• Masks are an added layer of protection but six-feet social distancing is still necessary. Staying at home remains the best way of protecting yourself.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020 COVID 19 Updates

  • One positive test result potentially confirming community spread. All precautionary protocols, including isolation of loved ones and persons who came into contact with the person, are now in effect.
  • A mandatory curfew comes into effect tonight Tuesday 24th March from 7:00 pm to 5:00 am.  Non-essential persons flouting the curfew will be punished to the full extent of the Police Law.
  • All public transport is shut down from today. Private taxis will continue with no more than two passengers at any one time so that each passenger is able to distance himself or herself as far as possible from the other passenger and the driver.

Grand Cayman (GIS) – The Cayman Islands will be under a partial lockdown as from 7:00 pm tonight. “Staying home saves lives” is Government’s message.

Sounding a note of grave caution on Tuesday, 24 March 2020, Cayman Islands’ leaders, headed by His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Martyn Roper and the Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, said the nation is now under an essential partial lockdown, following a potential case of community spread of the COVID-19 virus that was reported this morning.

Dr. John Lee said:

  • 14 additional cases have tested negative.
  • Results are expected from the CARPHA laboratory today.
  • Total confirmed cases is now 6, including 1 death
  • The new test case is from a patient at the HSA

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez and HSA CEO Lizzette Yearwood said:

  • Additionally, eight family members of the patient and 14 staff members of HSA may have had contact with the person who tested positive at HSA and are in home isolation. The patient is still currently non-symptomatic for COVID-19.
  • The person has no travel history.

The Premier announced that Government has been overwhelmed by requests for “Shelter in Place” exemptions and it would be pointless for Government to proceed if all these orders were granted that we’ve received requests for.  Everyone is concerned about the economic consequences of the order that we are about to make – Government are too, but the economic consequences can never, I repeat can never be more important than lives.

The curfew will proceed tonight:

  • Curfew is in place from 7 pm until 5 am daily for next 10 days. The RCIPS will monitor streets for curfew violators who will be arrested.
  • From tomorrow (Wednesday, 25 March) Government will confirm all non-essential businesses that will be closed and all non-essential workers should stay home.

The following companies are entities whose employees may be required to work during the curfew and will be exempted.  They should have Company ID and a letter from the Company confirming the need for them to work during hours of curfew.

  • All emergency and essential services including the Police and Security Services,  911, Fire Service, Prison Service, Custom and Border Control, Department of Environmental Health and Island Waste Carriers.
  • Emergency medical including HSA, Health City, Doctors Hospital, Ambulance Services and all Doctors’ Offices.
  • Supermarkets, namely Fosters, Hurley’s, Kirk’s, Kirk Market in Cayman Brac, Billy’s Supermarket, Tibmart Co. Ltd, Cost U Less, Priced Right, Progressive Distributors, Cayisle Enterprises Ltd, Cayman Distributors Group, Jacques Scott Group, Blackbeard’s, Uncle Clems Distributors, Heston Ltd, Maedac Supply Ltd, MacRuss Superstore, Chisholms Supermarket
  • All retail banks
  • Utilities and Infrastructure namely Port Authority, Water Authority, Cayman Water Company, CUC, Sol Petroleum Cayman Ltd, Rubis Cayman Islands Ltd, Homegas Ltd, Ofreg, Cayman Brac Power and Light, Clean Gas, Refuel Ltd, Flow, Digicel, Logic and C3

The Governor said:

  • Government is encouraging the vast majority of workers in Cayman’s workplace to stay at home.
  • Civil Service has shut down large parts of its operations and those allowed to work from home to comply with Government required actions.
  • There is no evidence whatsoever of one or two law firms personnel having contracted COVID-19; that is fake news.
  • The emergency travel hotline for those needing to travel for emergency or compassionate reasons is 244-3333.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour said:

  • Ten days of curfew are vitally needed to shorten the possibility of being crippled by the spread of COVID-19 locally.

Commissioner of Police Derek Byrne said:

  • With the order received from the Governor for the curfew, Police will enforce it over the 10 nights following.
  • Police will use common sense and use fairness but there will be strict application of the order for curfew.
  • Persons stopped will have their names and addresses taken with a view to prosecutions to proceed.
  • While Police will take a commonsense approach, the curfew is also not a free pass for persons to go pick up from work someone considered essential.

In response to queries, it was made clear that sources for information include gov.ky/coronavirus; and email address [email protected].

For the official Cayman Islands Government web portal, www.gov.ky
Web title: Tuesday 24th March 2020 Updates

Web blurb: Curfew starts 7 pm today, public transport shuts down

As of Wednesday,18 March 2020 there are no additional cases of COVID-19 in the Cayman Islands. There are currently 44 test results pending.

Inbound passenger air traffic will cease tonight, Thursday, 19 March, as scheduled in preparation for a complete closure of both ORIA and CKIA this coming Sunday, 22 March 2020, at 11:59 pm until Sunday, 12 April 2020, at 11:59 pm. Also commencing Sunday, 22 March at 11:59PM, local business closures and restrictions for an initial period of two weeks, require restaurants to solely provide take-out and delivery services while bars,spas,salons,gyms and public swimming pools are required to close.

A subsistence plan has been activated to support Caymanian public transportation providers and will provide a CI$600.00 payment as supplementary income during the initial airport closure period. Transportation providers who are Caymanian; approved to operate one 15-seater bus or vehicle of less than 15 seats; and are licensed as either a taxi, tour, dual (taxi and tour), or water sports operator qualify for the stipend and will be contacted directly to make arrangements. Further considerations for subsistence will be reviewed throughout the crisis.

For more official information on the Cayman Islands’ ongoing response to the coronavirus, please visit www.gov.ky/coronavirus and www.hsa.ky/coronavirus.

RCIPS Helicopter in Life Saving Mission to Stricken Cruise Ship

A team from the RCIPS Air Operations Unit carried out a mission on Saturday, 14 March 2020 to deliver emergency medical supplies for The MS Braemar cruise ship, which is currently off the Bahamas and unable to dock at present due an outbreak of COVID-19 onboard.

The medicines, which are not related to COVID-19 treatment, were standard prescription items which were urgently required by passengers and in good supply on Cayman. The operation was coordinated by the Governor’s Office and the British High Commission in Nassau. The supplies were landed in the Bahamas and were delivered to the ship, which  is off Grand Bahama, by the British High Commission.

The MS Braemar has over 680 passengers onboard most of whom are British. They include a number of people who are in urgent need of the medicines.

The operation was authorised by Governor Martyn Roper and Premier Alden McLauglin.

The Governor commented, “Once again we are extremely grateful to the team at the RCIPS Air Operations Unit for their service. This mission was vital to ensure the passengers on the Braemar had access to life saving medicines. My thanks also go to the pharmacy team at the HSA for providing such a professional response.”

Premier Alden McLaughlin said, “This is a time when the world needs to come together to help each other. The RCIPS helicopter has proved vital in saving lives not only in Cayman but also in the region. This operation was essential to provide vital medicines to vulnerable passengers and I am pleased that here in Cayman we have the capability to protect people at home but also to help those in distress on the sea.”

First Case of COVID-19 in Cayman Islands Confirmed

CAYMAN ISLANDS (GIS)– The Public Health Department confirms that one of the persons tested recently for the novel coronavirus has tested positive. “The patient is a visitor who was transferred from a cruise ship for a critical cardiac issue,” said Medical Health Officer, Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez.

Dr. Williams continued, “The patient was doing well but subsequently developed breathing difficulties, was isolated and a test taken has confirmed is suffering with the novel coronavirus.”

The remainder of the samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing on Monday, 9 March came back negative today (Thursday, 12 March 2020).

“The patient has been isolated and is receiving medical support having tested positive for the COVID-19,” Dr. Binoy Chattuparambil, Clinical Director of Health City Cayman Islands confirmed.

The public is reminded to take all necessary precautions against contracting the coronavirus. The risk can be reduced by implementing personal protective measures, such as frequent hand washing, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory illnesses.

For more information about how to do so, visit www.hsa.ky/coronavirus and www.gov.ky/coronavirus.

COVID-19: Cayman Islands Prepared as Regional Cases Confirmed

GRAND CAYMAN (GIS) – The Ministry of Health, Public Health Department and the management of the Health Services Authority (HSA) are in a high state of preparedness for the coronavirus (COVID-19). As of 5 March 2020, there are no cases in the Cayman Islands.

The opening of the Cayman Islands National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) on Wednesday, 4 March brought together Government and community partners to prepare for the possibility of the virus reaching Cayman. NEOC is coordinating efforts including health, economic continuity, uniformed and support services and utilities. Teams are meeting at least once daily to share information and take key decisions.

While there are no confirmed local cases, the Public Health Department continues to work with international health partners, to monitor and prepare for the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. John Lee comments: “With confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Florida, the Dominican Republic and St. Barts concerns among local residents are real”.

He adds: “As more cases are confirmed worldwide, the overall risk of the coronavirus (COVID-19) coming to the Cayman Islands is high and the situation is evolving rapidly. Continuing preventative measures such as washing hands regularly and avoiding others with respiratory illnesses are essential. Increase your distance from people to a minimum of three feet, and preferably six feet. Having a family and household plan can also help to slow the spread of the disease.”

Dr. Lee concludes: “A review of our plans to protect residents and visitors is an ongoing process. We remain vigilant while working with stakeholders to ensure our borders are protected and that any imported case is managed efficiently to minimise the impact.”

International dialogue continues to take place. On Sunday, 1 March, Hon. Roy McTaggart, Minister for Finance and Economic Development, and other senior government and health officials, represented the Cayman Islands Government via video link at a Special Emergency Meeting of the Conference of the Heads of Government (CARICOM). The meeting was convened to discuss regional preparations and response to COVID-19.

In response to the high level of preparedness and response to COVID-19 by on-island stakeholders, Minister for Health, Hon. Dwayne Seymour, emphasises that since the number of cases continues to grow globally, persons must remain prepared.

“It is essential that we separate fact from fiction when it comes to the constantly evolving information about the virus. Please visit hsa.ky for the facts. I am grateful to the experts from the Ministry of Health, Public Health Department, the HSA, Hazard Management Cayman Islands and the wider civil service who ensure the community remains safe and prepared. I urge you to continue to look out for each other and to prepare thoroughly, while guarding against stigma and panic,” Minister Seymour stresses.

Premier, Hon. Alden McLaughlin, thanked the Ministry of Health for their leadership and expressed confidence in the steps that the Cayman Islands had taken to prepare for COVID-19.

“We understand that members of the public have many questions around the possibility that this virus reaches Cayman. I assure them that our country has world-class structures in place encompassing both public health and hazard management. With experts meeting daily, planning for every eventuality and with Government’s full support behind them, I am confident that we will be able to achieve the best possible outcome when it comes to protecting the Cayman Islands and its people.”

Minister for Financial Services and Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers says:  “HMCI is well equipped and stand-ready to coordinate a multi-agency national response. Past experiences have stress-tested our approach and our agencies’ ability to respond.”

“The financial services industry is following its business continuity plans, in order to ensure that services continue,” Minister Rivers adds.

Minister for Tourism, Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, notes that coronavirus poses unique challenges for the local tourism industry. The Ministry and its agencies are continuing to work closely with public health and with security officials to protect the well-being of visitors and residents.  “The Ministry of Tourism is in close contact with cruise line partners and are adhering to established medical protocols with respect to the landing of cruise ships and passengers. Similar measures also apply to stayover visitors.”

For more information on COVID-19 and for guidance on how to best protect your household, please visit www.hsa.ky/public-health/coronavirus or contact the Public Health Department on 244-2621. Details of the steps that Government is taking to combat the disease are also available from www.gov.ky/coronavirus.

Notes for Editors:

  1. The official source of Cayman Islands Public Health information is www.hsa.ky/public-health/coronavirus and for wider Government information www.gov.ky/coronavirus
  2. A Q&A session can be found at https://youtu.be/wtlEumKDKFs
  3. Countries in the Caribbean that have confirmed COVID -2019
  • Dominican Republic
  • St. Martin
  • St. Barthélemy (St. Barts)
  1. Public information email for the HSA is [email protected]
  2. In the Cayman Islands there are two public hospitals and two private.

Cayman Islands Tourism Sector Remains on Alert During the Coronavirus 2020 Outbreak

No reported cases in the Cayman Islands as of 2 March 2020 

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands (5 March 2020) The Cayman Islands Ministry and Department of Tourism (CIDOT) remains on alert as the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to make impact around the globe and within the local economy.

“While the economic impact—current and potential—to our tourism sector is unquantified in this early stage of international crisis, efforts are being taken by the CIDOT to collaborate with tourism stakeholders to understand potential business disruption directly linked to the virus and travel restrictions,” commented the Hon. Moses Kirkconnell, Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism.  “As a primary step, the CIDOT has issued an accommodation sector survey to licensed properties throughout the Cayman Islands.  This will establish a baseline assessment of the impact coronavirus has had on our tourism sector thus far and provide insight on potential areas of concern for the sector in the coming months.  The results will be utilised to create any necessary action plans to support the industry as the virus progresses and enable CIDOT to support partners with responses to the consumer and trade markets.”

In addition to the accommodation survey, a thorough review of the department’s international marketing and promotions plans is being actioned to ensure that marketing activity is scaled in relation to countries now facing significant in-country transmission of COVID-19.

As of Friday, 28 February, the Cabinet of the Cayman Islands Government issued Regulations to control the entry of persons to the Cayman Islands who have a travel history to mainland China under the Public Health Law (2002 Revision). Visitors who have been in China in the preceding fourteen days will be denied entry; this restriction is in line with many of our regional neighbours and countries further afield. As outlined in the official CIG statement (Cabinet approves travel restrictions); at this time, the Ministry of Health recommends only essential travel between Cayman and the following countries because the World Health Organization reports that they have had five or more cases where exposure to COVID-19 has occurred within country:

  1. France
  2. Germany
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Iran
  5. Italy
  6. Japan
  7. Macau
  8. Republic of Korea
  9. Singapore
  10. Taiwan
  11. Thailand
  12. United Arab Emirates
  13. Viet Nam

“The Ministry and Department are monitoring all developments related to this threat, and will support appropriate communication, education and prevention initiatives instituted by the Cayman Islands Government,” commented the Hon. Mr. Kirkconnell. “Within the confines of our legislation we are committed to working with our tourism partners to understand and mitigate potential economic impact to the country’s thriving tourism sector while keeping the safety of our residents and visitors our main priority.”

An ongoing education campaign has been launched by the Health Services Authority, with support through official government channels and via social media, sharing best practices for personal hygiene, advice for residents traveling abroad and general infection control measures.

The Ministry and CIDOT will continue to support the official government efforts, public health authorities and other relevant agencies who are leading the charge to educate residents and visitors on associated risks, symptoms, and preventative measures.

“Our tourism industry has demonstrated consistent resilience in the face of past epidemics and disasters that impact this dynamic sector,” commented the Hon Minister. “I am confident that through the efforts of our government, a strong strategic approach to maintaining a prosperous tourism industry, and the commitment from the people of the Cayman Islands to remain vigilant and informed during this crisis, we will continue to see the destination steadfastly succeed in the region.”

We encourage tourism partners and the wider Cayman Islands Community to become familiar with the protocols established to safeguard against COVID-19. Tourism businesses particularly accommodation properties must manage future bookings by disseminating the official information relating to reservations made from regions where the travel restrictions apply. Please visit official websites for the latest updates, advice, and general information such as these suggested links:

For further information specific to the Cayman Islands, please visit the Public Health Department’s official website at https://www.hsa.ky/public-health/coronavirus/ and https://www.hsa.ky/public_health/.

Curacao on Coronavirus

Curaçao Taking Proactive Approach To Address Coronavirus

WILLEMSTAD – March 18, 2020 – The safety and health of its citizens and travelers are of great importance to Curaçao. At this time, there have been three (3) confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), each occurring in patients with recent travel throughout affected global areas. The Curaçao Tourist Board is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, Environment and Nature, the Curaçao Civil Aviation Authority and government agencies to monitor new developments and to continually adapt communications on policies accordingly. The Curaçao Tourist Board is actively involved to ensure that all parties follow proper safety precautions in accordance with the World Health Organization. The organization is also committed to maintaining open lines of communication with both residents and visitors to ensure they receive the most up-to-date information.

The island has strict protocols in place at the airport and seaport to ensure the optimal probability of detection, especially in people returning from high-risk areas. The government has enacted temporary restrictions on flights and has limited incoming traffic to returning residents, essential medical specialists, nurses, and professionals. The airport has also suspended all operations of its immigration E-Gates to control the spread of COVID-19. Information is available at Hato International Airport for any travelers experiencing symptoms or those traveling from known areas with widespread coronavirus transmission.

Please refer to www.curacao.com for additional information.

Media Contact: Diamond PR / [email protected] / 305-854-3544

Dominica on Coronavirus

Government site at http://dominicaupdate.com/

 

Dominica’s borders could reopen in July

Roseau, Dominica – (June 18, 2020) Dominica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit informed the nation that there are currently no COVID-19 cases in Dominica.  The last recorded cases from repatriated cruise ship workers have recovered and were discharged from the COVID-19 Isolation Unit.

COVID-19 restrictions were further lifted this week to allow for public officers to return to work full time effective June 15, 2020. The Prime Minister also stated that plans are underway for the reopening of the country’s borders in July, however he cautioned that the chances of having more cases of COVID-19 would increase once the borders are reopened. Protocols are being put in place for the reopening of the borders and advice is being sought from regional and international agencies such as United Nations Development Programme, Caribbean Public Health Agency,  World Health Organization and the  Pan-American Health Organization on utilizing a phased approach for reopening the borders.  Prime Minister Skerrit further announced that the capacity of the laboratory to do PCR tests will increase from 25 tests in 24 hours to 100 tests per day.

For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica continues to ease COVID-19 restrictions

Roseau, Dominica – (June 12, 2020) Dominica continues to lift COVID-19 restrictions as no community spread of the disease has been detected in over 60 days. This announcement came from the Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre on June 11, 2020.

As a result of the easing of restrictions, cinemas, bars, tour operators, hotels, guest houses, libraries, gyms, lottery and gaming shops are allowed to fully reopen for business. Daycare centres and schools remain closed. Dr. McIntyre also stated, “Businesses will be permitted to operate with usual working hours prior to COVID 19 subject to the curfew hours.” Curfew hours have been revised and from June 15, 2020, new curfew hours will be from 10 pm to 5 am Mondays to Sundays. Beaches and rivers can be accessed during non-curfew hours.

The Health Minister further urged Dominicans to continue to follow the health and safety protocols and guidelines recommended by his Ministry as the possibility of additional COVID cases will increase with the return of Dominicans residing overseas, illegal entrants and the reopening of the country’s borders. On June 9, 2020, 55 Dominican students returned home from the US and are all in good health. A total of 90 persons are currently housed at the government run quarantine facility. The Ministry of Health will schedule COVID-19 tests for other high-risk groups to include persons at nursing homes and prisons, supermarket cashiers and bus drivers. For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica repatriates nationals and plans to ease COVID -19 restrictions 

Roseau, Dominica – (June 8, 2020) Dominica will repatriate 119 nationals this week amidst plans to further ease restrictions imposed to protect public health and safety during the COVID -19 pandemic.  This announcement was made by Dr. Irving McIntyre Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment at a press briefing on June 5, 2020.  The Minister informed the nation that plans to further ease restrictions would be announced in the coming week as there was no evidence of community spread of the coronavirus.  Dominicans could see the easing of curfew hours, reopening of additional businesses and return to regular working hours of public officers.   Dr. McIntyre however cautioned Dominicans to remain focused and continue to practice proper handwashing, wearing of face masks, physical distancing and good respiratory etiquette.

Dr. McIntyre informed the nation that nineteen Royal Caribbean Cruise Line workers would be repatriated on June 8, 2020 and taken to the mandatory government quarantine facility for 14 days.  Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence, Hon. Octavia Alfred also confirmed that 100 Dominican students would return home on two Silver Airways flights carded to land in Dominica on June 9, 2020. The returning students will be screened, tested for COVID-19 and undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine at the Government run quarantine facility. Additional students will be repatriated on June 24, 2020 at the end of the quarantine cycle for the first group of students.

National Epidemiologist (Ag) Dr. Shalauddin Ahmed reconfirmed that the total number of COVID-19 cases in Dominica remains at 18.  The two new cases were cruise ship workers who were repatriated to Dominica in May.  Both are in their early thirties, asymptomatic, have no underlying health conditions and are in isolation at the COVID-19 center of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital.  Dr. Ahmed also informed the public that the Ministry of Health’s community screening for COVID -19 concluded on June 4, 2020 with a total of 618 households screened.  This translates to 1086 household members tested for COVID-19 antibodies using the rapid test kits.  According to Dr. Ahmed, two participants were reactive to the rapid tests however subsequent PCR tests were negative. COVID-19 tests are currently being undertaken for health care workers, returning nationals and suspected cases.  The Environmental Health Department is currently monitoring businesses and other establishments regularly to ensure that the health and safety protocols for COVID 19 are being followed.  Companies who comply with the protocols of the Ministry of Health are issued with an approved certificate by the Environmental Health Department.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube

Dominica COVID 19 Update – June 3, 2020 

Roseau, Dominica – (June 3, 2020) Health authorities have acted swiftly to isolate two cruise ship workers who returned home on May 27th, 2020.  This announcement was made by Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit in a brief address to the nation on June 1st, 2020.  This brings the total number of cases to eighteen. Thirty-seven nationals were repatriated on May 27, 2020, placed in mandatory quarantine, and were assessed following approved protocols for COVID-19.   All returning nationals were tested for COVID-19 however, thirty-five of the cases tested were negative for the virus, while only 2 tested positive. The two nationals who are still asymptomatic with no pre-existing health conditions have been placed in isolation. The thirty-five returnees who tested negative will remain under mandatory observation for fourteen days.

Since all previous sixteen cases were cleared and sent home, these two are the only cases in Dominica known to have the virus.  The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment continues its community testing programme for COVID-19.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.


Roseau, Dominica – (May 19, 2020)
Dominica has no active COVID-19 cases. This announcement was made by Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit in an address to the nation on May 17, 2020.  Despite this, the Prime Minister urged citizens not to be complacent and noted the importance of community testing to identify possible undetected cases.  Restrictions on the reopening of business places will be further lifted effective May 18, 2020 when barbershops, hair salons, Sulphur spas, manicure, pedicure and massage parlours will reopen by appointment only.

Prime Minister Skerrit also announced the following measures to ease the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Extension of the deadline to file personal and corporate income tax.
  • EC$10 million to be spent under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods Project.  This will include support to crop and livestock farmers by providing plant material, essential inputs, small farming implements and animal feed.
  • Cash grants valued at EC$3.5 million will be disbursed to 2500 crop farmers.
  • EC$3 million will be allocated to purchase fresh produce and fish from farmers and fishers.  A portion of the fresh produce purchased will be distributed to vulnerable groups.
  • Government will invest EC$296.8 in the construction sector which will include at least one road project in each constituency.
  • Small contractors and merchants will receive financial assistance with funds approved by the International Monetary Fund under the Rapid Credit Facility
  • Loan financing is available to farmers, hoteliers and manufacturers through the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank at a rate of 2% interest with a moratorium on payment for 6-12 months.  This will include no payment on principal for one year and no payment of interest for six months.
  • Income support will be provided to heads of families and single persons who are currently unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic.  Income support of EC$400 – EC$600 will be provided for the period April – June 2020 and will be administered by the Dominica Social Security.  A total of EC$15.7 million has been allocated for this.
  • Loans will be provided to micro and small businesses at 1% interest up to $15, 000 through the AID Bank.
  • Tax rebates will be granted on corporate income tax for the income year ended December 31, 2019 and for the period January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
  • Import duty and value added tax on disinfectants, cleaning supplies, protective gear and face masks will be reduced to zero per cent for six months in the first instance.

For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – May 7, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (May 8, 2020) Dominica eases COVID-19 related restrictions effective May 7, 2020.  The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre in a statement to the nation on May 6, 2020.  The total number of confirmed COVID 19 cases remain at 16, with 2 active cases.  Fifteen persons are currently housed at the Government run quarantine facility and 417 PCR tests have been conducted.  Minister McIntyre noted that the recommendation to ease the restrictions were being made considering that there has been no reported transmission for the last 28 days, the capacity of the health care system to deal with a resurgence in cases if needed and the ability of the state to reintroduce or tighten public health measures in vulnerable settings.

The ease of restrictions means that appliance and electronic shops and clothing and textile shops can reopen for business, however they must ensure that staff and customers wear face masks, physical distancing protocols are enforced as well as hand sanitization upon entry to and exit from the business place.   Access to beaches and rivers will be granted for stress management from 8 am to 5 pm Mondays to Saturdays; however there shall be no picnics, barbeques, loud music, parties or consumption of alcohol at beaches or rivers.  Groups of not more than 10 persons will be allowed and physical distancing must be maintained.  There will be police presence at the beaches to ensure compliance to the new measures.  Approved business places can also operate for business on Saturdays between 8 am to 1 pm, in keeping with the health and safety protocols of the Ministry of Health. Bars, night clubs, game shops, hair salons, barber shops, sulphur spas, schools, churches, gyms, manicure and pedicure shops remain closed pending further review on May 11, 2020.

A nationwide curfew remains in effect, Monday to Saturday from 6 pm to 6 am, with a complete lockdown on Sundays.   Dr. McIntyre also stated, “I must emphasize that adjusting the restrictive measures is not a carte blanche.  It does not mean business as usual.  As a matter of fact, we are in the new normal state. We must continue to practice hand washing, respiratory etiquette, proper wearing and removal of face masks, sanitizing and disinfecting homes, businesses and workplaces.”

For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 29, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (April 29, 2020) Dominica marks twenty-one days since its last confirmed case of COVID-19.  The announcement was made by National Epidemiologist Dr. Shalaudin Ahmed at a Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment press briefing on April 28, 2020.   Dr. Ahmed noted that a community-based survey will commence on May 5, 2020 for one month to detect asymptomatic carriers of the disease and to identify persons who may have developed antibodies to the disease.  The date for the survey coincides with two full incubation cycles since the last confirmed case of the disease.  The survey will be done through random selection of a proportion of households from all seven health districts, however the survey will be initiated in the health districts where confirmed cases of the disease were found.  The public was urged to continue to practice good hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social and physical distancing and all other protocols issued by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment.

Dr. Ahmed provided further details on Dominica’s COVID-19 patients.  Of the 16 confirmed cases, only three were linked to external sources, as 2 had travel histories ad 1 came in contact with a group of tourists.  The remaining 13 cases were contacts of 2 cases.   Patients ranged in age from 18 to 84 years, comprising 11 male and 5 females. Only 4 of the 16 COVID-19 patients exhibited symptoms prior to their diagnosis, which were mostly mild.  The remaining 12 patients were asymptomatic and were identified through contact tracing. There are currently three active COVID-19 cases in Dominica, and none of the patients required the use of ventilators. To date, 386 PCR tests have been conducted with 370 being negative.

Director of the Dominica Social Security, Mrs. Janice Jean Jacques-Thomas announced that her organization is in the process of getting approval of plans to provide temporary unemployment benefits to persons whose jobs were affected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.  The proposal which was submitted to the Government for approval considered recommendations from the International Labour Organisation, actuarial firm Moreau Sheppell and local private sector organizations such as the Dominica Employers Federation, Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association, Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce were consulted. The temporary unemployment benefit programme is expected to cushion the impact on the earnings of affected employees and stimulate economic activity.

For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 27, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (April 27, 2020) Dominica records improvement in COVID-19 status, according to Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre.  This he attributed to his Government’s strategy for managing the crisis and the compliance of the public.  The total number of confirmed cases remains at 16, there are 3 active cases, 383 persons have been tested, and 10 persons are currently in a Government run quarantine facility. However, the Minister cautioned the public, “We must remind you that this is no reason to relax and lose focus.  Your sacrifices being made are for the greater good of us all.”  Considering the present status of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health’s technical team has made recommendations for amendments to SRO15 of 2020 which allows for lifting of certain restrictions.

Prime Minister of Dominica, Honourable Roosevelt Skerritt announced the easing of restrictions as follows:

  1. Opening hours of businesses will be from 6 am to 4 pm Mondays to Friday.  The curfew remains in effect from 6 pm to 6 am Mondays to Fridays with total lockdown on weekends and holidays.
  2. Insurance services, laundry services, bookstores and auto mechanic shops can now be opened for businesses.  Restrictions remain in place for the closure of bars, nightclubs, game shops, hair salons, manicure and pedicure shops and barbershops. These restrictions will be reviewed on May 4, 2020.
  3. Passenger buses can transport 2 passengers per row effective April 27, 2020, however the protocols of sanitizing passengers hands before entering the vehicle, wearing of face masks or cloth shield to cover nose and mouth, following proper respiratory etiquette and keeping windows open as far a possible, must be adhered to.
  4. The ban on liquor licenses will be lifted effective April 27, 2020 to allow for purchase only of liquor and not consumption at the point of sale.
  5. Fresh produce will be sold at designated areas with the markets up to 4 pm, Mondays to Fridays. Effective April 28, 2020, space will be allocated to allow for vending of produce from pick-up trucks in the capital.  Physical distancing protocols will be maintained.

The ban on large gatherings remains in effect with not more than 10 persons allowed at a public place at a time, and physical distancing protocols must be followed.   Restaurants and food establishments can open for business up to 4 pm for pick up service only. Further updates will be provided on May 4, 2020.

For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.com/.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 22, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (April 22, 2020) Dominica’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases remains at 16. The last confirmed COVID-19 test result was obtained on April 7, fourteen days ago. To date, a total of 377 persons have been tested and 152 contacts have been identified and cleared. Nine COVID-19 patients have recovered and are being monitored by primary health care providers in their communities. There are 7 active COVID-19 cases, and thirteen persons are currently housed at the government run quarantine facility.
National Epidemiologist, Dr. Shalauddin Ahmed said, “We are still in phase 3 of the outbreak, meaning transmission is still in the form of clusters of cases.” He indicated that the next step in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is to implement community-based surveys to detect asymptomatic carriers. Dr. Ahmed further stated, “We can safely say that so far we have flattened the curve in Dominica.” This he attributed to social distancing measures and the widespread testing capacity of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment. The public was urged not to become complacent and to follow all protocols for preventing further spread of COVID 19. These include practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, social distancing and wearing of face masks.
Director of Primary Health Care, Dr. Laura Esprit urged the public to remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19. She informed the public that the last confirmed COVID-19 patient was an atypical case in that this patient tested positive for the virus though the patient was asymptomatic. This highlights the difficulty in identifying carriers who are asymptomatic and tracing contacts of these carriers.
A state of emergency is currently in effect until May 11, 2020 which allows for curfew between 6 pm and 6 am Monday to Friday and a total lockdown on weekends from 6pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday.
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 10, 2020

Dominica recorded its 16th confirmed case of COVID 19 on April 9, 2020.   The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Hon.  Dr. Irving McIntyre at a press briefing on April 9, 2020.  All contacts of this new case are being traced for swabbing and testing. Dr. McIntyre further informed the nation that 4 of the confirmed COVID-19 patients would be discharged from hospital on April 9, 2020 as they would have had 2 negative tests results in a 24-hour period.  An additional 4 patients are expected to be discharged this week providing that their second test results are negative.

The Dominican population was commended for following the guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Health to combat COVID-19, however Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Curvin Ferreira urged that these practices must be strictly adhered to for the foreseeable future to prevent future spread of the disease, particularly by patients who may be asymptomatic. The Ministry’s capacity to test for COVID-19 is being enhanced with additional test kits received from the People’s Republic of China, the Pan American Health Organisation and the Venezuelan Government. Testing for COVID -19 in Dominica is ranked at number two in the Caribbean, as 44 tests are being done per 10,000 persons. Dr. Ferreira further informed the public that the Ministry of Health is preparing to use an antibody test for COVID-19 and trials have been conducted in the Laplaine Health District.   This antibody test will aid in determining who is immune to COVID-19 and who is susceptible to the disease.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment will increase its capacity to deal with COVID-19 patients in the event that there is a surge in new cases.  An entire ward of the Dominica China Friendship Hospital will be retrofitted to house and treat COVID-19 patients, and this will be used to house and treat patients suffering from other infectious diseases after the COVID-19 crisis.   Additionally, the COVID-19 hospital in Portsmouth is being retrofitted to accommodate an additional 18 patients. The Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment continue to advocate for proper handwashing, practice of good respiratory hygiene, wearing of face masks when in public spaces, physical distancing and staying home.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 9, 2020 

National Epidemiologist (Ag) in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Shulladin Ahmed, updated the nation on COVID 19 statistics on April 8, 2020.  The total number of cases remains at 15. The first index case has recovered and is now on home quarantine for the next 14 days.  Two PCR tests were conducted on this patient in 24 hours and they were both negative.

To date a total of 306 in country PCR tests have been conducted and 291 were negative.  There are currently 16 persons in the Government run quarantine facility.  One hundred and sixty-nine persons were discharged from the Government quarantine facility this week with strict instructions to stay at home and maintain social distancing.  Dr. Ahmed noted that Dominica is now at stage 3 in the transmission stage of COVID 19 in that transmission is through a cluster of cases.  The confirmed COVID-19 patients include 10 males and 5 females aged 18 – 83 years.  All patients are hospitalized and stable.

 The country has implemented the following measures in its fight against COVID-19.

  1. A state of emergency has been declared which includes border restrictions and curfew.
  2. Mandatory curfew from 6 pm to 6 am Mondays to Fridays.
  3. Total lockdown on weekends from 6 pm on Friday to 6 am on Monday.
  4. Total lockdown during the Easter Holiday from 6 pm on April 9, 2020 to 6 am on April 14, 2020.
  5. Essential services (financial institutions, gas stations, supermarkets) can be accessed by the  general public from 8 am to 2 pm Mondays to Fridays.

The state of emergency was extended for an additional 3 months, and the curfew has been extended for another 21 days from April 20, 2020.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Update – April 7, 2020 

Dominica’s Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre announced an additional case on COVID-19 in Dominica.  The announcement was made during the 2nd meeting of the 1st session of the 10th Parliament on Aril 6, 2020.  This brings the total number of positive COVID-19 cases to 15 with one person having recovered.  To date, a total of 293 persons have been tested and there are no COVID-19 related deaths.  A total of 109 persons are in quarantine at a government manned facility, however some persons are expected to be sent home once they have completed their 14 days at the facility.

The Parliament of Dominica further approved legislation granting that the current Curfew be extended for an additional 21 days when it expires on April 20, 2020, and that the State of Emergency is extended for an additional 3 months to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Attorney General Levi Peter explained that these regulations can be amended if the situation improves.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Roseau, Dominica – (April 2, 2020) Discover Dominica Authority informs its regional and international audience of the current status of tourism industry given the current coronavirus pandemic.

Ports of Entry: All ports of entry are closed to passenger traffic until further notice. As such, no airlines or ferries are operating into Dominica with passengers. In Keeping with S.R.O. 13 of 2020, only air and sea cargo are allowed with exceptions for Aircraft, Ships or Other vessels carrying the following passengers; (a) Citizens of Dominica ; (b) resident diplomats; (c) medical personnel; (d) any other person authorized in writing by the Minister with responsibility for National Security.

Hotels: Properties are closed or in the process of temporary closures as guests have all departed. Please contact the property directly to get the latest update.

Yachts: Entry into the country and mooring offshore is not permitted at this time.

Ecotourism sites: All (12) ecotourism sites managed by the Government of Dominica through the Division of Forestry or Ministry of Tourism are closed until further notice. This is specifically to curtail the spread of the virus at the tourism facilities where hikers may use the washroom and interpretation facilities.

Educational institutions: All educational institutions including day care centres and preschools were closed on March 23, 2020.

Essential services: Banks, supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies and medical facilities are open for limited hours on weekdays.

Assistance to the Industry: Given the significant economic impact which the coronavirus pandemic will have on the tourism industry, the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association is advocating for fiscal and other support from local banks and the government for its membership. The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives is working with stakeholders within its portfolio to collect data to galvanize assistance for the tourism sector.

State of Emergency & Curfew: Effective April 1, 2020, the President of Dominica, His Excellency Charles Savarin issued Statutory Rules and Order No. 15 of 2020 which places the island in a State of Emergency as a result of COVID 19. As such, curfew hours are in effect as follows:
1. From 6 pm to 6 am from April 1, 2020 to April 20, 20, Mondays to Fridays.
2. From 6 pm on Fridays to 6 am on Mondays between April 1, 2020 to April 20, 2020.
3. From 6 pm on April 9, 2020 to 6 am on April 14, 2020.
4. Banks, credit unions, grocery stores, supermarkets, village shops, bakeries and petrol stations may remain open from 8 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday, while pharmacies may open between 6 am and 4 pm Monday to Friday.
• Movement of persons beyond the curfew hours shall only be permitted for work and providers of essential services (as outlined in SRO 15 of 2020), to seek urgent medical care, shop for groceries, conduct banking transactions, to care for a family member, pet or livestock or to engage in construction or manufacturing.
• Religious places of worship are closed except for weddings and funerals, which must be conducted utilizing stipulated guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.
• All liquor licenses are suspended from April 1, 2020 to April 14, 2020.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube

Dominica COVID 19 Status Update – March 30, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (March 30, 2020)   Dominica recorded its 12th case of COVID 19 on March 30, 2020. The announcement was made by National Epidemiologist (Ag) Dr. Shulladin Ahmed at a press briefing.  The patient is a 70-year-old female who has been hospitalized.  Dr. Ahmed indicated that “all these (COVID -19) cases are at this time stable, clinically stable and some are asymptomatic.  There is no death.”  Dr. Ahmed further noted that a total of 37 contacts have been traced from three index cases, of which 17 were tested, 9 were positive and 8 negative.  Twenty-nine contacts were traced from 9 COVID-19 positive cases; while 24 were tested with negative results, however they remain in home quarantine for 14 days.  To date, 185 in country PCR tests have been conducted, of which 173 were negative.

Principal Nursing Officer (Ag) Mrs. Terrillia Ravaliere provided an update on the six government operated quarantine facilities located in Portsmouth, where 126 persons are currently housed.  The facility is supervised by a senior public health nurse who is ably supported by a family nurse practitioner, senior nurse/midwife, other nurses, community health aides, data entry/registration clerk and police security. The facility which was opened on March 21, 2020 is manned 24 hours a day.  One hundred and seventy-seven persons have been housed at the facility since operations commenced, however 51 persons were discharged for continuous home quarantine as the results of their COVID 19 tests were negative.   Dominica’s COVID-19 medical team will be complemented by 35 medical personnel from Cuba comprising 25 nurses, 6 doctors and 4 lab technicians.

Lincoln Corbette, Deputy Chief of Police, reassured the public that the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force was doing all in its power to ensure that the curfew order issued from 10 pm on March 28, 2020 to 8 am on March 30, 2020 was adhered to. Illegal entrants into the island were arrested and taken to the government quarantine facility in Portsmouth.  There have been no security breaches at the quarantine facility or the COVID  19 hospital.

In a radio interview on March 30, 2020, Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit hinted that curfew measures may be extended with special consideration given to certain activities to be undertaken within a specific timeframe.  Prime Minister Skerrit said, “And so we intend to continue the measures that we have currently in place …but to allow for certain activities to take place during specified times. For example, we would allow for the grocery shops to open in the villages and the supermarkets to open for a specific timeframe.  But on weekends we’re saying that the entire country should be shut down and everybody should be home, with the exception of those who have to be out and those services would be defined in whatever regulations the government will issue in the next day or so.”

All were encouraged to continue to practice social distancing, frequent handwashing, good respiratory etiquette and to stay home as far as possible.

Weekly update press briefings on COVID 19 are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and broadcast on all local radio stations.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica COVID 19 Status Update – March 26, 2020

Roseau, Dominica – (March 26, 2020) As of March 25, 2020, Dominica recorded 4 new cases of COVID 19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 11. The announcement was made by National Epidemiologist (Ag), Dr. Shulladin Ahmed at a press briefing on March 25, 2020.

A total of 142 samples have been collected for testing, of which 118 have been tested. COVID 19 tests are done at the government laboratory located at the Dominica China Friendship Hospital and results are available in 24 hours. Eighty-six (86) persons are currently housed at a government quarantine facility in the north of the island. A COVID 19 isolation unit, capable of housing 8 patients, has been established at the main hospital in Roseau, and a special COVID 19 medical centre which can accommodate 25 patients is fully functional in the north of the island.

A medical team with specialized skills, comprising 25 nurses, 6 doctors and 4 lab technicians from Cuba will be on island from March 26, 2020 to assist Dominica in the fight against COVID 19.

In light of the increase in the number of confirmed COVID 19 cases, the country’s airports are closed to all non-essential flights effective midnight March 25, 2020. Additionally, all non-essential gatherings are limited to no more than 10 persons. Non-essential gatherings include restaurants, churches, sporting and recreational facilities, gyms, cinemas, night clubs, bars and most government offices.

Dominicans were encouraged to join the fight against COVID 19 by practicing proper hand washing hygiene, good respiratory/cough etiquette, minimize visits to senior citizens and persons with preexisting conditions, avoid hugging and hand shaking. Prime Minister of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, had this advice for his people “People with underlying conditions, we are asking you to stay away, stay home …. and listen to the official advisory from the Ministry of Health.”

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.

Dominica Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives Organizes National Consultation on COVID-19

(Roseau, Dominica: March 20, 2020) The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives organized a National Consultation on Dominica’s response to the COVID-19 chaired by the Prime Minister Hon Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit.

Ministers of Cabinet were in attendance as well as leaders of private sector and civil society. The Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association, Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce, the Unions, Bank and Financial Institution Association, church and sports organizations were among those invited to make contributions on the impacts, actions being taken and recommendations for Dominica’s response to the COVID-19.

The following resulted from the National Consultation:

  • Government’s Intent to convene a parliamentary committee to review and prepare a response to the COVID-19 and Dominica
  • The appointment of Coordinator along with other personnel to lead Dominica’s response to COVID-19 and assist with logistical matters
  • Commitment by all involved to work with Government to address and implement the necessary steps to address COVD-19

Additionally, the following were reiterated:

  • Dominica is following the protocols set forth by the WHO, PAHO and CARPHA. We acknowledge the four stages of WHO Risk Management Approach to an Influenza Pandemic and confirm that Dominica is currently at Stage 1 – Prevention. Confirmation that there are no reported cases of COVID-19 on island. Consequently, led by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments but orchestrated in a multi sectoral approach, all the preventative steps are being adhered to and taken on island.

At the Ports:

  • The Government of Dominica has not closed its borders to travelers, however it is implementing stringent protocols at its ports of entry in accordance with relevant health advice.
  • The Government is using data from the Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) in combination with ensuring that question #17 of the Customs/Immigration form is filled out so as to indicate the travelers most recent travels.  Additionally, all passengers are provided with a separate questionnaire that must be filled out in order to ascertain and confirm their recent travel and sent in advance to allow for appropriate preparation by Port Authorities
  • Special protocols have been set up for travelers from the identified hotspots and special screenings in an isolated area is being undertaken for travelers showing symptoms upon entry into the destination.
  • Hand sanitizers have been installed for use by the travelling public, frequent hand washing with soap and water is being encouraged, and the ports of entry are undergoing deep cleaning frequently in accordance with the protocols.

At the Hotels

  • Protocols for employees and guests of accommodations have been established and communicated.
  • They indicate actions to be taken should a guest or employee exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.
  • These protocols call for the symptomatic individual and all contacts to be provided with masks, isolated and health personnel to be notified
  • At which point the health professionals will take over
  • (A document detailing the protocol is attached)

For more information, please contact the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investments at:

Medical Hotlines: 1 767 448 2151 or 1 767 611 4325 or Toll Free at 1800 219

Websites: [email protected] or www.dominica.gov.dm

Grenada on Coronavirus

Government site: www.covid19.gov.gd

 

Grenada preparing for a new way of doing business in tourism

Training and certification are top priorities

The tri-island destination Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique is preparing for the gradual reopening of its borders in the coming weeks while creating a new way of doing business in the Tourism industry. As work continues, the main areas of focus are the training of tourism personnel and implementing new health and safety standards. Already training is ongoing in the accomodation, transportation and food and beverage sectors under the guidance of the Ministry of Health.

The Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) is a key partner in these activities and the organization held two training sessions for the accommodation sector on the new way of doing business, the latest being on Friday June 5 for accommodation managers, owners and senior staff.

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) are also continuously engaging stakeholders in training. Taxi Drivers were trained on June 3 and sessions were held on Friday June 5 for housekeeping staff, maintenance staff, cleaners, laundry, security, porter services and stakeholders in the food and beverage sector facilitated by Environmental Health Officer Deryck Ramkhelawan. All training covers new health and safety protocols while drilling down to each subsector. The training sessions are conducted via Zoom and are recorded and will be distributed, therefore stakeholders will have 24 hour access to training material.

Meantime, the Maurice Bishop International Airport in Grenada and the Lauriston Airport in Carriacou are preparing for the restart of commercial airport traffic in the coming weeks. A high-level delegation led by the Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Hon. Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen toured the International Airport to view firsthand its state of readiness for full operations. During the tour, the team viewed the physical distance markers and signage being installed, areas bein prepared for additional screening of passengers, the operation of thermal cameras for temperature monitoring and other measures being put in place to allow for the safety of passengers and personnel at the Airport.

While this work is ongoing, the GTA continues to engage travel agents in the source markets through webinars to keep them informed of major updates and what their clients can enjoy when visiting the destination. Additionally, the GTA is preparing to restart domestic tourism by encouraging the accommodation sector to offer specials to locals. Already some stakeholders are offering innovative deals and others are being encouraged to do the same.

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean is committed to building visitor confidence as the destination finetunes health and safety protocols and certification in the tourism industry.

For further information please visit the Government of Grenada webpage at www.covid19.gov.gd or the Ministry of Health Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.

National Address by Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell May 10, 2010

Effective Monday, 11 May 2020, every day will be a designated business day, that is, for the businesses already granted permission to operate and those resuming this week. Approved businesses will operate their respective pre-Covid schedules within the allotted time, 8 am to 5 pm. The daily curfew remains in place, from 7 pm to 5 am.

Download full May 10 statement.

Grenada SPICEMAS 2020 cancelled with the promise of a bigger, Better Carnival in 2021

Grenadians and visitors will have to wait until 2021 to experience the one of a kind Spicemas Carnival celebrations as the Spicemas Corporation (SMC) took the difficult decision to cancel in light of the concerns regarding public health in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The SMC made the announcement today and promised that the extended timeframe will allow for the planning and execution of a bigger and better Spicemas which is usually held in August.

Meantime, the 24-hour curfew implemented across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique on Tuesday, March 30, in response to Covid-19 continues with three days for essential shopping and opening of select businesses, on a limited basis.  Current legislation (up to May 12) requires persons to remain at home other than for essential food shopping, banking, and medical needs as well as other approved merchants and will be reviewed on a weekly basis. All tourism businesses and attractions, the majority of tourism accommodation across the tri-island destination, airports on Grenada and Carriacou, and all ports remain temporarily closed.

As of May 2, Grenada has 21 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (20 on island), with most being imported or import related according to the Grenada Ministry of Health. 13 cases have since been declared medically recovered with seven still active. The Ministry continues proactive contact tracing, screening and testing.

As it relates to port of entry operations, the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation says approval has been granted by the Commissioner of Police on the advice of Cabinet, for un-manned yachts lying in Grenada’s waters, to be hauled up for servicing. The Ministry and Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) continue to engage stakeholders and plan for the post COVID-19 recovery of the Tourism industry.

Additionally, the Government of Grenada announced that more than 700 Grenadians have so far benefitted from the COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package. The Ministry of Finance has so far processed payroll support payments to benefit 538 employees and income support payments for 196 individuals. To date, the newly established COVID-19 Economic Support Secretariat has received 1,000 applications for income support and 294 applications for payroll support. However, some of these applications have been redirected to other measures within the stimulus package such as unemployment benefits and the small business soft lending facility at the Grenada Development Bank.

Under the stimulus package announced by the Prime Minister on March 20, 2020, one of the measures is intended to avoid layoffs and loss of livelihoods in the tourism sector. The income support is intended for public bus operators, taxi drivers, tourist vendors and other such identified hospitality-based business persons, while payroll support is provided to hotels, restaurants, bars and small travel agents.

In addition to the payroll and income support payments, there are several other measures included in the Government’s stimulus package. These include unemployment benefits initially estimated at $10 million, provided through the National Insurance Scheme; expansion of the small business soft lending facility at Grenada Development Bank and suspension of the monthly advance payment on Corporate Income Tax and installment payment of the Annual Stamp Tax for the period April to June 2020.

In all, Grenada will receive US $22.4 million in emergency support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which will be used to support “macroeconomic stability and facilitate the subsequent economic recovery”.

For further information please visit the Government of Grenada webpage at www.mgovernance.net/moh/ or the Ministry of Health Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.

Grenada to review curfew restrictions on April 20 

The 24-hour curfew implemented across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique on Tuesday, March 30, in response to Covid-19 is scheduled to be reviewed on Monday, April 20. Current legislation requires persons to remain at home other than for essential food shopping, banking, and medical needs. All tourism businesses and attractions, the majority of tourism accommodation across the tri-island destination, airports on Grenada and Carriacou, and all ports remain temporarily closed.

As of Friday April 17, Grenada has 14 confirmed cases of Covid-19, all being imported or import related according to the Grenada Ministry of Health. Since Monday, March 22, only passenger flights to repatriate overseas visitors to their home countries have been granted permission to land at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).

With the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) offices temporarily closed, the team is currently working remotely and remains in daily contact with its overseas offices and valued island stakeholders such as the Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association (GHTA) and the Marine and Yachting Association of Grenada (MAYAG). The GTA’s social media campaign, #GrenadaDreaming, launched on Monday, April 6, was developed to provide a positive source of travel inspiration for source market consumers now and in the future as well as a means of interaction with stakeholders and travel industry professionals.

For further information please visit the Government of Grenada webpage at www.mgovernance.net/moh/ or the Ministry of Health Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.

April 6, 2020

Dear Valued Stakeholders,

The entire Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation and Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) team hope you are all safe and keeping healthy during this global COVID-19 pandemic.

We want to thank you for your ongoing support for the GTA as we pull together to deal with this rapidly evolving situation, affecting us here in Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique and in all the countries from which visitors come to our shores. In recent weeks the global GTA team has been collaborating proactively to keep our destination ‘Top of Mind’ with the world audience, and moving forward we seek your support as we springboard our strategic plans.

Our initial Social Media Strategy has been to share messages of empathy globally, expressing that we are ‘all in this together’ and to ‘stay safe’. Our social media platforms and e-mail signatures have been updated with a Stay Safe creative and a ‘we look forward to welcoming you back soon’ message.

From a public relations perspective, we have been sharing good news stories on the destination. Our amazing local distillery companies’ moves to produce hand sanitizers have been shared with all major media groups in the US, Canada and UK and already Miami Herald has published a story on it. Additional positive news stories are what we need now, so if you know of something suitable, please share it with us.

Today Monday April 6, we will start a positive digital campaign called #GrenadaDreaming and we ask you to support us all by promoting the hashtag on your own platforms. The essence of the campaign is to share evocative images of the destination to inspire consumers to visit Grenada in the future: to ‘dream today and travel tomorrow’. We have so much amazing content to share on our food, drinks, culture, music, nature, community, sustainability etc. that the world needs right now.

Please share our new #GrenadaDreaming video https://youtu.be/EOxJQA-lHxs with your contacts around the world. We are all in this together and together we will bounce back better.

Media Contact
Ria Murray
Communications Officer,
Grenada Tourism Authority
[email protected]
473 440 2001/2279
473 420 2557 (mobile)
For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

Issued April 1, 2020 – Grenada Adds Further Measures Under the LIMITED STATE OF EMERGENCY to Stem the Spread of Covid-19 

With effect from Tuesday March 30, 2020, the state of Grenada is in a 24 hour curfew to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19. As of Sunday March 29, Grenada has 9 confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus, all being imported or import related cases. The Government of Grenada has taken these proactive measures to safeguard the citizens and visitors on island. The curfew is in effect until April 6, 2020 in the first instance when it will be reviewed.

Grenada closed its borders with effect from March 22, 2020 and only passenger flights to repatriate visitors to their home countries have been granted permission to land at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).  We are grateful to all our international partners who have assisted us with this unprecedented exercise.

The Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) offices are currently closed during the limited state of emergency period from 6pm on March 25 until April 15, 2020. The team at the GTA is working remotely and can be contacted on their work mobiles or company email.

We remain confident and optimistic that these measures will be effective in protecting the islands. We ask everyone to make a collective effort to stay at home and stay safe. The Government of Grenada will review the situation on April 15, 2020 and provide an update on the timelines to receive visitors again.

For further information please visit the Government of Grenada’s webpage at www.mgovernance.net/moh/ or the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.

Grenada Announces a Limited State of Emergency

The Government of Grenada enhances restrictions as part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the tri-island nation 

As part of the proactive approach to stem the community spread of COVID-19, the Government of Grenada has announced a limited state of emergency for 21 days, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 6 p.m. Citizens will be allowed to leave their homes between the hours of  5 a.m. and 7 p.m. to conduct designated activities.

Grenada confirmed it’s first case of COVID-19 on Sunday March 22 and these measures were announced to protect the lives of Grenadians and visitors on our shores. The Ministry of Health continues to urge the public to practice proper hand, cough and sneeze hygiene, and maintain social distance of at least six feet.

Over the past few days, the Government of Grenada announced border closures as follows:

  1. Effective 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 22nd, and until further notice, Grenada’s Airports will be closed to ALL commercial passenger traffic. Aircrafts carrying cargo and pre-approved medical personnel will be allowed to land, as necessary.
  2. Effective 11:59 p.m. Monday March 23, 2020, no crew member of commercial vessels will be allowed or granted “Shore Leave. Crew members are only allowed ashore for operational reasons after receiving permission from the Port Authority.
  3. Effective 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 20th, all crew and passengers aboard Pleasure Craft and live-aboard will not be allowed to disembark on the shores of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique. All passengers and crew are encouraged to make contact via VHF and follow prescribed procedures for receiving their supplies and fuel, as needed.

Given the fluidity of the global COVID-19 pandemic, please note that all air travel and cruise ship advisories are subject to change, as more information becomes available. For further information please visit the Government of Grenada’s webpage at www.mgovernance.net/moh/ or the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.

Media Contact

Ria Murray / Communications Officer / Grenada Tourism Authority / [email protected]473 440 2001/2279 / 473 420 2557 (mobile)

For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

Grenada’s Updated Response to the Threat of COVID-19

The Government of Grenada through the Ministry of Health (MOH) continues to work with all stakeholders to implement strong measures in response to the external threat of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Grenada remains well-informed of the latest international developments while implementing measures to safeguard citizens and visitors alike. To date, Grenada has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The Government of Grenada issued the following travel advisory on March 19, 2020. Countries placed on Grenada’s restricted travel list now include: Iran, China, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Europe including the United Kingdom and Ireland and the USA.

1) Effective Friday March 20, 2020 at 23:59pm, non-nationals originating from the above mentioned countries in the last 14 days will be refused entry into Grenada.  2) Effective Saturday March 21, 2020 at 23:59pm the USA will be added to the advisory as per the stipulations outlined above. 3) Grenadian nationals/residents travelling from any of the above locations will be selfquarantined for a period of 14 days upon arrival into Grenada. 4) If you are arriving from any other destination outside the list above you will be screened upon entry, and self-quarantined for 14 days. 5) Before disembarking, every passenger is required to complete a declaration form on his/her health status.  6) On March 16, the Government of Grenada announced that passengers will not be allowed to disembark from ANY cruise ship on the shores of Grenada, until further notice. 7) All yachts and small vessels will now be processed/screened through the Camper and Nicholson Port Louis Marina in Grenada and Carriacou Marine in the South West side of Tyrrel Bay in Carriacou. (T: 473 443 6292)

For the latest updates visit the Government of Grenada’s webpage at  www.mgovernance.net/moh/  or the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada

Pure Grenada, the Spice of the Caribbean remains committed to delivering an outstanding experience to all our visitors. The health and safety of our visitors and citizens alike is of the utmost importance to us. We wish to remind you to continue to practice all safety and health protocols outlined by the Government. For those of you returning to your country of residence during this period, please contact your travel agent to make the necessary arrangements

Given the fluidity of the global COVID-19 pandemic, please note that all air travel and cruise ship advisories are subject to change, as more information becomes available. For further information please visit the Government of Grenada’s webpage at www.mgovernance.net/moh/ or the Ministry of Health’s Facebook page at Facebook/HealthGrenada.  The Ministry of Health has advised the public to continue using proper hygiene methods when they cough and sneeze and to practice social distancing. COVID 19 Hotline: (473) 53VIRUS – 538-4787 or 458-4787

Media Contact

Ria Murray Communications Officer,  Grenada Tourism Authority [email protected] 473 440 2001/2279 473 420 2557 (mobile) For all our recent news releases go to www.puregrenada.com/news

Jamaica on Coronavirus

Government site: https://jis.gov.jm/jamaica-and-the-coronavirus/

 

Jamaica’s Workforce Training Program to Bolster Tourism Recovery

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – June 23, 2020 – Jamaica’s workforce training program is being hailed as a resounding success. The free online programoffered by the Jamaica Centre for Tourism Innovation (JCTI), in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, the University of the West Indies Open Campus and HEART National Service Training Agency, trained more than 8,000 tourism workers over a 12 week period. Courses were designed to enhance the skills of hospitality workers, deliver internationally recognized certifications, and educate the workforce on the new health and safety protocols that were rolled out with the June 15 reopening of the island’s tourist industry.

“Jamaica’s extraordinary workforce has been essential to our success as a sought-after vacation destination. We applaud the more than 8,000 individuals who took advantage of the online training program,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We appreciate the training these workers have undergone to enhance their competitiveness and ensure they’re ready to meet the new demands of the travel industry. Travelers will appreciate the special focus and extra attention Jamaica’s hospitality workers place on service delivery in the context of the new post-COVID health and safety protocols.”

The free online training program, which usually costs approximately J$9,000 per person, runs through July. The Ministry of Tourism’s significant investment in Jamaica’s human capital underscores the importance of people to Jamaica’s tourism product. Workers could choose from 11 online courses and obtain certifications that include: guest room attendant, laundry attendant, certified banquet server, hospitality supervisor, restaurant server, and hospitality law. As part of the training, participants were presented with scenarios that help them better understand and quickly address real time guest needs and challenges in a post-COVID travel environment.

“Jamaica has an educated and highly trained workforce and these courses provide a great opportunity for these valuable workers to retool and upskill,” said Carol Rose Brown, Director of JCTI. “Our courses are internationally benchmarked and represent a smart investment in self-development, for which participants and Jamaica will reap rewards in both the short and long term.”

A comprehensive set of measures are now in place to ensure the safety and well-being of guests throughout their stay. Furthermore, travel partners have implemented a series of changes to enhance the visitor experience.

With the destination now open to international visitors, hospitality workers are well prepared to safely deliver Jamaica’s world class service, in accordance with the new post-COVID health and safety protocols. To learn more, go to: www.visitjamaica.com/travelupdate

 

Talking points for Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett
June 4, 2020

  • As the Government makes plans to reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism is taking centre stage.  And for good reason. The tourism industry is Jamaica’s bread and butter. It is responsible for 9.5% of GDP, contributes 50% of the foreign exchange earnings of the economy, and generates 354,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs.
  • Tourism is big business – 80% of which is small business – the restaurants, craft vendors, tour and transportation operators, attractions, bars, duty-free shops.  Due to tourism’s transversal nature and the linkages with other productive sectors, it also stimulates agriculture, manufacturing and the creative economy.
  • It is within this context that we are anxious to revive tourism, which has been severely crippled by the pandemic.
  • The Ministry of Tourism has calculated the economic fallout.
  • The estimated loss of direct tourism revenue to the Government due to COVID-19 for April 2020 to March 2021 is J$38.4 billion.
  • The estimated overall loss to the economy from visitor expenditure from stopover arrivals is J$107.6 billion.
  • You can see therefore that the phased reopening of our borders to international travellers on June 15 is not just about tourism. It is a matter of economic life or death.
  • We need to get the over 350,000 pandemic-displaced workers back to work. We need to provide some salvation to the many tourism enterprises that right now are at severe economic risk.
  • As I say this, I am mindful of the public sentiment that we are moving too fast and this will pose a health risk to the Jamaican people.  I want to assure you that the reopening will be carried out safely and in a way that protects our frontline tourism workers, Jamaican citizens and our visitors.  As our Prime Minister stresses, we must continue to protect lives while securing our livelihoods.
  • Our Government has demonstrated consistency in focus and resolve in containing the pandemic and with excellent results.  We do not intend to undo this good work.
  • Therefore, let me underscore that non-nationals who enter from June 15 will be subject to the same health and risk screening process (temperature checks, symptoms observation) as nationals.
  • Based on screening, if assessed to be high risk they will be required to self-quarantine at their destination until the results are available.
  • As announced previously, tourism’s reopening is being guided by a five-point recovery strategy:
      • Robust health and security protocols that will withstand local and international scrutiny.
      • Training all sectors to manage protocols and new behavioural pattern moving forward.
      • Strategies around COVID security infrastructure (PPEs, masks, infrared machines, etc.).
      • Communication with the local and international markets about reopening
      • A staggered approach to reopening/managing risk in a structured way.
  • The Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) collaborated with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to formulate these tourism protocols.
  • This follows extensive consultations with local government agencies, particularly the Ministries of Health, National Security and Foreign Affairs as well as the private sector, the unions, and other local and international partners.
  • In addition, our protocols have received the global endorsement of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
  • They are designed based on benchmarks of nearly 20 markets in the Caribbean and globally, and international health agencies.
  • Industry Segments Covered by the Protocols:
      • Hotels
      • Small hotels/guesthouses
      • Attractions
      • Beaches
      • Transportation
      • Shopping
      • Social activities (restaurants and bars)
      • Cruise ports
  • The fundamental elements of the tourism protocols:
      • Sanitisation
      • Face masks and personal protective equipment
      • Physical distancing
      • Clear communications and messaging
      • Digital enablement
      • Real-time health monitoring and reporting
      • Rapid response
      • Training
  • While implementing these health and safety protocols, we do not want them to overshadow the “heart and soul of Jamaica” that makes us such an attractive destination for visitors and local alike.  In other words, we do not want sanitisation and physical distancing to create a sterile culture.  We will continue to infuse our warmth and culture in everything we do, to remind the world that this is the #1 place to be.
  • As part of our wider work to safeguard the wellbeing of our tourism workers when the sector reopens, my Ministry recently donated 10,000 masks to frontline industry workers. This latest initiative, is being undertaken through the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) and Tourism Linkages Network.
  • We are spending just a little over $5 million in this exercise and we are excited  because  not only is the initiative facilitating the provision of much-needed protective cover, but is contributing to economic sustainability by generating opportunities for small enterprises to create a cottage industry through the making of masks.  Some 22 small entrepreneurs were engaged to make these masks.
  • Our focus has not only been on safety and security but also the financial protection of the sector.
  • We are in discussions with Jamaica National and the National Export-Import (EXIM) Bank to examine suitable instruments to enable SMTEs to secure COVID Security equipment.
  • In addition, the Ministry of Finance will be providing $1.2 billion in COVID-19 Tourism Grants to support smaller operators in the tourism and related sectors, inclusive of hotels, attractions and tours, which are registered with the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCO).
  • Yesterday, we did a fact-finding tour of select properties in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios – Hospiten, Holiday Inn, Sandals Montego Bay, Sangster International Airport, Coral Cliff/Margaritaville, Deja Resorts and Jamaica Inn – to gauge the readiness of the industry for reopening.  I am pleased by what I have seen, and I am confident in the reopening of the tourism sector in a manner that is safe and secure for tourism workers, Jamaican citizens and our visitors.

Thank you.

Post-Pandemic We Are Now One Generation

For the last few years we have heard much about the disparities and divides between generations—what they want, how they get their information, and how and why they travel. Gen Z takes in information quickly and visually, and are quick to become loyal to destinations, brands or ideas. Millennials’ desire for experiences over things has shaped and fueled the sharing economy. Hard-working Gen Xers focus on family and need rest and relaxation. And despite the disparaging “Okay Boomer” phenomenon, Baby Boomers have doubled down on sharing the legacy of travel with family members and they are more willing to invest in tracing heritage, getting to those “bucket” destinations, and immersing themselves in travel experiences.

But, as we get to the recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in the coming weeks and months, we will all have had a shared global experience that is intergenerational.  We are now all part of Generation C – the post-COVID generation. GEN-C will be defined by a societal shift in mindset that will change the way that we look at—and do—many things. And in what becomes our “New Normal” economy GEN-C will emerge from our homes. Post-social distancing, we will go back to office and workplaces, and eventually back to a world that will include seeing friends and family, perhaps smaller gatherings; reimagined cultural and sporting events; and eventually to GEN-C travel.

And that return to travel is critical for the global economy.  Across the world, travel and tourism account for 11% of the world’s GDP and creates more than 320 Million jobs for workers serving 1.4 Billion travelers annually.  And these numbers don’t tell the whole story.  They are just part of a connected global economy of which travel and tourism are the lifeblood—sectors from technology, hospitality construction, finance, to agriculture are all interdependent with travel and tourism.

There are still many unanswered questions. What is that new normal? When will we move from crisis to recovery? What form does a post-COVID exit strategy take? What do we need to do before GEN-C will travel again? What technologies, data and protocols will be essential to us as GEN-Cs make us feel safe again?   (continued on next page)

But even as we are still in a state of social distancing, early data shows that the desire to travel is still there. As humans we crave new experiences and the excitement of travel. Travel adds so much to the rhythm and richness of our lives. So, as GEN-C we need a path forward.

There is no question that tourism is among the sectors hit hardest by this crisis, but it is also at the heart of the recovery.  The most resilient economies will be driving the recovery, and travel and tourism will be a multiplier—and an employment engine across all sectors. The global imperative is that we work together across sectors, across regions, to develop a framework that can help solve the global challenge of how to restart the travel and tourism economy.

Jamaica has a unique perspective on resilience—the ability to recover quickly from difficult conditions. As an island nation, we have always had to think about resilience. An island is a paradox in that in many ways it is more vulnerable than other countries—witness Haiti’s devastating earthquake, Puerto Rico’s destruction by Hurricane Maria — but in many ways being an island provides strength and the ability to act with agility.

Last year, working with the University of the West Indies we formed the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Center and we quickly developed sister-centers around the world. This May the center will hold a virtual convening with a panel with experts from around the world who will be sharing ideas and solutions around issues critical to restarting the GEN-C travel and tourism economy. Together we will work to find technology solutions, infrastructure enhancements, training, policy frameworks that are essential to tackling the health and safety, transport, destination and overall approach to tourism resilience.

The new shared global challenge requires shared solutions, and we are committed to finding the way forward. Our entire generation depends on it.

 

Bartlett Announces 6-Month Moratorium on Licenses for Tourism Entities

KINGSTON, Jamaica; April 17, 2020: Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett has announced that his Ministry will be offering a six-month moratorium on licenses and fees that are to be paid by tourism entities.

Minister Bartlett made this announcement earlier today during a digital press briefing hosted by his Ministry to update stakeholders.

According to the Minister,  the categories of entities that are set to benefit include: resort cottages, apartments, guest houses, villas, homestays, car rentals, bike rentals, watersports, domestic tours, contract carriage, craft traders, Ministry approved places of interests and various other categories that have to go to the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Tourism Product Development Company for licenses.

“The accumulative revenue that we forego for that six-month period, which will end in September of the year, will be J$9.7 million. This will give you some level of reprieve and hopefully help with the cash-flow situation for a number of our partners,” said Minister Bartlett.

This six-month moratorium will be reviewed depending on the length of time it takes for the country to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the briefing the Minister also announced that Professor the Hon. Gordon Shirley, President and CEO of the Port Authority of Jamaica, has agreed to chair a cruise recovery programme for COVID-19.

“The panel that we have established is a very eminent one, which includes some of the best minds in the cruise sector and we are hoping to have them begin to work, as early as next Monday [April 20]. This will allow us to start putting protocols in place and begin engaging with our partners, to get that sector back on track as quickly as possible,” said Minister Bartlett.

Minister Bartlett also provided an update on the Tourism Recovery Task Force, which was first announced during a digital media briefing on April 9.

“We will be working on a hard 2-week drive, to get the framework of the recovery ready, for first discussion with a major international company. This company will be working with us to develop the technical aspect of the plan.

We are going to be taking that plan to our partners… We want to create a new tourism after COVID-19 because we recognize the changes that are going to take place,” said the Minister.

The task force will consist of two layers of partners whose mandate is to, among other things, provide a recovery and growth stimulation framework for the sector.

It was created to establish a realistic view of the sector’s baseline or starting position; develop scenarios for multiple versions of the future; establish the strategic posture for the sector as well as a broad direction of the journey back to growth; establish actions and strategic imperatives that will be reflected across various scenarios; and establish trigger points to tackle action, which includes a planned vision in a world that is learning to evolve rapidly.

One New Case; Three More Recoveries

The National Influenza Centre has reported that in the last 24 hours, one sample has tested positive for COVID-19. This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Jamaica to 73.

The new case is a 57 year old male from Kingston & St. Andrew with no travel history, but is a contact of a confirmed case.

There are now 31 imported cases, 34 cases are contacts of a confirmed case, 6 are local transmission cases not epidemiologically-linked and 2 cases are under investigation. Some 55% of confirmed cases are male and 45% are female, while the ages of all confirmed cases range from 12 to 87 years old.

The health departments across the island are currently tracing approximately 379 close contacts of the confirmed cases.

The National Influenza Centre has also advised that to date, a total of 1,199 samples have been tested including those for Severe Acute Respiratory Infections (SARI) resulting in 1,121 negative and 73 positive, with five samples pending.

In the meantime, three more patients have recovered and have been released from hospital. This brings the total number of persons recovered and released to 19. Additionally, 66 patients remain in isolation, while 20 persons are in quarantine at a government facility.

 

“ESCAPE TO Jamaica” INSTAGRAM live SERIES DELIVERS a TASTE OF the destination

Virtual Care Package Aims to Lift Spirits During Social Distancing 

KINGSTON, JAMAICA – April 1, 2020 – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is using its digital platform to deliver a virtual care package to uplift and inspire followers around the world currently practicing responsible social distancing. On Friday, April 3 at 9:00 pm ET (8:00 pm Jamaica time), the JTB will kick off its “Escape to Jamaica” Instagram Live series featuring one of Jamaica’s leading disc jockeys, ZJ Sparks. The popular ZIP 103 DJ will host a dance party spinning the latest reggae and dancehall hits live from Jamaica, helping viewers chill and unwind after another week of social distancing.

“Escape to Jamaica” will occur weekly on the JTB’s Instagram channel. In addition to sharing irie vibes, the series will also feature live cooking demos and pre-recorded wellness sessions. The first wellness session will be on Monday, April 6 at 9:00 am ET (8:00 am Jamaica time), with Empress Thandi Wise, Certified Yoga Instructor from Rasta Wellness Centre and Jakes Hotel. On Wednesday, April 8 at 6:00 pm ET (5:00 pm Jamaica time) the cooking demos debut with Andre Fowles, Food Network Chopped Champion and Culinary Ambassador for Miss Lily’s in New York, Negril and Dubai.

“We’re aware that people from all corners of the globe may be in need of an escape with what’s happening right now. With this live series, Jamaica offers a virtual getaway through our music, cuisine, culture, warm people and that unmistakable Jamaican spirit,” said Donovan White, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Since visitors are unable to come to us at the moment, we want to bring the “Heartbeat of the World” to their homes. Jamaica will be here to welcome travelers when the time is right. We want our followers to know we can only get through this together.”

Following is the current schedule of the “Escape to Jamaica” series, with additional dates to be announced:

  • April 3: ZJ Sparks – Zip 103
  • April 6: Empress Thandi Wise – Certified Yoga Instructor, Rasta Wellness Centre and Jakes Hotel
  • April 8: Chef Andre Fowles – Food Network Chopped Champion and Culinary Ambassador for Miss Lily’s in New York, Negril and Dubai
  • April 10: DJ Delano – Renaissance Disco
  • April 15: Rousseau Sisters – Jamaican Sisters, owners of SummerHouse in Kingston and Authors of Provisions, The Roots of Caribbean Cooking
  • April 17: ZJ Chrome – Zip 103

To participate, be sure to visit the JTB’s Instagram account at www.instagram.com/visitjamaica. Join the conversation with #EscapetoJamaica.

Tourism Ministry to Postpone All Public Activities in March

KINGSTON, Jamaica; March 12, 2020: The Ministry of Tourism wishes to advise the public that all previously advertised activities for March have been postponed, until further notice.

This decision is in keeping with the new COVID-19 health protocols, regarding public gatherings declared by Prime Minister Andrew Holness, at an emergency press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday evening.

The Prime Minister shared that “Where the law requires, the granting of a permit for any event or gathering, no permit will be issued within the next 14 days. That means any event, whether entertainment event, any gathering that requires the issuing of a permit. Permits that were already issued will be rescinded.”

He also asked that organisers of business meetings and large gatherings follow the protocols that have been established for personal care and hygiene.

Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says, “We must err on the side of caution in light of the new COVID-19 developments in the country. I have had several meetings with my team about these upcoming events and believe it is in the best interest of the public as well as the staff of the Ministry to postpone these events until it is safer to do so.”

Therefore, in the interest of public safety, the Ministry of Tourism will be postponing the following events:

  • Tourism Linkages Speed Networking event scheduled for March 12 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre
  • Tourism Worker’s Pensions Sensitization session scheduled for March 12 at Royalton Blue Waters
  • Tourism Worker’s Pensions Sensitization session scheduled for March 13 at the Montego Bay Civic Centre
  • Tourism Worker’s Pensions Sensitization session scheduled for March 13 at Glistening Waters in Falmouth
  • Tourism Service Excellence Awards scheduled for March 14 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre
  • TPDCO’s Call for Licence Applications roadshow scheduled for March 16-26 across the island
  • Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Festival scheduled for March 21 in Newcastle, St. Andrew

The Ministry will continue to monitor the situation and be guided by the protocols for the public health and safety outlined by the Office of the Prime Minister.  However, considerations are also being made, where appropriate, to execute some of these events remotely utilizing virtual communication applications.

“We are very technologically savvy and I am sure we can have some of these events remotely. However, we are still fine tuning these details and will advise the public once decisions have been finalised,” said Minister Bartlett.

The Ministry regrets any inconvenience these changes may cause and encourage the public to follow all health advisories to avoid spread of the virus.

For more information, contact:

Corporate Communications Division / Ministry of Tourism / 64 Knutsford Boulevard / Kingston 5

Tel: (876) 920-4926-30 / Fax: (876) 906 1729

National Statement: COVID-19 Delivered by Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness – 10 March 2020

Jamaica today confirmed its first imported case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) here in Kingston

The patient is a Jamaican female who had travelled from the United Kingdom, which has cases of COVID-19. She arrived in the island on March 4, presented to the public health system on March 9 and has been in isolation since then.

Based on the patient’s travel history and symptoms, health professionals suspected COVID-19. A clinical sample was collected and sent to the National Influenza Centre, where laboratory tests confirmed the diagnosis today at approximately 11:00 am. The patient and family members have been informed.

The patient’s infection was travel-related. However, steps are being taken to prevent the risk of community spread.

These measures include:

  • The dispatch of a health team to the home of the patient for assessment and initiation of public health measures.
  • The identification and contact tracing for all possible exposed persons.
  • Meeting of Ministry officials with members of staff at the hospital and the necessary interventions put in place.

In addition, imposed travel restrictions remain in place. In fact, three countries have been added to the list of five (China, Italy, South Korea, Singapore, and Iran) that was previously made public. They are Spain, France and Germany.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and I met this morning with the ambassadors of those countries, together with the ambassador for the EU and have informed them that based on the risk assessment of community spread of the virus in those countries that travel restrictions would be imposed.

Further, I would like to advise that:

  • Public gatherings are discouraged.
  • Non-essential travel is discouraged.
  • We continue to patrol irregular border crossings.
  • Sensitisation of key personnel at all air and sea ports is ongoing.
  • We have designated FOUR (4) quarantine facilities and others will be identified.
  • We are finalising the retrofitting of isolation facilities in each of the island’s public hospitals.

On the readiness of the island’s health system, the Ministry has:

  • Developed the local capacity to test for the virus, thanks to training provided by the Pan-American Health Organization. It is on that capacity that we relied for this test result.
  • Assessed the readiness of our health facilities to meet the anticipated increase in demand on services.
  • Continue to address existing gaps, including with respect of additional supplies and equipment, though, at the present time, we have enough personal protective equipment in the island for our health facilities. We also have adequate stores of respiratory medicine for the next three months.
  • Trained and continue to train health care providers.

These efforts are supported by a communications campaign to keep each member of the population updated on the virus and its impacts and with oversight is provided by Prime Minister Andrew Holness-led National Disaster Risk Management Council.

I have also named a COVID-19 Response Advisory team that will support the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ planning and coordination with respect of this public health challenge. The members include:

  • Mr. Howard Mitchel, former president of eh Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica;
  • Mr. Christopher Zacca, CEO, Sagicor;
  • Mr. Owen Ellington, former Commissioner of Police;
  • Rev. Devon Dick, Jamaica Baptist Union;
  • Dr. Marina  Ramkisoon, Deputy Associate Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, UWI;
  • Commander Wenyss Gorman, JDF;
  • Lieutenant Colonel Sydney Powell, JDF; and
  • ACP Calvin Allen, JCF.

The Ministry is also urging the public to adhere to infection prevention and control measures, notably to:

  • Maintain a distance of at least one metre from persons who are coughing or sneezing.
  • Frequently perform hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer if hands are not visibly soiled.
  • Cover our mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and then discarding it.
  • And resist the habit to touch our faces.

For additional information, the public is encouraged to contact 888-ONE-LOVE (663-5683).

I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the public to remain calm and to implement all the advisories relating to personal hygiene, social distancing, and overall infection prevention control. The Government of Jamaica will continue to keep the public informed as we manage this public health challenge.

Martinique on Coronavirus

Local site: https://www.martinique.ars.sante.fr/coronavirus-point-dactualite

 

Martinique Takes Aggressive Measures Against COVID-19

New York – March 24, 2020 – Due to the spreading of the Covid-19, the French Government has established several measures to contain and decrease the spread of the Coronavirus on all its territory. Therefore, The Martinique Authority (CTM), the Martinique Tourism Authority, the Port of Martinique, the Martinique International Airport, the Regional Health Agency (A.R.S.)  along with all establishments of the public and private sector are taking an active part against the spread of the virus ensuring the safety of its local residents and present guests.

However, with this unexpected turn of events, all guests are strongly advised to return home.

Below is a summary of the restrictions implemented in Martinique:

Airports: In accordance to the French Government travel restrictions, Martinique International Airport is not allowing inbound flight anymore (leisure, family visit etc..) to the Island. And as a further step to stop the spread of COVID-19, all international flights to/from Martinique have been interrupted as of March 23rd, 2020.

Air service will only be authorized for
1)         The reunification of families with children or dependent person
2)         Professional obligations strictly necessary for the continuity of essential services,
3)         Health requirements.

Flights transport capacity from Martinique to France have been reduced to the same three criteria as of March 22 midnight.The same regulations apply between the 5 French overseas Islands: Saint-Martin, Saint-Barth, Guadeloupe, French Guyana and Martinique.

Cruise operations: The Martinique Port Authority has stopped all cruise calls scheduled for the season. Requests for technical stops will be treated case by case. Container transport activities are still maintained, as well as oil and gas refueling.

Maritime Transport: Due to the important decrease of passenger capacity allowed by the French authorities; all maritime transportations are suspended. Marinas: All activities at Marinas are discontinued.

Hotels & Villas: Due to travel restrictions, most hotels and villa rentals are bringing their activities to a close, while waiting for the departure of their last guests. No new guest will be allowed, and all the amenities such as pools, spa and other activities are closed to the public.

Leisure Activities & Restaurants: Due to the quarantine implemented by the French Government, leisure activities, restaurants & bars are closed to the public. Only restaurants inside hotels with guests are still operating, until the departure of their last visitors.

Economic Activities: In accordance to the restrictions in effect, all businesses are closed, and public transportation is no longer in operation. An exception is made for vital activities such as supermarkets, banks and pharmacies.

All the residents have the obligation to remain in confinement until further notice. For any necessary purposes such as food supply, sanitary reasons or essential work activities, an exemption certificate, available on the Prefecture of Martinique’s website, is mandatory.

For updates and more information about the COVID-19 and the measures in place in Martinique, please visit the Prefecture of Martinique website: martinique.gouv.fr

Monitoring and Prevention of COVID-19 in the French Caribbean Island of Martinique  

NEW YORK, March 12, 2020 – The Martinique Tourism Authority, the Port of Martinique, the Martinique International Airport are closely monitoring the island’s points of entry to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.

As reported by the director of the Regional Health Agency’s (A.R.S.), the island is and remains in Stage 1 of a 3-stage prevention protocol established by the French Government in 2009 following the H1N1 flu epidemic. Stage 1 is prevention and all procedures and protective measures are in place:

* All disembarking cruise passengers are being systematically screened.  Anchorage, to come ashore for smaller luxury boats, is no longer permitted.  They must go to port terminals to be screened by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique.

Safety protocols are posted and implemented in all marinas and small ports.

* As of Thursday, March 5, 2020, sanitary measures are being enforced by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique with the presence of firefighters.

* Since, February 29, 2020, prevention notices have been posted at the airport and since March 4, airline passengers are given these notices prior to landing

* Additional sanitary inspectors have been positioned at the airport

* Martinique’s main hospital is prepared for any changes in this sanitary crisis, readied isolation units and expanded it testing capabilities

On March 11th, 4 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Regional Health Agency (A.R.S.) in Martinique. These 4 cases are currently in isolation at the CHU Martinique Hospital, La Meynard, in a special and sheltered quarantine unit.

A crisis division was immediately activated by the ARS, to search for, identify and monitor contact cases: people who have had close and prolonged contact with infected patients.

In anticipation of this global outbreak, the A.R.S. and the CHU Martinique Hospital have been proactively preparing in the event of confirmed case in the island.

Speaking on this topic, the director of the Martinique Tourism Authority, Mr. François Languedoc-Baltus noted that “it is very important that our guests be aware that the regional and tourism authorities are prepared and have taken in the last weeks all the necessary steps to prevent and contain the virus.” He added that “Martinique has one of the best hospitals and healthcare systems in the Caribbean—on par with mainland France and the E.U.”

Meanwhile, the local population and visitors are reminded to follow established recommendations to prevent infection. These include:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw away after use or cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms do not go to a doctor or hospital to avoid any spread of the virus and instead call emergency services, the SAMU (dial 15) and share your travel history. They will send a specialist to evaluate your symptoms.

For updates and more information about the COVID-19 and the measures in place in Martinique, please visit the A.R.S. website http://www.martinique.gouv.fr/Politiques-publiques/Environnement-sante-publique/Sante/Les-informations-sur-le-Coronavirus-COVID-19

PRESS CONTACTS

Géraldine Rome
Martinique Promotion Bureau (MTA USA)
T: 212-838-6887
E: [email protected]

 Marion Fourestier
Atout France
T :212-745-0963
E : [email protected]

Monitoring and Prevention of COVID-19 In the French Caribbean Island of Martinique

NEW YORK, March 11, 2020 – The Martinique Tourism Authority, the Port of Martinique, the Martinique International Airport are closely monitoring the island’s points of entry to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.

As reported by the director of the Regional Health Agency’s (A.R.S.), the island is and remains in Stage 1 of a 3-stage prevention protocol established by the French Government in 2009 following the H1N1 flu epidemic. Stage 1 is prevention and all procedures and protective measures are in place:

* All disembarking cruise passengers are being systematically screened.  Anchorage, to come ashore for smaller luxury boats, is no longer permitted.  They must go to port terminals to be screened by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique.

Safety protocols are posted and implemented in all marinas and small ports.

* As of Thursday, March 5, 2020, sanitary measures are being enforced by the Regional Health Agency of Martinique with the presence of firefighters.

* Since, February 29, 2020, prevention notices have been posted at the airport and since March 4, airline passengers are given these notices prior to landing

* Additional sanitary inspectors have been positioned at the airport

* Martinique’s main hospital is prepared for any changes in this sanitary crisis, readied isolation units and expanded it testing capabilities

On March 10th, 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Regional Health Agency (A.R.S.) in Martinique. These 3 cases are currently in isolation at the CHU Martinique Hospital, La Meynard, in a special and sheltered quarantine unit.

A crisis division was immediately activated by the ARS, to search for, identify and monitor contact cases: people who have had close and prolonged contact with infected patients.

In anticipation of this global outbreak, the A.R.S. and the CHU Martinique Hospital have been proactively preparing in the event of confirmed case in the island.

Speaking on this topic, the director of the Martinique Tourism Authority, Mr. François Languedoc-Baltus noted that “it is very important that our guests be aware that the regional and tourism authorities are prepared and have taken in the last weeks all the necessary steps to prevent and contain the virus.” He added that “Martinique has one of the best hospitals and healthcare systems in the Caribbean—on par with mainland France and the E.U.”

Meanwhile, the local population and visitors are reminded to follow established recommendations to prevent infection. These include:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw away after use or cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms do not go to a doctor or hospital to avoid any spread of the virus and instead call emergency services, the SAMU (dial 15) and share your travel history. They will send a specialist to evaluate your symptoms.

For updates and more information about the COVID-19 and the measures in place in Martinique, please visit the A.R.S. website http://www.martinique.gouv.fr/Politiques-publiques/Environnement-sante-publique/Sante/Les-informations-sur-le-Coronavirus-COVID-19

PRESS CONTACTS

Géraldine Rome
Martinique Promotion Bureau (MTA USA)
T: 212-838-6887
E: [email protected]

 Marion Fourestier
Atout France
T :212-745-0963
E : [email protected]

Montserrat on Coronavirus

Government site: http://www.gov.ms/news/ | https://www.facebook.com/GIUMontserrat/

 

Montserrat Issues Pre-travel Registration and Protocols for Select Travelers

June 12, 2020, Government Information Unit/Montserrat Tourism Division, Brades, Montserrat – The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) and the Access Division have implemented a pre-travel registration process and other protocols, for select persons traveling to Montserrat. These measures make provisions for the following categories of travelers to the island:
• Montserratians
• Individuals who hold a permit of permanent residence
• A person who is ordinarily resident in Montserrat
• A member of the crew of an aircraft or ship (including freight, cargo or courier craft or vessel
• Husband, wife, child or other dependent of a Montserratian or permanent resident
• Non-resident technician, once permission has been granted for the person to disembark in Montserrat prior to travelling to Montserrat
• Any other person, as may be determined by the Minister of Health & Social Services for the purpose of the suppression of COVID-19.

Such persons, however, must register to travel to Montserrat by completing and submitting the ‘Access Declaration Form’ at least 72 hours prior to the expected date of arrival. This facility only allows entry into Montserrat by air at the John A. Osborne Airport and is not extended to access by ferry. The electronic ‘Access Declaration Form’ is available on the government website at www.gov.ms.

During the travel and arrival process, several protocols are also in place to minimize the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19. These are as follows:

1. All passengers must wear a mask or face covering on the aircraft and at the Airport
2. Upon arrival, Health Officials will screen passengers and conduct temperature checks before allowing them to proceed through Immigration.
The screening process will include questions regarding travel history, address/place of residence for the last 14 days, accommodation arrangements while on Montserrat and transportation arrangements from the Airport to the address in Montserrat.
3. All persons arriving in Montserrat will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days; the host and family may also be required to self-quarantine. Following an assessment, the Ministry of Health & Social Services will make a determination as to whether or not the entire household should be quarantined.

The only exception to the self-quarantine requirement is for a visiting, non-resident technician, whose movement would be restricted to travel between his/her accommodation and the location of the job. The person would be required to wear a mask at all times and to exercise physical distancing while at the job location and place of accommodation.
Persons arriving on Montserrat are reminded that in accordance with the Public Health Order, they may be subject to medical examinations and that Medical Officers are authorized to:

a) Conduct clinical examinations
b) Isolate any person considered to have a high risk of being infected with COVID-19.

The Government of Montserrat continues its phased approach to re-opening its borders and remains guided by local, regional and international health authorities. The island is currently observing a daily 10pm – 5am curfew.

Montserrat continues phased re-opening

May 20, 2020, Government Information Unit/Montserrat Tourism Division, Brades, Montserrat – After two months of managing the Coronavirus disease on island, the number of active cases in Montserrat is down to zero, there are currently no suspected cases and the number of persons in quarantine has reduced to two.

In commenting about the island’s status, Premier, the Hon. Joseph E. Farrell noted: “The government and other stakeholders will work together to develop protocols for businesses, the workplace, schools and all other institutions. These will be geared towards safeguarding the population, further reducing the threat of the virus, while we continue to reopen the island for business.”

On May 7, 2020, a phased reopening of the economy began with the understanding that the Cabinet would assess each phase, guided by the information available from the Ministry of Health. As of midnight on May 22, the following amendments to the existing restrictions come into effect:

  • A nighttime curfew from 8pm – 5am
  • No weekend lockdown
  • No restrictions on the times persons are allowed to exercise outdoors
  • All retail stores will be allowed to re-open
  • Restaurants and cook shops will be allowed to re-open, but for take-away only
  • Resumption of all construction activities
  • Visits to Margetson Memorial Home and the Golden Years Home are open to immediate family members only.

All businesses allowed to operate must be able to show that they can adhere to the social distancing requirements. Additionally, they must provide evidence that they have a plan for regularly disinfecting furnishings, tools and equipment that are frequently touched or handled by workers and customers, as well as providing them with hand sanitizers. Gatherings remain restricted to four persons, preferably with members of the same family or household.

The following closures remain in effect:

  • Air and sea borders
  • Schools (The Ministry of Education will provide updates to teachers, parents and students on plans to re-open and the facilitation of exams)
  • Hairdressers and Barbershops
  • Bars

Director of Tourism, Warren Solomon noted: “Our stakeholders continue to cope during what is an extremely difficult time for everyone on the island. Nonetheless, thanks to their collective responsible approach to following the restrictions and protocols, we’ve been able to see the positive results.” He continued, “I’m pleased that the Tourism Division will now be able to resume its upgrade projects of the island’s hiking trails and beach facilities and we will also be launching a series of training initiatives for our tourism partners via video conferencing.”

Government of Montserrat Supports Local Tourism Sector

April 28, 2020, Government Information Unit/Montserrat Tourism Division, Brades, Montserrat – The Government of Montserrat through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MOFEM), is providing financial assistance for individuals and businesses in the tourism sector, as part of its fiscal stimulus package in response to COVID-19.

This package, which offers direct financial support to employees in the tourism sector, will be for a period of three (3) months in the first instance, to any eligible businesses that are suffering financial hardship and facing the inevitability of having to lay off workers due to COVID-19.

Special consideration has been given to companies and sole proprietorships, for whom the majority of their income is earned in the following sectors:

  • Tourist accommodation providers • Tour operators, including both land- and marine-based • Transportation services • Restaurants • Other tourism-related businesses

This package will provide a direct cash injection into businesses to allow for the continued payment and employment of full-time workers at a maximum of 80% of their gross salary, with a ceiling of no more than EC$3200 per employee. This will be based on the previous six months’ salary level. Income Tax would still be payable but at the new tax rates.

Businesses are required to apply to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management and the deadline for forms to be submitted is Thursday April 30, 2020.

The Government of Montserrat formulated this package of support understanding the increasingly difficult financial situation facing many businesses on the island due to the growth of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The island is currently on a 24-hour shut down until 12:00am on Friday May 1.

Montserrat Shutdown Extended

April 17, 2020, Government Information Unit, Davy Hill Montserrat – The Government of Montserrat will be extending the shutdown as it continues to take steps to contain and prevent further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) on Montserrat.

The Cabinet has met and agreed to extend the shutdown until 12:00a.m on Friday May 1, however a three-day window will be allowed at the end of the current shutdown to enable persons to purchase essential items and conduct money transactions.

On Monday April 20 to Wednesday April 22, supermarkets, banks and money transfer services, petrol stations and bakeries will be allowed to open for members of the public to access these services and conduct shopping within specified hours.

Shopping at the supermarkets will be conducted in alphabetical order to provide for smaller groups to access these businesses places and to ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Further details on the opening times for the aforementioned businesses and the alphabetical order for shopping arrangements, will be announced on Saturday April 18, 2020. Following this, the island will shut down again from 12:00a.m. on Thursday April 23 to Friday May 1, at 12:00a.m.

Montserrat records its second COVID-19 recovery

April 17, 2020, Government Information Unit, Davy Hill Montserrat – A second person has fully recovered from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Montserrat.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) is today announcing that another patient has made a full recovery from COVID-19, and two suspected cases have tested negative.

This was confirmed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) Reference Laboratory which recently investigated seven (7) local samples. The samples included five (5) follow up swabs from confirmed cases and two (2) suspected cases.

Montserrat Tourism Division, Brades, Montserrat Tel: +1-664-491-4702/3 [email protected]

These latest results mean that Montserrat’s active, on–island cases have now decreased to eight (8), and recoveries have increased to two (2).

The Ministry of Health noted that while Montserrat appears to be trending in the right direction, failure to adhere to established physical distancing protocols could derail progress with the containment of COVID- 19.

Residents are therefore urged to continue to limit physical interactions with persons outside their households. Where extreme circumstances dictate that you must leave home; such as accessing essential services like medical care, the public is reminded to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet, properly wash and sanitize your hands and practice the correct respiratory etiquette by covering your coughs and sneezes.

These steps will continue to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The government has imposed a 24-hour curfew from 28 March to 14 April. Here are the full details.

WHAT TIME IS THE CURFEW?

24 Hours Daily from 28th March at 6:00 p.m. until 14th April 2020 at 12 am. 

WHO DOES THE CURFEW APPLY TO?

Every person on Montserrat

DURING THE CURFEW WHAT IS A PERSON EXPECTED TO DO?

A Person is expected to remain at home, this includes the yard, or garden etc. of your place of Residence/Occupancy.

DURING THE CURFEW IS A PERSON ALLOWED TO LEAVE THEIR HOME?

Yes, BUT ONLY to :

  1. Work as essential service worker (this includes travelling to and from work)
  2. Work as an essential business (this includes travelling to and from work)
  3. assist, transport or provide an ancillary service for an essential worker
  4. seek medical care,

shop for necessities to include food, medicine, fuel or other necessity, BUT only one person from each household may be in the public place for this purpose, and the person shall not be in the public place more than once daily for this purpose,

  1. go to the bank or conduct a money transfer at western union or MoneyGram
  2. care for a family, vulnerable person or pet,
  3. engage in an activity to include walking, biking, hiking or swimming either alone or in a gathering that is not a large gathering; from 5 am to 8 am or 3 pm to 6 pm, BUT these activities must not be done with a person from another household so as to prevent cross-infection between different households (community transmission).
  4. arrive into Montserrat by ferry or airplane, BUT you must get home within 2 hours of arriving in Montserrat
  5. to transport someone who has arrived into Montserrat by ferry or airplane, BUT you must get residence/place of occupancy within two hours of transporting the person
  6. to leave Montserrat, BUT you must not leave your place of residence/home or occupancy before 4 am
  7. to transport a person who is leaving Montserrat, BUT you must not leave your place of residence or occupancy/home before 4 am.
  1. The members of the public are required to stay at home.

WHAT SERVICES ARE ESSENTIAL SERVICES?

  1. air traffic (including meteorological, telecommunication, security, fire and crash services connected with airports) services;
  2. fire, prison, defence force or police services;
  3. medical, health, hospital, infirmary or nursing home services;
  4. telecommunications or broadcasting services;
  5. water, electricity (MUL) or sanitation services;
  6. immigration, customs or postal services;
  7. services connected with sittings of the Legislative Assembly and meetings of Cabinet;
  8. services connected with the loading and unloading of ships and with the storage and delivery of goods at, or from a dock, wharf or warehouse operated in connection with the dock or wharf , NB. This does not include services such as sand mining;
  9. public services connected with the payment of salaries, pensions and other benefits, in government departments, agencies; statutory bodies and arms-length bodies;
  10. services connected with the Judiciary;
  11. services connected with essential government functions as determined by the Deputy Governor;
  12. airport, seaport, civil aviation or ferry services;
  13. a service that is granted permission to offer an essential service (By Minister of Health)

WHAT BUSINESSES ARE PERMITTED TO OPERATE?

  1. a banking business – which allowed to open 8 am to 12 pm
  2. a doctor’s office – which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
  3. a grocery store, an agricultural produce business or a pharmacy- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm. BUT only one person from each household is allowed to be out for the purpose of going to the grocery store, pharmacy or market.
  4. a gas station- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
  5. a bakery- which is allowed to open 8 am to 6 pm
  6. a business connected with fisheries 2 am to 7 pm
  7. as an undertaker – for 24 hours
  8. a money transfer business, from 8 am to 6 pm.
  9. a business or organisation that is granted permission (by the Minister of Health) to operate

*For the avoidance of doubt a bar, nightclub, restaurant, cook-shop (or any similar shop) barber shop, hair salon; insurance business or similar business is not an essential business.

NOTE

Most of the essential services are Governmental services and services provided by statutory bodies – Water and Electricity services means (MUL)An essential business supplier is a business place whose main business is to provide one of the essential business outlined. Eg. Grocery – if your main business is to sell groceries retail or wholesale then your business is an essential service.

Telecommunications – The telecommunications service providers – i.e. Flow and DIGICEL, not a store that sells or repairs phones.

Fisheries – Fishermen

Agricultural services – would relate to the Farmers and individuals who sell agricultural produce

Banking Business – Commercial Bank, Credit Union, Building Society

Money Transfer Business – Money Gram and Western Union 

Bakery – this is clear.

NOTE ALSO

The public buses and taxis are not permitted to run at this time – It is recognized that this may pose a challenge to some persons and options to address this are being explored. The concern is that a person is at great risk of contracting the virus if they travel in public transportation when one considers the medical evidence on the length of time the virus can live on surfaces.  Also the difficulty to practice physical distancing.

WHAT IS A BUSINESS THAT IS NOT AN ESSENTIAL SERVICE OR ESSENTIAL BUSINESS EXPECTED TO DO AS OF MARCH 28TH AT 6 PM

Close. Stop operating at 6 pm March 28th at 6 pm until 14th April 2020.

DO THE RESTRICTIONS LIMITING GATHERS TO 4 PERSONS APPLY TO ESSENTIAL BUSINESS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS?

No, it does not, put these service providers are required to ensure that their employees and customers are able to maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from another person.

WHAT STEPS SHOULD SERVICE PROVIDERS TAKE TO ENSURE THAT THEIR CUSTOMERS ARE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE REQUIRED PHYSICAL DISTANCE?

  1. Assess the size of their premises and determine the number of people that may be permitted in the premises allowing for one person ever 30 sq feet.
  2. Limit the number of persons permitted to enter your establishment to ensure that persons can maintain a distance of 6 feet between themselves and the next person.
  3. Place markings at the checkout point to ensure that customers remain 6ft apart from the customers in front of them.
  4. Place markers outside your store to ensure that the customers who are waiting to enter your premises can maintain a distance of 6 feet between themselves and the next person.

Note: these marking etc. must be put in place by 6:00 p.m. on Sunday 29th March 2020

NB In order to enable the service Providers to put the markings etc, in place, the Hardware stores will be permitted to open today 28th March 2020 between the hours of 8: 00 a.m to 1:00 p.m.

  • The service providers are expected to put the necessary systems in place to control the numbers coming into their premises.
  • The Public is also asked to comply with the measures that have been put in place by the Service Providers and to ensure that they comply with the requirement to stay at least 6 feet away from the next person.

WHAT IS THE PENALTY FOR BREACHING THE CURFEW?

  • a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for three months OR
  • both a fine and imprisonment AND in the case of a second or subsequent offence to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonment

ADDITIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH (COVID-19 CONTROL AND SUPPRESSION ORDER – NEW MEASURES

By way of additional information about the impact of the new order.

  • Please note that although MUL, DIGICEL, FLOW etc. are permitted to be open, this is only for the purposes of ensuring that the provision of those services continue. They are not opened for the purposes of enabling people to pay bills.  These service providers I understand have given the GOM the commitment that they will not during this period they will not disconnect customers for non-payment of bills.
  • Persons are now mandated to stay home (including the yard or garden). Full 24 hour a day curfew. This takes effect today 28th March 2020 at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Only One person from the household is permitted and, only once a day, to leave their home for the purpose of
    • shopping for necessities – Groceries, medicine etc.,
    • To conduct a banking or money transfer transaction
    • or to look after a Family member, a vulnerable person (E.g. an elderly friend or neighbor) or a pet. 
  • Physical activity is permitted, but only with members of your household, provided that you are not in group larger than three persons. This exercise must take place during the prescribed hours which are 5am – 8 am and 3pm – 6 pm. 
  • Essential service and essential business providers are permitted to be out of their place of residence for the purposes associated with their business or service. 
  • No one else is supposed to be out:
    • No yard workers. (Householders can cut their own yard if they wish)
    • No construction work
    • No other activity or work other than those provided for as essential business or service providers.
  • Fishermen and Farmers are permitted to be out. 
  • Only business permitted to have customers:
    • Grocery stores – whether wholesale or retail (selling groceries must be the primary business of the establishment)
    • Pharmacy
    • Banks
    • Gas station
    • Bakery
    • Doctor’s office
    • Money transfer business
    • Agricultural produce vendors

Number of People Allowed

These persons and business places may have more than 4 persons in their business places, but they must put measures in place to ensure that their customers and staff can practice the required physical distancing. 

They must

– ensure that not too many people are in the premises at one time given the size of the business place.

  • Put markers six feet part inside the business to indicate where customers must stand at the checkout point or in the queue
  • Put markers outside the premises, which are six feet part to indicate where customers must stand while waiting to enter the business place.
  • The public is being asked to abide with the measures that the business places have put in place to protect you as their customers and to protect themselves and their staff.

Hours of business

The Order outlines – hours during which service can be provided: But business owners can determine that they will provide service for a period shorter that the time frame allowed.

  • for a term of six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.
Puerto Rico on Coronavirus

Puerto Rico to resume in-bound tourism next month

As part of the Island’s responsible four-phased reopening plan, Puerto Rico announced it will formally reopen for in-bound tourism on July 15. However, beaches have reopened with sunbathing and other recreational activities now permitted limiting group gathering to only those within the same household.

One thing to point out, as you may know, is that Puerto Rico has exercised an abundance of caution since the onset of COVID-19, with policies in place to avoid the spread of the virus throughout the Island, including being the first U.S. entity to implement strict measures such as an Island-wide curfew. Thorough cleanliness measures are in place Island-wide, and enhanced policies are being implemented that follow the U.S. Travel Association (USTA) Health and Safety guideline along with locally enforced measures, developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Below are some additional quick tidbits travelers should know as they plan their visit to Puerto Rico:
Island Curfew
• A curfew remains in effect through June 30th but has been extended from 10:00PM – 5:00AM; exceptions are for emergencies.
Experiences
• Beaches have reopened with sunbathing and other recreational activities now permitted limiting group gathering to only those within the same household.
• Hotel pools are open and increasing capacity to 50% starting June 16.
Businesses
• Restaurants are open and increasing capacity to 50% starting June 16.
• Malls and other retail stores remain open, but no leisure strolling is permitted for now. Appointments required.
• Casinos and playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.

Escape to Puerto Rico This Weekend, Virtually

Discover Puerto Rico invites you to dance salsa, make cocktails and cook authentic Puerto Rican cuisine this Friday through Sunday, March 27-29, 2020 to extend the joyful spirit of Puerto Rico’s culture, into your home

San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 24, 2020 – As we all come together to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and find ourselves in our homes seeking creative inspiration, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), wants to extend the uplifting spirit of Puerto Rico’s rich culture by inviting people everywhere to escape to Puerto Rico this weekend, virtually. Day dreamers everywhere are invited to meet some of Puerto Rico’s best local talent and immerse themselves in the Island’s rich offerings by joining a salsa lesson with Tito Ortos and his partner Tamara Livolsi, choreographers to the stars including El Gran Combo, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Víctor Manuelle on Friday, March 27, a cocktail making class with Roberto Berdecia, bartender and co-founder of the famous La Factoría on Saturday, March 28, and a cooking demo with Puerto Rican chef, Wilo Benet from Wilo Eatery & Bar on Sunday, March 29.

“We take great responsibility in helping stop the spread of COVID-19, so we’re not encouraging travelers to visit us right now as everyone needs to stay safe in their homes. Instead, we want to extend an important part of our culture – our salsa music and dancing, our mixology and our delicious cuisine – to uplift people during these challenging times. We encourage travelers to daydream about our Island now and consider a visit later, when the time is right. In the meantime, we’re excited to join them in their living rooms for this virtual getaway,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico.

Salsa Lesson on Friday, March 27 from 8:00 p.m. ET – 9:00 p.m. ET

The salsa lesson will kick-off with a brief overview of basic salsa steps from notable salsa dancers, Tito and Tamara, and turn into a salsa dance party, so people can have a little fun from the comfort of their homes.

  • To participate, log into Zoom for free via https://zoom.us/j/293759126 (Meeting ID #293-759-126) at 8:00 p.m. ET. All you need is an internet connection and a webcam to show off your best moves to other participants. No experience is necessary.
  • Tito, the Director of the San Juan City Salsa Dance Program, participates with Tamara every year in congresses around the world and both work as judges for the World Salsa Summit, Euroson Latino and the World Salsa Championships.

Cocktail Making on Saturday, March 28 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Participants will not want to miss top bartender on the Island, Roberto Berdecia, co-owner of acclaimed La Factoría and Jungle Bird, serve up one of his favorites.

  • To participate, join via Instagram Live at @discoverpuertorico
  • La Factoría in Old San Juan, celebrating its fifth year as one of the World’s 50 Best Bars and featured in the music video of the hit song, Despacito, offers incredible cocktails harnessing local flavors, some of the best hospitality on the Island and an authentic atmosphere that seeps out of the distinguished bar walls.

Cooking Class on Sunday, March 29 from 7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. ET

Chef Wilo Benet, who has redefined Puerto Rican cuisine, and in that process, has put the Island’s enchanting flavors on the global map, will walk participants through one of his favorite dishes you can easily whip up from home.

  • To participate, join via Instagram Live at @discoverpuertorico
  • Chef Benet defines his culinary style as contemporary global cuisine, a concept that combines traditional Puerto Rican ingredients with Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, Italian, French and Arab influences.

Puerto Rico’s music and gastronomy are at the center of the Island’s culture. Once it’s time to explore again, visitors will find no shortage of places on the island to discover, where they can put their new salsa dancing skills to the test or try some of Puerto Rico’s best cocktails and dishes.

Follow Discover Puerto Rico’s social channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date and for more information about Puerto Rico, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

About Discover Puerto Rico 

Discover Puerto Rico is a newly established private, not for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) whose mission is to make Puerto Rico visible to the world as a premier travel destination. The DMO brings prosperity to the people of Puerto Rico by collaboratively promoting the Island’s diversity and uniqueness for leisure and business travel, and events. It is responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of the destination and works collaboratively with key local governmental and non-governmental players throughout Puerto Rico’s visitor economy and community at large, to empower economic growth. To discover all the beauty the Island has to offer, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.

Ingrid Rosa/ Account Supervisor, Travel & Economic Development / O  +1 646 935 4248

Download the March 15 statement.

March 15, 2020
Dear Industry Stakeholders,

Today, Hon. Wanda Vázquez-Garced, Governor of Puerto Rico, signed into effect Executive Order 2020¬023, which seeks to contain and manage the impact of COVID-19 in Puerto Rico.

The Executive Order can be found in the following link: tinyurl.com/OE-2020-23.

What follows is a guide on the applicability of the Executive Order on specific tourism operations.

Airports: Remain open for inbound and outbound travel. Adjustments in travel itineraries are at the discretion of each airline, in accordance with travel restrictions, as determined by the Government of the United States. Usual operations at the airport are not affected by the curfew. Passengers arriving or departing from the airports after curfew will be able to transit to and from the their respective destinations. Retail operations inside the airport will be subject to the same regulations as those in the rest of the island, allowing for only essential businesses to remain open. Restaurants and food service establishments will remain open but, limited to those that can offer their services by way of carry out or delivery. Said restaurants will be able to offer their services only in the above described manner, and will not host guests in their facilities.

Industry workforce: The Executive Order provides for employees that must transit, from their places of residence to their place of employment, after curfew to be able to do so. We strongly recommend employers provide a certification to staff whose shifts extend past curfew which may be presented to law enforcement personnel, should need be. These employees will abide by the dispositions of Section 3 of the Executive Order.

Cruise operations: The San Juan Bay is currently closed for cruise ship vessels.

Hotels: Remain open. Public areas and amenities in hotels, such as spas, pools, and recreational areas must remain closed. Room service can and should remain available for guests. Back office support to maintain essential hotel operations running are permissible. All hotels must take extraordinary measures and precautions to safeguard the health and safety of all guests, ensuring that adequate prevention and containment protocols are in place. Hotel management shall inform their employees that particular emphasis should be given to the dispositions of Section 3 of the Executive Order.

Casinos: Will remain closed from 6:00pm today until March 31, 2020.

Restaurants: Will remain open but, limited to those that can offer their services by way of drive thru, carry out, or delivery. Said restaurants will be able to offer their services only in the above described manner, and will not host guests in their facilities. Bars inside restaurants will be closed.

Restaurants inside hotels: Will remain open but, limited to those that can offer their services by way of carry out or delivery. Said restaurants will be able to offer their services only in the above described manner, and will not host guests in their facilities. Bars inside restaurants will be closed.

Attractions: All businesses should close with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets, banks, or those related to the food or pharmaceutical industries. This applies to shopping malls, movie theaters, concert halls, casinos, bars, liquor stores, or any other place that facilitates citizens gatherings. Considering the aforementioned criteria, attractions must remain closed.

Tours: All businesses should close with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets, banks, or those related to the food or pharmaceutical industries. This applies to shopping malls, movie theaters, concert halls, casinos, bars, liquor stores, or any other place that facilitates citizens gatherings. Considering the aforementioned criteria, tours must not operate.

Transportation providers: Transportation is an essential service. Uber and taxi drivers will be allowed to operate, subject to the limitations in Section 3 of the Executive Order.

Travel agencies: Storefront operations of travel agencies must remain closed. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company authorizes travel agents to be able to work remotely until further notice.

Sincerely,

Carla Campos
Executive Director

The current outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) continues to be an emerging and rapidly evolving situation. As such, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is committed to providing guidelines for our industry’s response for the potential arrival of the virus to the Island.

Our guiding principles to manage this epidemic threat are to be precautionary, proactive, and readiness in order to rapidly respond to any possible situation on the island. The PRTC has prepared the enclosed Tourism Industry Preparedness report which follows the guidelines established by the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Worls Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The report includes an update on the virus, travel advisories and the guidelines for appropriate prevention and preparedness, and response measures to reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19.
We are a people-driven industry and remain committed to making our visitors’ safety and well-being our first priority. Working as a team and in accordance to health organization guidelines and protocols we will be able to ensure Puerto Rico remains perceived as a safe and prepared destination to visit.

View report: https://files.constantcontact.com/d7e84275201/a9be3545-f9ee-4e22-b079-50a9f1bd3d47.pdf

Saint Lucia on Coronavirus

Government site: https://www.stlucia.org/en/covid-19/

 

Saint Lucia announces plans for re-opening of tourism sector on June 4 

Destination Announces Phased Approach, Planned Protocols and COVID-19 Certification for Hotels

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA (May 18, 2020) – The Government of Saint Lucia has announced a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector in a responsible fashion, beginning June 4, 2020.

The strategy, which was unveiled by Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee, protects nationals and visitors from the threat of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) through advance testing; daily screening and monitoring of staff and visitors; sanitization at various points throughout the travelers’ journey; and new social distancing protocols.

Phase One of the reopening includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only. Travelers are advised to check with airlines regarding flight schedules and rules prior to booking. In anticipation of these first visitors, some 1,500 hotel rooms in Saint Lucia are being prepared to open in early June, pending completion of a new COVID-19 certification process.

To protect residents and mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, Saint Lucia closed its borders to international markets on March 23, 2020. Since then, the island has followed safety protocols recommended by the World Health Organization and the Caribbean Public Health Agency, collaborated with the local Department of Health and Wellness, observed shelter-in-place guidelines, and created a COVID-19 Task Force to plan for a responsible reopening. To date, Saint Lucia has recorded 18 cases of COVID-19, and all individuals have fully recovered. No active cases are currently being investigated.

Minister Fedee said the phased approach to reopening, which continues through July 31, 2020, resulted from national COVID-19 Task Force consultations with on-island industry stakeholders.

New procedures span from the hotel booking process to the airport arrival and hotel experience in Saint Lucia. Protocols include:

  • Visitors are required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight.
  • Upon arrival in Saint Lucia, all travelers must continue the use of face masks and physical distancing.
  • Travelers will be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities.
  • Protocols are being established for taxis, to provide safety precautions and separate the driver from guests as an added security measure.
  • Health and safety protocols will be reinforced through the use of signage that includes QR codes which take travelers to a landing page for more information.

To further ensure that Saint Lucia remains a safe and responsible destination, the government is developing a COVID-19 Certificate for hotels. Hotels must meet a dozen or more specific criteria for sanitization, social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols before they will be permitted to open to guests. These measures will enhance protection of visitors, staff and Saint Lucian nationals.

In Phase One, the traditional experiences that Saint Lucia is known for will be available in a limited capacity. Registered hotels and travel providers will work with visitors directly to arrange safe experiences.

“Our new protocols have been carefully crafted and will build confidence among travelers and our citizens,” stated the Honourable Dominic Fedee. He noted, “The Government of Saint Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jumpstarts its economy.”

Phase Two of the island’s new responsible approach to tourism will commence on August 1, 2020, with details to be revealed in the weeks ahead.

More information about Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.stlucia.org/covid-19.

100 Percent Recovery of COVID-19 Cases

As of April 21, 2020 the WHO reported a total of 2, 397, 217 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally with 162, 956 deaths. There are now 893, 119 confirmed cases in the region of the Americas. The affected region includes Dominican Republic (4,964), Haiti (47), Barbados (75), Jamaica (196), Cuba (1087), Dominica (16), Grenada (13), Trinidad and Tobago (114), Guyana (63), Antigua and Barbuda (23), Bahamas (60),  Saint Vincent and Grenadines (12), Guadeloupe (148), Martinique (163), Puerto Rico (1,252), US Virgin Islands (53), and Cayman Islands (61).

As of April 22, 2020, Saint Lucia has a total of 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19. To date, all of the positive cases of COVID-19 in Saint Lucia have recovered, with the remaining two cases who were in isolation receiving negative COVID-19 test results and since discharged from hospital. This now places Saint Lucia at a 100 percent recovery of all COVID-19 cases. Among the 15 cases Saint Lucia recorded were individuals who fell within the category of high risk by virtue of some being elderly as well as living with chronic illness. They too recovered well with no complications or needed critical care.

Laboratory testing for COVID-19 continues to be conducted both locally and with the support of the Caribbean Public Health Agency Laboratory. Saint Lucia has modified its testing strategy by testing an increased number of samples from community respiratory clinics; this would assist us in the assessment of COVID-19 locally.

Saint Lucia continues on the partial shutdown and on a 10 hour curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. We remain at a very critical position in the implementation of the national response to the COVID-19 threat. Large scale public health and social measures have been implemented in an effort to break transmission of COVID-19 when in country transmission was noted. The public must note that many of these measures need to be sustained in an effort to achieve low COVID-19 levels in country. Some of the measures that have been instituted include school closure, national zoning to manage population movement, the closure of non-essential businesses, travel restrictions, the partial national shutdown and instituting a 24-hour curfew.

The measures recommended to guide individual risks include the use of masks, the testing, isolation, treatment and care of sick persons and the adoption of hygiene and other infection prevention measures.  As seen in many of the more developed countries, even with an apparent decrease in the number of cases and the flattening of the curve, there have been periods of resurgence in their cases. When measures are relaxed and persons become more socially engaged this provides an opportunity for smaller epidemic waves which are characterized by low level transmission. It is with the benefit of this information we note the necessity of conducting a risk assessment to arrive at evidence based approach in relaxing measures while ensuring the capacity to detect and manage a possible resurgence in cases moving forward.

Everyone is asked to note that as essential services are made available to the public the guidelines for social distancing need to be adhered to at all times in the interest of the health and safety of the public. In the context of this we all need to be reminded that the threat of COVID-19 still exists and will continue to be with us for a while.  Some of the national protocols include: stay at home as much as possible, unless it is for food or medical purposes, avoid mass crowd events and social gatherings, practice social distancing and good personal hygiene. The public is also advised against going to public places with flu-like symptoms including fever, coughing and sneezing. When visiting the supermarket or public places refrain from touching items unless you intend to purchase them. We need to adopt behavior patterns moving forward in this new COVID-19 environment.

Although, hardware stores are opened in an effort to facilitate household emergencies and increase water storage capacity, the public is reminded that we are still on national scale down. Only leave your house for essential goods.

Another recommendation which the public is asked to adhere to is the use of face mask or scarf when going to public places such as the supermarkets. The face mask or scarf may be used for source control by reducing potential exposure risk from infected persons during the “pre-symptomatic” period. This measure will support current efforts to protect the health and safety of our citizens.

However for the face masks to be effective in reducing infection, they must always be used as recommended.

We continue to advise the public to focus on the maintenance of standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include: – regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available. – cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing. – avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing. – seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.

The Department of Health and Wellness will continue providing regular updates on COVID-19.

Saint Lucia Tourism Authority rolls out its “Saint Lucia Inspires” Blog Series

Castries – April 21, 2020 – The Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) through its website www.stlucia.org and Facebook platform @travelSaintLucia will take viewers and readers on a topical, informative and entertaining destination experience through its “Saint Lucia Inspires” Blog Series.

As most jurisdictions are observing a state of emergency, imposing travel bans or in the early stages of recovering, there has been a rise in interest in armchair travel. Recent research tells us that people are searching online now for travel ideas in the near future. People are looking for inspiration and connections from their homes as they try to navigate the medical, social and environmental challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents.

The “Saint Lucia Inspires” Series commenced at 10:00 a.m. ECT on April 20, 2020 with a feature by renowned Saint Lucian Journalist and Writer-Stan Bishop, dubbed Choiseul the Cradle of Craft.

Commenting on the series, Tourism Minister- Honourable Dominic Fedee said; “The virtual demand for Saint Lucia at this time is amazing and our team is more than happy to share the stories of our hidden treasures and authentic experiences that when our international gateways are open again, Saint Lucia would be top top-of-mind.”

Saint Lucia Inspires will continue with a bi-monthly Monday-blog that will place special highlights on the island’s villages, heroes, offerings and culture.

In addition to Saint Lucia Inspires, the SLTA continues to showcase its 7 Minutes in Saint Lucia Series which is a Live Instagram virtual experience on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 11 a.m. ECT on @travelSaintLucia

Saint Lucia, Let Her Inspire you!

For More Information on Saint Lucia visit www.stlucia.org

Website for details on St Lucia and COVId-19: https://www.stlucia.org/en_UK/covid-19/

23rd March 2020 – Airports Closed to Incoming Passengers

The Government of Saint Lucia announces the closure of Saint Lucia’s airports to all incoming commercial and private flights effective 11:59pm on Monday 23rd March 2020. All airports will be closed to all incoming passengers until Sunday April 5th 2020.

Aircraft facilitating departing passengers repatriating from Saint Lucia will be permitted. Air Cargo operations are permitted.

This is part of the Government’s efforts to contain the spread or the importation of new cases of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

The Government of Saint Lucia has already closed schools, imposed travel restrictions and scaled back non-essential services in an effort contain the disease.

20th March, 2020  – Measures to address COVID-19:

The Government of Saint Lucia has announced the Implementation of Heightened Protocol and Social Distancing Regime with measures which come into effect from Monday 23rd March to Sunday April 5th 2020. The measures announced by Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet are as follows:

 Partial scale down of all non-essential economic and social activities for a two-week period commencing from date of Monday 23rd March to Sunday April 5th 2020

ESSENTIAL SERVICES WHICH WILL CONTINUE INCLUDE:

 Emergency Services: Fire, Police as well as private security services.
 Border Control: Saint Lucia will strengthen, tighten and escalate port health protocols as part of its heightened protocols.
 Utilities (Wasco, Lucelec, telecoms),
 Sanitation collection and disposal,
 Supermarkets/minimarts/shops, bakeries, & pharmacies,
 Petrol/Gas stations,
 Air and Seaports operations (to facilitate cargo handling and US flights if they are still flying, to allow for return of nationals returning home)
 Limited public transportation services,
 Limited banking services,
 Trucking services related to movement and delivery of essential supplies and the food chain.
 Restaurants and Fast Food services only those who do take away/take out, delivery or drive through capabilities will be allowed to open
 News and Broadcast Services
 Manufacturing activities related to production of food, water and products of personal hygiene
 Providers of Cleaning Services

PLEASE NOTE: Those operations and business that can continue delivery of services under a working-from-home environment are encouraged to do so. Businesses which cannot operate with work-from-home will shut down for the stipulated time period.

Any queries or concerns with reference to services not listed should be directed to the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) Office at phone: 758-452-3802 or email [email protected].

Saint Lucia’s Tourism Sector Takes Proactive Approach Amid Concerns of the Global Impact of COVID-19

Castries, Saint Lucia (March 14, 2020) – The Ministry of Tourism and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) recognizing the challenging environment of the travel and tourism industry, convened with the Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) on Friday March 13, 2020, to discuss the global impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.

Led by Tourism Minister – Honourable Dominic Fedee, The meeting focused on gaining first hand information on the overall status of the tourism industry over the next ninety days.

“This is part of our national strategy to make informed decisions to ensure the ultimate rebounding of the tourism industry. Considerations are already being undertaken for the recovery phase as we must ensure that Saint Lucia is positioned to regain its market share when the travel landscape changes.” Said Minister Fedee.

Approximately 50% of the accommodation sector and ancillary services were represented at Friday’s meeting.

President of the Saint Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA)-Karolin Troubetzkoy speaking on Friday’s meeting said; “The SLHTA is committed to collaborating closely with the SLTA and the Ministry of Tourism to safeguard the tourism industry and our economy but most importantly, safeguard the country and do what is best for our citizens and visitors alike in these difficult times.”

Similar dialog has taken place with travel trade partners, airlines and media.

Saint Lucia Ministry of Tourism, Information and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries Statement on COVID-19

CASTRIES (March 5, 2020)- Saint Lucia’s Department of Health and Wellness is proactively working with all pertinent government agencies on island to execute The National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19. To date, Saint Lucia has not reported any cases of the coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Wellness has noted an escalation in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 internationally as well as the spread to countries outside of China. Saint Lucia remains open for business and in an effort to restrict the likelihood of the introduction of COVID-19 into Saint Lucia, the Department of Health and Wellness on February 4, 2020 put in place travel restrictions on non-nationals with a travel history within the last 14 days from Mainland China; whether in- transit or originating.

Effective Wednesday, February 26, 2020, extension of travel restriction other jurisdictions also names Hong Kong, the Republic of Korea, Italy and Singapore Additionally, any Saint Lucian national returning to Saint Lucia with a travel history to any of the mentioned countries will be quarantined for 14 days.

The Department of Health and Wellness continues to work closely with the regional agencies in the management of the threat of Corona Virus Disease.
In the interim, the public is reminded to continue practicing the standard recommendations to prevent the spread of infection. These include;
• Regular hand washing with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer where soap and water is not available.
• Cover mouth and nose with disposable tissues or clothing when coughing and sneezing.
• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.
• Seek medical attention and share your travel history with your health care provider if you have symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness either during or after travel.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Chief Medical Officer or the Epidemiology Unit, at 468-5309/468-5317 respectively.

St Kitts and Nevis on Coronavirus

Government site: https://www.covid19.gov.kn/

 

St. Kitts & Nevis Phased Approach to Resume Social and Economic Activities Update #1

MEDIA CONTACT:
Cathy A. Preece / Candice Kimmel
Adams Unlimited
P: (646) 898-2065 / E: [email protected]

Basseterre, St. Kitts (June 12, 2020) – Today, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced that, under the new SR&O No. 25 of 2020, Government will be introducing new regulations. Effective Saturday, June 13, 2020 through Saturday, June 27, 2020, the new regulations are part of the process of gradually relaxing restrictions and reintroducing the Federation to more economic and social activity. The Prime Minister announced-
• Saturdays through Sundays, nightly curfews will be in effect from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The shorter nightly curfews will facilitate nightly religious services with the same protocols already established for daytime services.
• Beaches will now be open from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily for the purpose of exercise
• The suspension of retail liquor licenses has been removed and bars can open in compliance with physical distancing measures
• Restaurants can open for in-dining in compliance with physical distancing measures, maximum per table allocations and appropriate sanitization programs.
• Restaurant patrons are required to wear masks on arrival except when eating and drinking.
The borders of St. Kitts & Nevis remain closed to commercial traffic by air and sea to prevent and/or delay the possibility of importing new cases of COVID-19 to the Federation. A coordinated effort is being made with regional and international partners to determine the opportune time at which to open the borders.

The continuing relaxation of restrictions is being implemented at the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts. At their advice, the Federation has successfully flattened the curve.

On May 18, it was announced that all 15 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Federation have successfully recovered and there have been 0 deaths to date. As of Wednesday, June 10, a total of 417 persons have been sampled and tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 402 persons tested negative and 0 test results pending. 13 persons are currently quarantined in a government facility while 0 persons are quarantined at home and 0 persons are in isolation. A total of 829 persons have been released from quarantine.

St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test which is the gold standard of testing. The Federation was the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and among the first to report all cases having recovered with no deaths.

Click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations as part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Government continues to act under the counsel of its medical experts, who advised that St. Kitts & Nevis has met the 6 criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for doing so and that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action Against COVID-19 – Update #19

Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 27, 2020) – On Friday, The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced that, under the new SR&O No. 19 of 2020, Government will be introducing another round of regulations effective from Saturday May 13, 2020 through Saturday, June 13, 2020 to continue the process of gradually reopening the Federation to more economic and social activity. On May 18, it was announced that all 15 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Federation have successfully recovered and) 0 deaths to date. As of today, 394 persons have been sampled and tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 379 persons tested negative and 0 test results pending. 4 persons are currently quarantined in a government facility while 0 persons are quarantined at home and 0 persons are in isolation. A total of 815 persons have been released from quarantine.

From Mondays through Fridays, limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence go to work, to shop for essential items) will be in effect:
• From 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily
From Mondays through Fridays, nightly curfews will be in effect:
• From 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
On Saturdays and Sundays, limited curfew will be in effect:
• From 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
On Saturdays and Sundays, nightly curfews will be in effect:
• From 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
The Prime Minister also announced that:
• Churches can reopen from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only as long as they comply with regulations.
• Fishermen (snapper fishers and long line fishermen) may fish from 9:00 p.m. during nightly curfew hours, as per the established health and safety protocols.
• Beaches will stay open for an additional hour in the mornings, from 5:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., for swimming and exercising only with the social distancing measures of remaining at least 6 feet apart in full effect with the exception of persons living in the same household.
The increased number of limited curfew days and additional relaxed restrictions are being implemented at the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts. At their advice, borders remain closed and the Federation has successfully flattened the curve.

St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing. The Federation was the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and among the first to report all cases having recovered with no deaths.

Click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations as part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Government continues to act under the advisement of its medical experts in relaxing or lifting restrictions. These medical experts have informed the Government that St. Kitts & Nevis has met the 6 criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for doing so and that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time.

All Confirmed Cases in St. Kitts & Nevis are Recovered

Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 18, 2020) – St. Kitts & Nevis is pleased to announce that, as of today, all 15 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Federation have successfully recovered from the virus with 0 deaths.  St. Kitts & Nevis was the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and among the first to report all cases having recovered with no deaths.

“An important milestone was reached today with the recovery of all 15 persons testing positive for COVID-19.  This demonstrates the unprecedented achievements by St. Kitts & Nevis and the Caribbean region in containing and controlling the spread of the virus,” said Minister of Tourism the Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant. “I am gratified that our Federation’s ‘all society approach’ starting with early and aggressive actions, the excellent work of our medical community and the cooperation of all persons in the Federation have brought us to this place. However, at this time we must continue to remain vigilant with our mitigation procedures in place for everyone to remain safe.”

With the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts St. Kitts initiated a comprehensive operational response including an early and aggressive quarantine, testing and contact tracing program that has proven to be successful. It has been 29 days since the last case was reported. As such, Government has begun to ease restrictions to allow for more economic activity and for citizens to have more exercise time outside their homes.

Federation has succeeded in flattening the curve, however, with the advice of our medical experts, the borders remain closed. Everyone is advised to exercise precautions and adhere to the regulations and measures put in place to ensure the safety and health of all residents and citizens, even as restrictions have begun to be incrementally relaxed in the Federation and around the Caribbean.

Therefore, limited curfews remain in effect as follows:

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence go to work, to shop for essential items but curfews in effect every night):

  • Tuesday, May 19 through Friday, May 22 from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Beaches will be open from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for swimming and exercising only with the social distancing measures of remaining at least 6 feet apart in full effect with the exception of persons living in the same household.

In addition to reporting that all 15 confirmed positive cases have recovered with 0 deaths, a total of 391 persons have been tested for COVID-19 to date, 15 of whom tested positive with 373 persons tested negative and 3 test results pending. 1 person is currently quarantined in a government facility while 1 person is quarantined at home and 0 persons are in isolation. A total of 813 persons have been released from quarantine. St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing.

St. Kitts & Nevis’ medical experts further advise that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time.

Going forward, we hope everyone, and their families remain safe and healthy.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action Against COVID-19

Update #18

Basseterre, St. Kitts (May 8, 2020) – Yesterday, The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced that, under the new SR&O No. 16 of 2020, Government will be introducing another round of regulations effective from 6:00 a.m. on Saturday May 9, 2020 through 5:59 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020 to control and combat the virus in the Federation. The Federation is reporting 12 total recoveries of 15 cases confirmed positive and no deaths.

He also announced full 24-hour and limited curfews will be in effect as follows:

Full 24-hour curfew (persons must remain in their residence):
• Saturday, May 9th to Sunday, May 10th, 2020
• Saturday May 16th to Sunday, May 17th, 2020
Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence go to work, to shop for essential items but curfews in effect every night):
• Monday, May 11 through Friday, May 15 from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
• Monday, May 18 through Friday, May 22 from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Prime Minister also announced that beaches will reopen from 5:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. for swimming and exercising only with the social distancing measures of remaining at least 6 feet apart in full effect with the exception of persons living in the same household. The increased number of limited curfew days, the extra hour of relaxed restrictions each morning and evening before curfews are in effect and the reopening of the beaches are being implemented at the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the Medical Chief of Staff and medical experts to allow for more economic activity and for citizens to have more exercise time outside their homes. At their advice, borders remain closed and the Federation has succeeded in flattening the curve.

To date, a total of 12 persons have recovered from COVID-19 with 0 deaths. 327 persons have been tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 305 persons tested negative and 7 test results pending. 56 persons are currently quarantined in a government facility while 4 persons are quarantined at home and 3 persons are in isolation. A total of 751 persons have been released from quarantine. St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Government continues to act under the advisement of its medical experts in relaxing or lifting restrictions. These medical experts have informed the Government that St. Kitts & Nevis has met the 6 criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for doing so and that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time. St. Kitts & Nevis is the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and has no deaths from it.

At this time we hope everyone, and their families remain safe and healthy.

Two Additional Persons Recovered, Brings Total Persons Recovered To Six

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 29, 2020) – As of today, 2 additional persons have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recovered persons to 6 with 0 deaths. To date, a total of 293 persons have been tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 271 persons tested negative and 7 test results pending. 1 person is currently quarantined in a government facility while 55 persons are currently quarantined at home and 9 persons are in isolation. 688 persons have been released from quarantine. St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing.

On April 24, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced that, under the State of Emergency put in place on March 28, 2020 and which Cabinet voted on Friday, April 17 to extend for 6 months, Government introduced another round of Regulations effective from 6:00 a.m. on Saturday April 25, 2020 through 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2020 to control and combat COVID-19 in the Federation.

He also announced full 24-hour and limited curfews will be in effect as follows:

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities and curfews in effect every night from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.):

  • Thursday, April 30 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 1 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Full 24-hour curfew (persons must remain in their residence):

  • Saturday, May 2, Sunday, May 3 and Monday, May 4 all day until Tuesday, May 5 at 6:00 a.m.

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities and curfews in effect every night from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.):

  • Tuesday, May 5 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 8 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Government continues to act under the advisement of its medical experts in relaxing or lifting restrictions. These medical experts have informed the Government that St. Kitts & Nevis has met the 6 criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for doing so and that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time. St. Kitts & Nevis is the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus, has no deaths from it and has now reported 6 recoveries.

The Federation’s Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris Appears on BBC and Sky News

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 29, 2020) – In interviews with BBC and Sky News appearing within this last week, The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris speaks about the actions that the Federation has been taking to control and contain the COVID-19 virus. Click here to watch the BBC interview and here to watch the Sky News interview, respectively.

Both interviews highlight how well St. Kitts & Nevis is faring in this situation and discuss the impact on the country’s economy. The BBC video notes that although St. Kitts & Nevis is the smallest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, its testing per capita is in the top 1/3 of countries globally. Sky News queried inquired when the country might again welcome visitors.

“At this point, we are at the strongest position,” said Prime Minister Harris. “It is truly due to all those who have worked so hard to protect us, from our medical experts to our security teams. It is also a result of the selflessness, commitment to duty and belief in our Federation that has been displayed by individuals doing their parts to protect our citizens, residents, communities and country.”

To date, a total of 6 persons have recovered from the virus and there have been no deaths. St. Kitts & Nevis took strong measures against the virus early on and prepared well. The Federation began early and rigorous testing and contact tracing and put in place health management protocols such as social distancing regulations and requiring masks to be worn in public. As a result, citizens and residents have remained safe with no deaths from the virus. Medical experts have advised the Government that the nation has met the met the 6 criteria established by the WHO for carefully relaxing or lifting restrictions. Because it is remaining safe, the country as a tourism destination is well positioned to transition into a time when it can again welcome visitors. As a result of good fiscal management of the country, a significant financial surplus was developed that allowed Government to establish a stimulus of approximately EC $120 million dollars that set a framework to reopening as soon as it is safe without having to seek funds from the IMF.

Two Additional Persons Recovered, Brings Total Persons Recovered To Four

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 26, 2020) – As of today, 2 additional persons have recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recovered persons to 4 with 0 deaths. To date, a total of 292 persons have been tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 247 persons tested negative and 30 test results pending. 1 person is currently quarantined in a government facility while 85 persons are currently quarantined at home and 11 persons are in isolation. 661 persons have been released from quarantine. St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing.

On April 24, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced that, under the State of Emergency put in place on March 28, 2020 and which Cabinet voted on Friday, April 17 to extend for 6 months, Government introduced another round of Regulations effective from 6:00 a.m. on Saturday April 25, 2020 through 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2020 to control and combat COVID-19 in the Federation.

He also announced full 24-hour and limited curfews will be in effect as follows:

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities and curfews in effect every night from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.):

  • Monday, April 27 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 28 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Full 24-hour curfew (persons must remain in their residence)

  • Wednesday, April 29 all day until Thursday, April 30 at 6:00 a.m.

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities and curfews in effect every night from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.):

  • Thursday, April 30 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 1 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Full 24-hour curfew (persons must remain in their residence):

  • Saturday, May 2, Sunday, May 3 and Monday, May 4 all day until Tuesday, May 5 at 6:00 a.m.

Limited curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities and curfews in effect every night from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.):

  • Tuesday, May 5 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 8 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Government continues to act under the advisement of its medical experts in relaxing or lifting restrictions. These medical experts have informed the Government that St. Kitts & Nevis has met the 6 criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for doing so and that all persons who need to be tested have been tested at this time. St. Kitts & Nevis is the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus, has no deaths from it and has now reported 4 recoveries.

At this time we hope everyone, and their families remain safe and healthy.

Two Recoveries- Reducing the Total Confirmed Cases to Thirteen 

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 23, 2020) – As of today, one additional person has recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis down to 13. To date, a total of 250 persons have been tested, 15 of whom tested positive with 233 persons tested negative, 12 test results pending and 0 deaths. 1 person is currently quarantined in a government facility while 106 persons are currently quarantined at home and 13 persons are in isolation. To date, 633 persons have been released from quarantine and 2 persons have recovered. Currently, St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing. 

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced on April 15, 2020 an easing of restrictions when there will be a partial curfew restored to allow individuals to purchase the necessary supplies to remain in their homes during full curfew. He also announced that partial and full curfews will be in effect as follows-

Partial curfew (relaxed restrictions wherein persons may leave their residence to shop for necessities):

  • Today, Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Full curfew (persons must remain in their residence for this period):

  • Starts at 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 24 until Saturday, April 25 at 6:00 a.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A COVID-19 Regulations task force has been put in place to ensure the public and those businesses that will be open comply with regulations including mask wearing, social distancing, and numbers of persons allowed in an establishment at any one time during the State of Emergency and as restrictions are eased during partial curfew days.

At this time, we hope everyone and their families remain safe and healthy.

One Person Recovered Bringing the Total Active Cases Down to 14

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 21, 2020) – As of today, one person has recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of active cases in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis down to 14. A total of 257 persons have been tested, 15 of whom were confirmed positive with 230 persons confirmed negative, 12 test results pending and 0 deaths. 1 person is quarantined in a government facility while 64 persons are currently being quarantined at home and 14 persons are in isolation. To date, 628 persons have been released from quarantine. Currently, St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean.

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced on April 15, 2020 an easing of restrictions when there will be a partial curfew restored to allow individuals to purchase the necessary supplies to remain in their homes during full 24-hour curfew. He also announced that the full and partial curfews will be in effect as follows-

Partial curfew:

  • Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.

Full 24-hour curfew:

  • Today, Tuesday April 21 from 7:00 p.m. through Thursday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24 from 7:00 p.m. through Saturday, April 25 at 6:00 a.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

A COVID-19 Regulations task force has been put in place to ensure the public and those businesses that will be open comply with regulations including mask wearing, social distancing, and numbers of persons allowed in an establishment at any one time during the State of Emergency and as restrictions are eased during partial curfew days.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action Against COVID-19 -Update #12

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 19, 2020) – As of today, there are now 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. Currently, St. Kitts & Nevis has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean.

A COVID-19 Regulations task force has been put in place to ensure compliance by the public and by those businesses that will be open this week with regulations including mask wearing, social distancing, and numbers of persons allowed in an establishment at a time during the State of Emergency and as restrictions are eased during partial curfew days.

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris announced on April 15, 2020, that from 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2020, to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020, a 24-hour full curfew will be in effect. He also announced an easing of restrictions when there will be a partial curfew restored to allow individuals to purchase the necessary supplies to remain in their homes during full 24-hour curfew.

Partial curfew will be in effect:

  • Thursday, April 16 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 20 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 21 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

At this time, we hope everyone and their families remain safe and healthy.

St. Kitts and Nevis Government to Extend 24-Hour Curfew from 6:00am Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 6:00am to Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 6:00am

 Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 16, 2020) – There are currently 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. A total of 239 persons have been tested, 14 of whom were confirmed positive with 188 persons confirmed negative, 37 test results pending and 0 deaths. 0 persons are quarantined in a government facility while 111 persons are currently being quarantined at home and 14 persons are in isolation. To date, 581 persons have been released from quarantine.

 The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has announced yesterday, April 15t, 2020, 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2020, to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020, a 24-hour full curfew will be in effect. He also announced an easing of restrictions when there will be a partial curfew restored to allow individuals to purchase the necessary supplies to remain in their homes during full 24-hour curfew. Partial curfew will be in effect:

  • Thursday, April 16 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Monday, April 20 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 21 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday, April 24, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action Against COVID-19 – Update #11

Government Extends 24-Hour Curfew from 6:00am Saturday, April 18, 2020 to 6:00am Saturday, April 25, 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 16, 2020) – There are currently 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis. A total of 239 persons have been tested, 14 of whom were confirmed positive with 188 persons confirmed negative, 37 test results pending and 0 deaths. 0 persons are quarantined in a government facility while 111 persons are currently being quarantined at home and 14 persons are in isolation. To date, 581 persons have been released from quarantine.

The Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has announced yesterday, April 15t, 2020, 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 18, 2020, to 6:00 a.m. Saturday, April 25, 2020, a 24-hour full curfew will be in effect. He also announced an easing of restrictions when there will be a partial curfew restored to allow individuals to purchase the necessary supplies to remain in their homes during full 24-hour curfew. Partial curfew will be in effect:
• Thursday, April 16 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
• Friday, April 17 from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
• Monday, April 20 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
• Tuesday, April 21 from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
• Thursday, April 23, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
• Friday, April 24, from 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m.
During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police during full 24-hour curfew. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action  Against COVID-19  – Update #10

MEDIA CONTACT:
Cathy A. Preece / Candice Kimmel
Adams Unlimited
P: (646) 898-2065 / E: [email protected]
For Immediate Release

Basseterre, St. Kitts (April 10, 2020) – As of April 9, 2020, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has announced that, effective as of 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 9, 2020, through 6:00 a.m. Thursday, April 16, 2020, a 24-hour full curfew will again be in effect.

During the extended State of Emergency and the COVID-19 Regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, no one is permitted to be away from their residence without special exemption as an essential worker or a pass or permission from the Commissioner of Police. For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read the Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations and refer to section 5. This is part of the Government’s scaled up response to contain and control the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As of April 10, 2020, there were 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation. 205 persons have been tested, 12 of whom were confirmed positive with 137 persons confirmed negative and 0 deaths. 29 persons have been quarantined in a government facility while 159 persons are currently being quarantined at home and 12 persons are in isolation. To date, 470 persons have been released from quarantine.

This is an unprecedented time and the dangers that confront the Federation demand that Government takes serious actions to confront and overcome this pandemic. These strong measures are in place for the stated term and Government shall continue to evaluate and adapt required measures as necessary as the situation evolves.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Continued Action Against COVID-19 – Update #9

Government Declares 24-Hour Curfew from 7:00pm Tonight
March 31 to 6:00am Friday, April 3, 2020

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 31, 2020) – As of yesterday evening, March 30, 2020, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris has declared that, effective as of 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, 2020, through 6:00 a.m. Friday, April 3, 2020 a 24-hour full curfew will be in effect.

Under the curfew, the current State of Emergency regulations have been repealed and a new regulation put into effect where no one except the Security Forces and other Security Personnel, the Health Care Officers, technical emergency officers of utilities including telecoms, and media personnel, will be allowed out of their residences. This is part of the Federal Government’s scaled up response to contain and control the COVID-19 virus and minimize harm to its people by restricting the spread of the virus from one person to the next.

As of yesterday, March 30, there were 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation. This is an unprecedented time and the dangers that confront the Federation demand that Government takes serious actions to confront and overcome this pandemic. These strong measures are in place for the stated term and Government shall continue to evaluate and adapt required measures as necessary as the situation evolves.

Government Declares a State of Emergency Tonight at 7:00pm for the Next 14 Days 

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 28, 2020) – At the request of the Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris, the Governor General of St. Kitts & Nevis has declared that, effective as of 7:00 p.m. tonight Saturday, March 28, 2020, a State of Emergency will be in effect. This will restrict the freedom of movement of all citizens and residents, who will be subject to a curfew between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. each day for the next 14 days.  This is part of the Federal Government’s scaled up response to contain and control the COVID-19 virus and minimize harm to its people.

The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations require every person to remain confined to their place of residence, inclusive of their yard space, to avoid contact outside of their family except in stipulated circumstances such as essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, credit union, money services, business, pharmacy or to refuel vehicles. The Regulations also require the closure of non-essential businesses and regulate the hours of opening for essential services.  For a complete listing of essential businesses, click here to read section 5 of the official Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations document.

St. Kitts & Nevis has also imposed social and physical distancing protocols as part of the increased response. Businesses will be required to observe a physical distance of 6 feet between its customers inside and outside of their businesses. Following a meeting with the operators of the 3 bus lines and ferry operators, given the congestion in public transport vehicles and the potential for contagion, certain restrictions have been imposed to protect operators and their patrons of no more than 1 passenger per row.

Regarding the public service, all essential workers must report to work during the time of the State of Emergency. The Secretary of Cabinet will determine any other category required to report for duty.

To ensure that persons are faithfully complying with the curfew and other restrictions, strong penalties including fines of up to $5000 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months can be imposed on those who fail to comply with the Regulations.

While it is highly uncommon to restrict free movement, this is an unprecedented time and the dangers that confront the Federation demand that Government takes serious actions to confront and overcome this pandemic. These strong measures are in place for 14 days, in the first instance, and Government shall continue to evaluate and adapt the Regulations as necessary as the situation evolves.

As the result of actions by local experts, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), St. Kitts & Nevis was able to keep the virus offshore until as recently as March 25, 2020, when two Kittitian nationals arrived from New York and were tested positive for COVID-19.  In fact, St. Kitts & Nevis was the last place in the Americas to confirm positive cases of COVID-19. This is due to its “Life First” strategy by limiting cruise ships and taking precautionary measures with commercial airline passengers arriving from designated hot spots or displaying symptoms of respiratory illness, quarantining or refusing entry as warranted. Once these two cases of COVID-19 were imported into the Federation, the Federal Government needed to become more aggressive in its actions and this State of Emergency was declared.

The borders of St. Kitts & Nevis are closed from 11:59 p.m. on March 25 to April 7, 2020 to commercial air and sea vessels. Travellers are advised to contact their travel advisor, travel provider, hotel and/or airline for information about policies for rescheduling trips. Our hearts are with you, as we are all in this together. We look forward to once again welcoming you to the sun-kissed splendour of St. Kitts & Nevis. In the meantime, we ask all persons to stay informed about the latest news and developments relating to COVID-19 and to take all recommended precautions to stay safe and healthy.

St. Kitts Music Festival 2020 Postponed

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 26, 2020) – St. Kitts is postponing the 24th St. Kitts Music Festival, originally scheduled to be held June 24-28, 2020, to June 23-27, 2021 in light of the current global situation to protect its citizens, residents, visitors and the integrity of the Music Festival.

“The St. Kitts Music Festival is now achieving the goals that were established for the event to drive and support ‘heads in beds’ for our tourism industry in June,” said the Hon. Mr. Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “The Music Festival has allowed us to promote our St. Kitts brand over the summer months and we are confident that it will remain a cornerstone of our annual marketing and branding activities in the years to come. It brings significant direct economic benefit that provides for our people year after year. However, after careful consideration we chose to postpone it until 2021.”

CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority Ms. Racquel Brown added, “2019 was the second year in a row we saw a significant increase in air arrivals and attendance with systemwide air arrivals increasing 7% for June 2019 (15,499) as compared to June 2018 (14,490) and recording nearly 30,000 attendees over the 3-night event. Looking forward, we will ensure the marketing and promotion for the St. Kitts Music Festival 2021 produces an increase in air arrivals and increase brand awareness for St. Kitts for Summer 2021.”

“While it was a difficult decision to make, we have postponed the St. Kitts Music Festival to protect the health and safety of all visitors, citizens and residents as well as the integrity of the St. Kitts Music Festival brand,” said Damion Hobson, Chairman of the St. Kitts Music Festival. “We look forward to delivering another epic 3-nights of performances in 2021 and an ‘Experience like no other’.”

Anyone who has already purchased tickets online will be protected and their purchases will either remain valid or can be refunded. Originally scheduled to perform as part of the star-studded line-up for 2020 were renowned artists including Gladys Knight, Jimmy Cliff, Beres Hammond, Wizkid, Koffee and Chronixx, among others. For more information about the St. Kitts Music Festival, visit http://www.stkittsmusicfestival.com/.

About St. Kitts
Intoxicating natural beauty, sunny skies, warm waters, and sandy beaches combine to make St. Kitts one of the most seductive spots in the Caribbean. Located in the northern Leeward Islands, it offers a diverse tourism product developed from the destination’s natural beauty, cultural heritage and rich history. The island’s stunning variety of tourism attractions include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s former sugar plantations, visiting the Caribelle Batik factory, and touring Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park, which is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the more traditional vacation pastimes available are water sports including catamaran cruises, golf, shopping, tennis, dining, gaming at St. Kitts’ exclusive casino or simply relaxing on the beach. For more information about St. Kitts, visit www.stkittstourism.kn.

St. Kitts & Nevis Closes Borders Tonight at 11:59pm – April 7, 2020 in Continued Action Against COVID-19

As of today, there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation. Two Kittitian nationals arriving from New York were tested and confirmed positive for the virus.

During this time, our foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of all citizens, visitors and residents. Thus, to help control the spread of the virus, the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is now taking the following actions to protect our borders, citizens and residents.

Effective today, March 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm, the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis will be closing its borders to:

1) All commercial airline flights until April 7, 2020.

2) Medevac or medical emergency flights are an exception and will be allowed should the need arise.

3) International air cargo and cargo by seafaring vessels will be allowed in order to maintain connectivity that enables the Federation to import needed commodities such as food, fuel, medical supplies and equipment.

4) Nationals and Residents overseas who cannot return by the deadline will need to remain offshore until the border closing is lifted.

5) Immigration, Customs, Coast Guard and the Royal St. Christopher & Nevis Police Force, will be enforcing all border controls.

Travellers are advised to contact their travel advisor, travel provider, hotel and/or airline for information about and policies for rescheduling trips. Our hearts are with you, as we are all in this together. We look forward to again welcoming you to the sun-kissed splendour of St. Kitts & Nevis. In the meantime, we ask all persons to stay informed about the latest news and developments relating to COVID-19 and to take all recommended precautions to stay safe and healthy.

St. Kitts & Nevis Closes Borders from Today at 11:59pm – April 7, 2020 in Continued Action Against COVID-19 – Update #6

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 25, 2020) – To date, St. Kitts & Nevis has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Together with the world, St. Kitts & Nevis is navigating the rapid changes taking place as a result of a shared global effort to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, our foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of all citizens, visitors and residents.

To help control the spread of the virus, the Government of the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis is now taking the following actions to protect our borders, citizens and residents.

Effective today, March 25, 2020, at 11:59 pm, the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis will be closing its borders to:

1) All commercial airline flights until April 7, 2020.

2) Medevac or medical emergency flights are an exception and will be allowed should the need arise.

3) International air cargo and cargo by seafaring vessels will be allowed in order to maintain connectivity that enables the Federation to import needed commodities such as food, fuel, medical supplies and equipment.

4) Nationals and Residents overseas who cannot return by the deadline will need to remain offshore until the border closing is lifted.

5) Immigration, Customs, Coast Guard and the Royal St. Christopher & Nevis Police Force, will be enforcing all border controls.

Travellers are advised to contact their travel advisor, travel provider, hotel and/or airline for information about fees and policies for rescheduling or cancelling trips.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to our twin-island destination once again when this time of uncertainty is behind us. In the meantime, we ask all persons to stay informed about the latest news and developments relating to COVID-19 and to take all recommended precautions including everyday preventative actions to help stem the spread of the virus, including frequent handwashing and practicing social distancing.

St. Kitts & Nevis Continues Action  Against COVID-19  – Update #5

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 23, 2020) – To date, St. Kitts & Nevis has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Together with the world, St. Kitts & Nevis is navigating the rapid changes taking place as a result of a shared global effort to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, our foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of all citizens, visitors and residents. 

To help control the spread of the virus and, the Federal Government of St. Kitts & Nevis is now advising citizens and residents to avoid all non-essential travel to countries or jurisdictions where cases have been reported and where there is local/community transmission, including: China, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the European Union (EU), Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and United States of America (USA), as well as the Dutch and French territories in the Caribbean.

International travellers from the aforementioned countries or jurisdictions will be refused entry, therefore they are strongly advised not to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis at this time. Visitors, nationals and legal residents of St. Kitts & Nevis, Caribbean Single Market Economy (CSME) Freedom of Movement certificate holders and work permit holders, arriving from any destination regardless of their point of origin will be subject to an advanced screening at the port of entry and a mandatory quarantine period of no less than 14-days. Please note the following:

  1. For the 14-day mandatory quarantine, movement will be restricted to a Government designated facility.
  2. Persons in quarantine will receive health checks by the Ministry of Health’s designated quarantine officials on a daily basis.
  3. Persons may be refused entry.
  4. Any person found in breach of the terms of his / her quarantine shall be liable on summary conviction to the penalties as outlined in the Public Health Quarantine Regulations (SRO No. 2 of 2020). Travellers are advised to contact their hotel in advance of arrival to request information about fees and policies if travellers choose to postpone or cancel their trip.

For anyone choosing to forgo travel during this uncertain time, please know that we remain committed to delivering an outstanding experience of our twin-island destination and look forward to the time when this situation is behind us. In the meantime, we ask all persons to stay informed about the latest news and developments relating to COVID-19 and to take all recommended precautions including everyday preventative actions to help stem the spread of the virus, including frequent handwashing and practicing social distancing.

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.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Further Action Against COVID-19 – Update #4

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 16, 2020) – Together with the world, St. Kitts & Nevis is navigating the rapid changes taking place as a result of a shared global effort to control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). During this time, our foremost priority is to protect the health and safety of all citizens, visitors and residents.

To date, St. Kitts & Nevis still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, to help control the spread of the virus and, the Federal Government of St. Kitts & Nevis has issued COVID-19 travel advisories for visitors, citizens and residents arriving in from China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom (UK), Ireland, France, Germany and Spain.

Air passengers travelling to/from any of the above listed destinations within the last 14 days are asked to note travel restrictions and the 14-day mandatory quarantine period that is enforced for Nationals, Residents and Visitors. Persons who travel to St. Kitts & Nevis from these destinations will be subject to screening at the port of entry and a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, wherein their movements will be restricted to a designated facility, for air passengers, most likely their hotel. Air travellers are advised to contact their hotel in advance of arrival to determine if the hotel can accommodate a quarantine and to request information about fees and policies if travellers choose to postpone or cancel their trip.

For anyone choosing to forgo travel during this uncertain time, please know that we remain committed to delivering an outstanding experience of our twin-island destination and look forward to the time when this situation is behind us. In the meantime, we ask all persons to stay informed about the latest news and developments relating to COVID-19 and to take all recommended precautions including everyday preventative actions 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, practicing social distancing 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.

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Further Action Against COVID-19 – Update #3

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 14, 2020) – To date, St. Kitts & Nevis still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. However, in response to the rapid international spread of the disease and the fact the (a) the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that the virus has now become a pandemic and (b) several CARICOM member states have now reported cases – all of which have been imported into the region, The Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis announces the following:

• At St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport, all incoming air passengers to the Federation will continue mandatory completion of question #17 of the Customs/Immigration Form, which requires a listing of “countries visited during last six weeks.”

o Travel advisories remain in effect for any and all incoming passengers who have travelled to or from any of the following countries within the last six (6) weeks prior to arrival in the Federation. Those travellers will continue to be asked to provide travel history, history of exposure to the virus and contact information: China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan

o Travel advisories have now been issued for The United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany and Spain.

o Passengers traveling to/from these destinations within the last 14 days are asked not to travel to St. Kitts & Nevis at this time. Persons who do travel to St. Kitts & Nevis from these destinations will be subject to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period following screening at the port of entry. Such quarantine of passengers means that their movements will be confined to a designated facility.

o The Federal Government advises all citizens and legal residents returning from any of the aforementioned countries that they too will be placed on a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine regimen, wherein their movements will be restricted.

o The Federal Government reserves the right to screen any individual arriving into the Federation, particularly during this WHO declared pandemic. This advisory remains in effect for citizens, residents and travelers until further notice and as previously stated, the Federal Government reserves the right to amend its travel advisories to include other countries.

• At the cruise port, inspectors from the Environmental Health Department continue to 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.

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 March 11, 2020 that the global spread of COVID-19 constitutes a Pandemic, 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 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 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. The Federal Ministry of Health and the Government of St. Kitts & Nevis advises citizens
to remain clam, follow all of the advisories that have been issued, and rely only on official sources of information on COVID-19 rather than subjecting themselves to fear and propaganda.

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.

Nevis Takes Preventive Action to Prevent COVID-19 Infection

Charlestown, Nevis, March 12, 2020 – In light of the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nevis Ministry of Health wishes to allay fears and assure the Nevisian public and travelers to Nevis that it is taking the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) very seriously.

There are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the government is taking all necessary steps to increase surveillance at ports of entry, to train and equip healthcare workers, and to educate the general public about protecting themselves, their families and the wider Nevisian community by preventing infection. The Ministry will further engage in educational sessions and discussions with schools, hotels, businesses and other organizations throughout the island.

“Tourists should know that although there are no cases of coronavirus on Nevis, the government and the tourism stakeholders here are all instituting practices recommended by the World Health Organization and the Center, Disease Control, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO),” says Jadine Yarde, CEO of the Nevis Tourism Authority (NTA). “We want to assure tourists that we are maximizing our natural resources to fortify our immune systems and taking swift actions to respond to anything that may arise. We are all in this together and the health of our citizens and the visitors to this beautiful island is our paramount concern.”

As Nevis moves towards readiness and response, the government continues to encourage and emphasize the following:

  • The practice of good hand hygiene through frequent and thorough hand-washing, and cough etiquette in order to reduce the risk of transmission of respiratory viruses
  • Social distancing by avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections and remaining at home if a person exhibits flu like symptoms
  • Self-reporting, with travelers coming/returning to the Federation being required to self-report if they feel they might have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill
  • Calling ahead to your physician or health institution stating your symptoms and any travel history to allow for preparation at the office/institution prior to your visit.

All travelers with questions are encouraged to consult the World Health Organization’s website: https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus or to contact the Nevis Tourism Authority, USA Tel 1.407.287.5204, Canada 1.403.770.6697 or our website  www.nevisisland.com  and on Facebook – Nevis Naturally.

Media Contact: Inez Freund / [email protected]

St. Kitts & Nevis Takes Preventative Action Against Coronavirus – Update #2 

Basseterre, St. Kitts (March 10, 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.”
o Any and all incoming passengers who have traveled to or from any of the following countries within the last six (6) weeks prior to arrival in the Federation will be asked to provide travel history, history of exposure to the virus and contact information: China, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan
o 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. This advisory remains in effect for citizens, residents and travelers until further notice.

• 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.

• 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. In the interest of public health and safety, the Federation also reserves the right to amend its travel advisories to include other countries.

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.

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.

Sint Maarten on Coronavirus

Government site: http://www.sintmaartengov.org/government/VSA/Health-Updates/NOVELCORONAVIRUS/Pages/default.aspx

 

SXM Airport C-19 Prevention and Mitigation measures in full affect as operational demand for travel reveals steady bookings despite travel restrictions

Simpsonbay, St. Maarten (June 22, 2020) – Continuing on a wave of proactive and emergency responsiveness to combat the invasive Novel Corona virus (COVID-19) is the workforce at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM), since January 2020. Throughout a three-month period, the aerodrome was partially operational, as the airport adhered to the travel restrictions as implemented by the Government of St. Maarten, to further maintain the precautionary measures for the inhabitants and its reducible visitors. As a result of the travel restrictions all commercial travel was ceased, however the airport facilitates cargo, emergency and repatriation flights.

A contingent C-19 Prevention and Mitigation plan was established and prompted for execution by the COVID-19 Task Force, with guidance by the SXM Airport’s Managing Board. The efforts work cohesively with the readiness for an influx of travelers in preparation to resume the air transport services, when deemed most safe and secure. With the goal to maintain frequency of service to key markets SXM Airport intends to rely on its short and long-haul carriers to drive growth to the region.

The C-19 plan is governed by the “precautionary principle” to minimize the risk of infection and act as if you and those around you are infected with the untimely virus.

The PJIAE C-19 Prevention and Mitigation plan also serves to protect the livelihoods of the airport community, acknowledging detailed guidelines through virtual and live orientation trainings for high and low risk exposure groups. The scheduled trainings are entitled “COVID-19 Safety at the Workplace -Training for the Airport Community” will be facilitated by a Task Force member.

In accordance with the plan, the “Don’t pass it on” hygiene campaign has also been launched at the airport, emphasizing through noticeable signage that everyone should wash their hands more frequently. Handwashing stations have also been installed throughout the terminal building to further endorse the campaign.

PJIAE installed more than forty (40) plexiglass shielding screens in areas like the departure gates, check-in counters, Passenger Experience desk, Passport Control counter and the Tourist Information booth to further reduce health risks and provide a safe environment for frontline taff and passengers. The ground handling services will also be regulated to serve the prevention and mitigation measures as the management of the passenger shuttle busses are required to also demonstrate more frequent cleansing of the airside public transportation.

“We are offering different levels of protection to fine tune our PJIAE C-19 Prevention and Mitigation measures, thermal temperature screening, mandatory mask regulations and the installation of additional hand sanitizers are just a few of our newly implemented measures. We also have a more regiment cleaning program for all common-use areas,” the Chairman of the SXM Airport Task Force, Connally Connor pointed out during an internal interview.

Stringent safety policies further impose that all frontline employees will be provided with either two (2) types of protective masks; respiratory and surgical. The FFP2 respiratory masks will offer an advanced level of protection due to direct contact with travelers. Furthermore, the surgical masks should effectively minimize the transmitting of probable droplets. The regulation correlates with the suitable Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) for the airport community, admonishing the mandatory use of eye protection.

Task Force Chairman Connally Connor added: “Access into the terminal building will only be granted to the traveling passengers and the obligated airport staff. We will also intensify the disinfecting methods at high touch point areas to diminish the soiled or contaminated surfaces. The Task Force also ensures there will be disinfectant tablets to purify the air through the ventilation system. Thermal screening for staff and passengers will also go into immediate effect upon the permissible reopening date.”

Though the latest outlook by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) foreast the airline industry to lose billions due to the pandemic, the local airport’s Operations Management long-established there is steady demand for travel to our diverse destination. Flight schedules have already indicated positive bookings on North American carriers.

According to the most current COVID-19 statistical information by the Public Health Department of St. Maarten, there are no active cases on the island. Furthermore, on Friday June 19, 2020 the honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), Ludmilla de Weever publicized the airport will offer full operations as of July 1, 2020.

If anyone would like to report any hazards and risks related to COVID-19 they are required to call the SXM Airport’s safety hotline at 1-721-546-7504 or 1-721-5467508 or send your comments via email at [email protected]. General information should be directed to the newly operating COVID-19 hotline at 9777 or visit our website at www.sxmairport.com and click the COVID-19 tab for any associated updates.

FRENCH AND DUTCH TOURIST OFFICES LAUNCH JOINT INSPIRATIONAL DESTINATION VIDEO

Marigot/Philipsburg –The St. Martin Tourism Office together with the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau jointly launched a destination video that captures beautiful shots of the destination, showcasing the dynamic and multicultural essence of the island. A special poem written by Ms. Ruby Bute highlighted the beauty of the island, and placed emphasis on the current situation in a way that is artistic, hopeful and inspirational. With this video, both tourism offices aim to inspire travelers to continue dreaming of the destination while travel restrictions are still in effect.

The video has officially been launched locally and internationally and can be seen on both tourism offices official destination Facebook pages Destination Saint Martin-The Friendly island and Vacation St.Maarten and Instagram pages under the usernames @DiscoverSaintMartin and @VacationStMaarten.

Saint-Martin, my Paradise

Saint-Martin, your Paradise. We are waiting to welcome you and once you are here, you will stay forever 🏝❤️

Posted by Saint-Martin – French Side on Friday, May 15, 2020

“This inspirational video not only showcases the beauty of our island, but also the talent of our own local artist, Ms. Ruby Bute, who wrote a heartfelt poem and gracefully narrated it on video. It is crucial to keep viewers inspired and informed so that the destination can remain top of mind. In the crowded marketplace where many other competing destinations are vying for the attention of the traveler, the island should remain on the forefront and continue to disseminate captivating content. We encourage everyone to view the video on our social pages and feel free to share it amongst your friends and family.” said Aida Weinum, Director of the St. Martin Tourist Office

“It is important to inspire and offer a visually appealing experience that resonates with the viewer, and this video not only captures the beauty of the island, but also offers a sense of hope, that emotionally engages with the viewer. We want to increase the awareness of the destination so that people may be reminded of our destination. This video is one of the many steps towards increasing the destination brand awareness, but also to re-establish our position as one of the leading destinations in the Caribbean.” said May-Ling Chun, Director of Tourism at the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau

With certain countries re-opening their borders, travelers are already searching vacation options. Based on industry reports, travelers will primarily seek safe destinations that offers many leisure activities amongst relaxation. Keeping visitors inspired and informed will remain a top priority for both tourism offices, alongside with ensuring that the necessary protocols and guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are in place prior to re-opening the borders.

CONFINEMENT EXTENDED IN FRANCE AND ITS OVERSEAS TERRITORIES UNTIL MAY 11th. 

Airports

Travel restrictions have been imposed by the authorities. 

At Princess Juliana International Airport, only cargo flights are authorized to land.

For further information, please follow the links below.

Facebook : Facebook.com/SXMGOV

Website : sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus

An updated flight schedule is available on the airport’s Facebook page and website.

Facebook : Princess Juliana International Airport

Website : sxmairport.com/news-press.php

At Grand Case Airport

By decree, and in order to maintain regional territorial links, commercial flights are operated since March 23rd by Air Antilles Express. Flights will be operated by Twin Otter 17-seater aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights are reserved to:

  • Someone accompanying a very sick person
  • Those that need urgent surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis…
  • Those traveling for professional reasons in link with the crisis

Yet, they will have to show proof of residency on their travel documents.

Also, they will have to produce two documents proving the exactitude of their motivation to travel.

For further information please refer to:

Facebook: Aeroport Saint Martin Grand Case

Website: saintmartin-airport.com

Website: [email protected]

Inter-island ferries

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Anguilla are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot.

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Saint-Barthelemy are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot.

Facebook: Voyager St Barth

Marina fort louis

The Fort Louis Marina in Marigot is closed to the public.

In case of emergency please call +33 690 66 19 56.

From 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to noon on weekends.

You can also contact them by email: [email protected] 

The French Maritime Zones are closed until further notice.

Dingy navigation is authorized for groceries and fuel, but boaters need to fill in the same form as car drivers. 

Cruise ship terminal

Cruise ships are not welcomed until further notice.

Galisbay Port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited since the publication of the Ministerial Decree on March 13th.

All activities at the commercial port, considered a vital structure, are maintained.

There is no cancellation or modification of the schedule in terms of reception of goods.

Hospitals

At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, precautionary measures have been taken to limit access to the hospital with exception of the ER.

Circulation on the territory

On the French Side,

Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic extended the CONFINEMENT UNTIL MAY 11th 2020.

Main new measures taken by the Head of State:

  • Schools will be gradually reopening from this date on, Universities and higher education will not reopen before the summer
  • Festivals and big events are not to be authorized before mid-july
  • Current measures are maintained
  • Additional aid for the most affected industries will be provided (culture, catering, and most likely tourism)
  • Borders with non-EU countries will remain closed until further notice

Both the Prefecture and the Collectivité issued a decree stating that all outdoor recreational activities such as going to the beach, hotels pools and shared pools in residences are prohibited until further notice.

A personal derogatory waiver is needed for all circulation.

It can be downloaded from the following links,

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website: saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

It has to be filled in by each individual every time one goes out for a specified reason.

The non-compliance to these rules is punishable by a fine starting from 200€.

A decree has been taken by both the Préfecture and the Territorial Council forbidding swimming at sea, hotel pools, and shared pools in residences until further notice. 

Both French and Dutch governments have agreed to a “Friendly Border Control” in order to restrict non-essential movements. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Since April 14th, On the Dutch Side of the island, the government implemented a relaxation of the confinement restrictions in order to let the population have easier access to basic commodities.

For all waiver requests to cross the borders, a letter must be addressed to M. Carl John MBA, chief of police

via email: [email protected]

Since March 24th, and until further notice, The Simpson Bay Lagoon does no longer allow vessels in.

Educational institutions

Day care centers, kindergartens, schools, colleges and high schools in Saint Martin were closed on Monday March 16th.

Schools in Sint Maarten were closed on Wednesday March 18th until further notice.

 Businesses

On the French side

Establishments open to the public and non-essential businesses are closed until May 11th, 2020.

To view the list of establishments that are authorized to continue their activity please consult the following links:

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website: saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

All stores are required to close at 6pm until May 11th, 2020.

On the Dutch side

Banks have reopened April 15th.

Supermarkets, bakeries, gas Stations, banks, pharmacies have reopened.

Also, in public areas, Social Distancing is strictly enforced and wearing a mask becomes compulsory.

All stores are required to close at 6pm until further notice.

Destination Sint Maarten – Update – Tuesday, March 31, 2020

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – Sint Maarten is in a partial lockdown and therefore measures taken is part of the Government’s preparedness, response and mitigation efforts in connection with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

These are extraordinary times.  Government has a responsibility to protect the safety and health of the people of Sint Maarten.

Travel Document Required to Move Around

In a meeting of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) held on  March 29, 2020, on increasing measures to ensure the safety and security of the population in this COVID-19 period, the Prime Minister took several decisions in relation to the movement of persons in and around Sint Maarten and increased controls in movement across the border in collaboration with French Saint-Martin counterparts.

The Government of Sint Maarten will be increasing its restrictions as per article 1 of the General Police Ordinance, which allows for special measures in extraordinary circumstances. This regulation will restrict movement and authorize the police to enforce the request the Prime Minister made to the nation on Friday, March 27, to STAY AT HOME, and to practice extreme social distancing, and when necessary to be out for essential services only.

This regulation will require the citizens to carry a document on them, signed by their employer, declaring the need for them to travel to work, or one which describes which essential service they are traveling to or for. This document will be available for download by the citizens of Sint Maarten on Government’s website www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus.

Joint Border Controls to Continue

Also, in collaboration with French Saint-Martin counterparts, the Prefet Sylvie Feucher, the Gendarmes, and the Sint Maarten Police Department, will continue to patrol the borders in order to restrict any non-essential movement across borders as well. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. As such, all residents of Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin needing to cross the border will only be able to do so for either work purposes or health purposes and will be required to carry a new document that will be available on both Government’s website for download.

Licensed Restaurants/Street Vendors Banned from Selling Alcohol

Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, all licensed restaurants including street vendors will only be able to sell/deliver food. It is strictly forbidden to sell alcoholic beverages at these establishments. This is in order to minimize the chance of persons gathering at these establishments in a social atmosphere where proper social distancing of 1,5 – 2 meters is observed. The business closures at 6:00 PM each day and business closures on Sundays will remain in effect.

Curfew from 8.00PM to 6.00AM

As of Monday, March 30, 2020, a curfew is in place from 8:00 PM until 6:00 AM the following morning. This curfew is implemented in order to restrict movement except for emergencies during these hours and has been added in order to ensure that no unnecessary movement occurs during the established business closure times.

Persons traveling to essential work, before and after the established curfew (6:00 AM and after 8:00 PM) will be exempted from this measure. For example, those persons working night shifts and early morning shifts, including security guards, nurses, radio hosts, etc.

For official information and updates visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus or its Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SXMGOV

Department of Communications (DCOMM), Philipsburg, Sint Maarten D.W.I. Tel. + 721 543-1162, 542-4119, Fax: 543-1169; Email: [email protected]; Website: www.sintmaartengov.org

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Destination Sint Maarten – Update

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – These are extraordinary times.  Government has a responsibility to protect the safety and health of the people of Sint Maarten.

The country is in a partial lockdown and therefore measures taken is part of the Government of Sint Maarten’s preparedness, response and mitigation in connection with the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Travel Restrictions

Air Travel

As of Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at 11:59 PM, was the last day for the residents (passengers) of Sint Maarten to travel back to the country for the next two weeks.

Therefore, no airlines will be bringing in residents or persons during the next two weeks. The only flights that you will see coming into the airport would be cargo flights or flights that are coming in to pick up passengers to return them to their home countries.

Ships and Other Maritime Craft

The travel restrictions for shippers and mariners went into effect as of March 24th 11:59pm American Standard Time. After this date NO Foreign Vessels (exemptions applied) will be allowed in the territorial waters of Sint Maarten until further notice.

This includes but is not limited to; Pleasure vessels, Fishing vessels, Passenger Vessels, Huckster boats, Mega Yachts, Sailing Yachts, Catamarans, etc.

Applicable Exemptions are as follows:

  1. Locally registered leisure vessels are permitted to operate in the waters of Sint Maarten providing that there are four (4) or less persons (including captain) on board.
  2. Fishing vessels from Saba and St. Eustatius are allowed entry into the territorial waters of Sint Maarten BUT should contact the Immigration Department prior to arrival.
  3. Other trade between Sint Maarten, SABA and St. Eustatius that takes place via water transport will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
  4. Large Cargo vessels, Bulk carriers, Bunker Barges/-vessels will be allowed only if the relevant procedures are followed and approval is given by the pertinent authorities who will closely monitor these activities to ensure their adherence.
  5. Bunkering and or provisioning may ONLY be permitted for vessels of 500GT and larger that are passing through Sint Maarten on-route to another destination. This service will only be made available at Port St. Maarten where each request will be evaluated on a case by case basis.  At no time are crew or captain allowed to leave the vessel. Bunkering and or provisioning will NOT be allowed to take place at the other marinas or docking locations on island unless the vessel is already docked at a facility that provides such. ‘Social Distancing’ should always be adhered to.
  6. Locally registered passenger vessels including ferries may be used by the company and or owners for personal use only and cease all commercial activities until further notice.

Measures

The following measures have been taken in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19.

Therefore, the following measures have been implemented in relation to business closures, which went into effect on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Businesses that are allowed to remain open to the public:

o       Hotels and guest houses, including on-site amenities;

o       Yachting agents;

o       Emergency, Paramedic & Medical laboratory services;

o       Medical practitioners & Dental clinics (for emergencies services);

o       Pharmacies & Pharmaceutical suppliers.

o       Gas stations and Suppliers of fuel (ULG, Diesel etc.) & LPG Distributors (cooking gas);

o       Banks;

o       Insurance companies, limited to back office administration and online/ mobile services;

o       Hardware stores;

o       Shipping & Cargo companies;

o       Grocery stores;

o       Restaurants and food vendors (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Bakeries (take-out and delivery services only);

o       Essential Gov’t services, incl. telecommunication, judicial, utilities and postal services.

o       Notarial services

o       Funeral services

o       Media outlets

o       Cleaning services and garbage collection

o       Laundry services

o       Public transportation operators;

o       Construction of Social Projects may also continue

All other businesses must be closed to the public but may offer online/mobile ordering and delivery services to clients.

  1. All businesses must be closed on Sundays and holidays, with the exception of pharmacies, retailers of cooking gas, gas stations and hotels/ guesthouses, incl. on-site amenities catered to guests only.
  2. Businesses that are allowed to open, must be closed by 6.00 pm on all other days (Mon-Sat), with the exception of hotels/ guesthouses, which may maintain their regular operating hours.

The above-mentioned operating hours also applies to businesses with permits to open for extended hours or 24 hours.

Beach Activities

Beaches will remain open and accessible to the public; however, no beach parties/ gatherings are allowed. Beach parties/ gatherings are considered gatherings of more than five (5) persons in one group.  Furthermore, the renting of chairs, umbrellas, water sports equipment and the provision of other beach activities is prohibited until further notice.

For official information and updates visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus or its Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SXMGOV

Roddy Heyliger (Email: [email protected]; +1 721 520-4217)

Department of Communications (DCOMM), Sint Maarten

St. Maarten update on COVID-19

The St. Maarten Tourism Bureau would like to inform travelers of the latest developments on island pertaining to the COVID-19, as well as the recently imposed travel restrictions by Government of Sint Maarten.

St. Maarten has recorded its first positive COVID-19 case. The individual has been in quarantine and is self-isolating properly. Contact tracing has also been carried out.

As of Tuesday March 17th, 2020 at 11.59 PM new travel restrictions went into effect and are as follows:

  • Passengers are not allowed to enter St. Maarten. 
  • This does not apply to residents of St. Maarten. They must hold a proof of residence, which can be a St. Maarten driving license, St. Maarten ID card or a St. Maarten registration document. 
  • This does NOT apply to airline crew.

 Residents of St. Maarten must undergo a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days. 

  • Airline crew that are overnighting must undergo a mandatory self-quarantine while on the island. 
  • Essential Flights from Saba, Sint Eustatius and Curacao are allowed 
  • Medical emergency flights are allowed 
  • This does not apply to passengers who are traveling to St. Maarten at the invitation of the Government of St. Maarten as technical or medical -specialists and -assistants. 
  • All residents of St. Maarten and crew members arriving on St. Maarten are required to mandatory self-isolate for 14 days and will be monitored by the department of Public Health.

Cruise, Yachting and pleasure craft calls are suspended to the island until further notice.

If you are scheduled to travel to St. Maarten after March 18th 2020, please contact your airline or travel service provider immediately to modify your booking.

If you are currently on St. Maarten, please contact your airline, travel service provider and/or embassy immediately for the most recent updates and repatriation procedures.

Non-essential services and businesses were ordered to cease operations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which went into affect on Wednesday March 18th, 2020 as of 12:00 AM for a duration of 2 weeks/14 days.

Social Distancing is also being strongly promoted. The Government of Sint Maarten is strongly urging persons to avoid social gathering in groups where they are unable to keep a distance of at least one meter from one another. All institutions, businesses, organizations, religious services and other entities is urged to adhere to these recommended advices in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Ministerial regulation to ensure that this is enforceable is being finalized.

We are currently in extraordinary times, and with the uncertainty of COVID-19, there is no date set when travel restrictions will be lifted. We encourage you to stay healthy and remain inspired to travel to St. Maarten as soon as this is possible again.

Useful links and telephone numbers

Princess Juliana International Airport

For the latest airline scheduling we advise you to visit  www.sxmairport.com

The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor

If you are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or would like to speak to someone about this topic please refer to the below contact details:

Collective Prevention Services (CPS)

Tel: +1721 520 4523, +1721 520-1348 or +1721 520 5283

Hotline during business hours: 914

Email: [email protected]

Government of Sint Maarten

For more information and updates relating to COVID-19 and the actions of Government of Sint Maarten please visit www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus

Contact us:

St. Maarten Tourism Bureau / Juancho Yrausquin Blvd # 6 / Philipsburg, St. Maarten / Tel : + 1 (721) 549 0200 / Email: [email protected]

Travel Restrictions to the Destination Stepped-up from 14 to 21 Days. EOC to Meet Thursday and MPS to be Informed

The travel restrictions which were issued by the Government of Sint Maarten have now been increased from 14 to 21-days, Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs disclosed on Wednesday.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be meeting on Thursday and a meeting will be held with Members of Parliament (MPs) to provide them with an update on national preparations for COVID-19.

Jacobs said the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared that the coronavirus COVID-19 is now an international pandemic.  Such a declaration calls on all countries to speed up their response and containment measures and to be prepared to take any additional measures that are required to protect public health.

The Government continues to work closely with the Government of French Saint-Martin and Kingdom counterparts in order to prepare and plan to mitigate the spread.

Prime Minister Jacobs added that the business community as well as Government will have to look at ways of allowing workers to work remotely from home, especially for persons who have traveled to COVID-19 hotspots including those who are not mentioned in the country’s travel restriction lists.

Persons should self- isolate for 14-days at home; contact their family physician (GP) and provide a list of their flu-like symptoms to their GP if they develop any.  The family physician will determine if the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) should be contacted. For more information you can call the 914-hot line during business hours.

Children with flu-like symptoms should remain home; self-isolation is the best way to contain communicable diseases.  Special attention should be paid to senior citizens, especially those with pre-existing health (respiratory) conditions.

Passengers and airline crew who have been in China (People’s Republic), Hong Kong (SAR China), Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Macao (SAR China) or Singapore in the past 21 days, are not allowed to transit or enter Sint Maarten.

This does not apply to nationals of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (being from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Netherlands, St. Eustatius, Saba and Sint Maarten); and this does not apply to residents of Sint Maarten.

All passengers must fill in the embarkation card in order to know where the passengers are coming from before the aircraft/ship arrives in Sint Maarten.

There are zero cases of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 on Dutch Sint Maarten at this time.  Our screening processes at our ports of entry have been stepped up in cooperation with the airlines who are also following their own screening protocols based on World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

There is no reason to panic; stay calm and take preventative hygiene measures at home, on the job, in school that have been promoted by the Ministry of Public Health for the past several weeks via the Government’s Department of Communication.

Persons should refrain from hugging and touching each other when visiting family or friends.  We have to get back to the ‘No touch rule’ in order to protect ourselves at this point in time with the global COVID-19 outbreak.

The Government continues to work diligently to increase capacity within the public health sector, but this will take some time.

Listen to the Government Radio station – 107.9FM – for official information, statements and news updates or visit the Government website: www.sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus or and Facebook Page: Facebook.com/SXMGOV

SXM Airport takes Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on with dynamic information session for staff and internal stakeholders

Simpson Bay, St. Maarten (Friday, March 06, 2020) – SXM Airport is proactively working with all the relevant government agencies on St. Maarten to strategically execute the required responses and awareness actions, as it relates to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).The initiative comes following the announcement from the World Health Organization (WHO) that declared the outbreak constitutes a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, was first reported in China on December 2019.

Meanwhile, the Airport has since initiated its’ infectious disease awareness campaign, through a Contingency Plan to determine the significant safeguards for the situation and have already accelerated the efforts thus far.

Gerald Baptiste of the SXM Airport Rescue and Firefighting Department (R&FF) and Eva Lista – De Weever, Department Head of the Collective Prevention Services (CPS) were amongst the primary speakers at the information session on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which was appropriately entitled, “Awareness and Protection” at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM). The open walk-in session was held with the airport community at the Departure Hall on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The stakeholders included airlines and handlers, concessionaires, Immigration, Customs, ground handling workers, cargo operators, VIP’s, car rental operators and more.

Dr. Sonia Swanston – Meade, the assigned company doctor of the Airport also served as a speaker and further disclosed the symptoms of the infectious disease and the healthy practices to follow while at the workplace or traveling via the airport. CPS presented the case definition and listed the necessary prevention measures for yourself and those around you. Another point of dialogue included the topic “How to effectively communicate your symptoms to a physician?”

“We were well received by the airport’s staff and stakeholders that took the time out to attend the airport’s information session. All the related questions posed were valid and in line with the worldwide concerns of the outbreak. It was a wonderful experience to collaborate with other local health practitioners and emergency departments and CPS is open to more joint efforts, to better inform the population about the disease. I hope the takeaway message is that the Ministry of Public Health is doing what we can to ensure the safety of all residents and visitors,” summarized the Department Head of the Collective Preventive Services, Eva Lista – De Weever.

St Martin on Coronavirus

Government site : https://www.st-martin.org/covid19

 

PRESS RELEASE April 6th 2020

The entire world is going through serious turmoil with an unprecedented health crisis. Every country is impacted. Patience and confinement seem to be the only appropriate response. As the President of the French Republic, E. Macron stated when solemnly addressing the nation, “The world is at war against an invisible enemy”.

Given this context we are sharing the latest updates for St-Martin. A certain number of restrictive measures have been taken at all points of entries and for public and private establishments.

Airports

Travel restrictions have been imposed by the authorities.

Only cargo flights are authorized to land.

For further information, please follow the links below.

Facebook : Facebook.com/SXMGOV

Website : sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus

An updated flight schedule is available on the airport’s Facebook page and website.

Facebook : Princess Juliana International Airport

Website : sxmairport.com/news-press.php

At Grand Case Airport

By decree, and in order to maintain regional territorial links, commercial flights are operated since March 23rd by Air Antilles Express.  Flights will be operated by Twin Otter 17-seater aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights are reserved to:

  • Someone accompanying a very sick person
  • Those that need urgent surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis…
  • Those traveling for professional reasons in link with the crisis.

Yet, they will have to show proof of residency on their travel documents.

Also, they will have to produce two documents proving the exactitude of their motivation to travel.

For further information please refer to:

Facebook: Aeroport Saint Martin Grand Case

Website: saintmartin-airport.com

Website: [email protected]

Inter-island ferries

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Anguilla are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot.

There is one rotation per day between Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy,

Facebook: Voyager St Barth

Marina fort louis

The Fort Louis Marina in Marigot is closed to the public.

In case of emergency please call +33 690 66 19 56.

From 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to noon on weekends.

You can also contact them by email: [email protected] 

Private boating is now restricted in French waters. Dingy navigation is authorized for groceries and fuel, but boaters need to fill in the same form as car drivers.

Galisbay Port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited since the publication of the Ministerial Decree on March 13th. All activities at the commercial port, considered a vital structure, are maintained. There is no cancellation or modification of the schedule in terms of reception of goods.

Hospitals

At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, precautionary measures have been taken to limit access to the hospital with exception of the ER.

Circulation on the territory

Both French and Dutch governments have agreed to a “Friendly Border Control” in order to restrict non-essential movements. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

On Sunday, April 5th, 2020. The Dutch side of the island has enforced a FULL SHUTDOWN for two weeks. 

Exempted from shutdown:
1. Governor
2. Government Officials
3. Medical personal
4. Media Outlets
5. Garbage services
6. Shipping and freight companies
8. Pharmacies

Able to operate in case of emergencies:
1. Supermarkets
2. Gas stations (two will remain open only for emergency vehicles)

For all waver requests, a letter must be addressed to M. Karl John MBA, chief of police

via email : [email protected]

(Govt. of St. Maarten)

On the French Side, Both the Prefecture and the Collectivité issued a decree stating that all outdoor recreational activities such as going to the beach, hotels pools and shared pools in residences are prohibited until further notice.

A personal derogatory waiver is needed for all circulation.

It can be downloaded from the following links

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website : saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

It has to be filled in by each individual every time one goes out for a specified reason.

The non-compliance to these rules is punishable by a fine starting from 200€.

Since March 24th, and until further notice, The Simpson Bay Lagoon does no longer allow vessels in.

Educational institutions

Day care centers, kindergartens, schools, colleges and high schools in Saint Martin were closed on Monday March 16th. Schools in Sint Maarten were closed on Wednesday March 18th.

Businesses

Establishments open to the public and non-essential businesses are closed until April 15th, 2020.

To view the list of establishments that are authorized to continue their activity please consult the following links:

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website: saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

All stores are required to close at 6pm until April 15th, 2020.

A reminder for good hygiene practices.

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Greet without shaking hands and avoid kissing
  • Maintain a 4 FEET safety distance
  • Call EMERGENCY +15 if symptoms appear (cough, fever, etc.) and stay at home
  • Wear a mask if you are sick

PRESS RELEASE MARCH 30TH 2020

The entire world is going through serious turmoil with an unprecedented health crisis. Every country is impacted. Patience and confinement seem to be the only appropriate response. As the President of the French Republic, E. Macron stated when solemnly addressing the nation, “The world is at war against an invisible enemy”.

Given this context we are sharing the latest updates for St-Martin.

A certain number of restrictive measures have been taken at all points of entries and for public and private establishments.

Airports

Travel restrictions have been imposed by the authorities. At Princess Juliana International Airport, Sunday March 22nd was the last day for residents (passengers) of Sint-Maarten/Saint-Martin to travel back to the island until April 15th (subject to change).

Only cargo flights will be authorized to land.

For further information, please follow the links below.

Facebook : Facebook.com/SXMGOV

Website : sintmaartengov.org/coronavirus

An updated flight schedule is available on the airport’s Facebook page and website.

Facebook : Princess Juliana International Airport

Website : sxmairport.com/news-press.php

At Grand Case Airport

By decree, and in order to maintain regional territorial links, commercial flights are resumed since March 23rd by Air Antilles Express. Flights will be operated by Twin Otter 17-seater aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights are reserved to:

  • Someone accompanying a very sick person
  • Those that need urgent surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis…
  • Those traveling for professional reasons in link with the crisis.

Yet, they will have to show proof of residency on their travel documents.

Also, they will have to produce two documents proving the exactitude of their motivation to travel.

Air Caraïbes has ceased all flights and activity until further notice.

For further information please refer to:

Facebook: Aeroport Saint Martin Grand Case

Website: saintmartin-airport.com

Website: [email protected]

Inter-island ferries

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Anguilla are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot.

There is one rotation per day between Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy,

Facebook: Voyager St Barth

Marina fort louis

The Fort Louis Marina in Marigot is closed to the public.

In case of emergency please call +33 690 66 19 56.

From 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to noon on weekends.

You can also contact them by email: [email protected]

 Private boating is now restricted in French waters.

Dingy navigation is authorized for groceries and fuel, but boaters need to fill in the same form as per car drivers.

Galisbay Port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited since the publication of the Ministerial Decree on March 13th.

All activities at the commercial port, considered a vital structure, are maintained.

There is no cancellation or modification of the schedule in terms of reception of goods.

Hospitals

At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, precautionary measures have been taken to limit access to the hospital with exception of the ER.

Circulation on the territory

Both French and Dutch governments have agreed to a “Friendly Border Control” in order to restrict non-essential movements. This is in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As such, all residents of the island needing to cross the border will only be able to do so for either work purposes or health purposes.

All will be required to carry their derogatory waiver. 

On March 30th, the Dutch Side of the island has implemented a curfew from 8pm until 6am.

Both the Prefecture and the Collectivité issued a decree stating that all outdoor recreational activities such as going to the beach, hotels pools and shared pools in residences are prohibited until further notice.

Until April 15th, all circulation is prohibited except for the following reasons:

To get to work if working remotely is not possible

To shop for basic necessities in the stores that are authorized to remain open.

To go to the doctor.

To take care of children and/or vulnerable persons.

To take fresh air

A personal derogatory waiver is needed for all circulation.

It can be downloaded from the following links

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website : saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

It has to be filled in by each individual every time one goes out for a specified reason.The non-compliance to these rules is punishable by a fine starting now from 200€.

Since March 24th, and until further notice, The Simpson Bay Lagoon does no longer allow vessels in.

Educational institutions

Day care centers, kindergartens, schools, colleges and high schools in Saint Martin were closed on Monday March 16th. Schools in Sint Maarten were closed on Wednesday March 18th. 

Businesses

Establishments open to the public and non-essential businesses are closed until April 15th, 2020.

To view the list of establishments that are authorized to continue their activity please consult the following links:

Facebook : Préfecture de St Barthélémy et de Saint Martin

Website: saint-barth-saint-martin.gouv.fr

All stores are required to close at 6pm until April 15th, 2020. 

A reminder for good hygiene practices.

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing
  • Use disposable tissues
  • Greet without shaking hands and avoid kissing
  • Maintain a 4 FEET safety distance
  • Call EMERGENCY +15 if symptoms appear (cough, fever, etc.) and stay at home
  • Wear a mask if you are sick 

For further inquiries please send us an email at [email protected] or call us on +590 590 875721

The entire Tourism Office team remains concerned and is working to help and inform you to the best of our ability.

We will walk through these difficult times together and will be ready to welcome you to our friendly island once this episode is over. Be safe.

St Vincent and the Grenadines on Coronavirus

St Vincent and the Grenadines COVID-19 Preparedness and Response

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Cabinet considered recommendations from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, and took the following decisions:

  1. Approval was granted to maintain the status quo as it relates to travellers from the undermentioned countries, who will be quarantined for fourteen (14) days:

– Iran /   China /  South Korea /  Italy

  1. In addition, all persons arriving from the following countries are required to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days:

– United States of America (USA) /  United Kingdom (UK) /  European Union (EU) Member Countries

This will take effect from Monday, 23rd March, 2020, from 6:00 a.m.

  1. All persons with a travel history including countries not listed above will be allowed entry once no symptoms of the COVID-19 virus are exhibited.
  1. Upon entering this country, all persons will be issued with a card containing the COVID-19 hotline number and indicating that they are required by law to report any symptom of the COVID-19 virus which may develop after entry and during their stay in this country.

If symptoms develop, the affected person will be isolated and tested.

  1. Social distancing is recommended for members of the household of any person under quarantine.
  1. The Government, having consulted the various stakeholders and in the context of all the circumstances, advises that activities for the Bequia Easter Regatta and the Union Island Easter Festival be cancelled.
  1. The Government reminds all interested persons that the airports and seaports of St. Vincent and the Grenadines remain open, and protocols as enunciated officially will apply.
  1. Under the existing laws, the relevant officials are authorized, in special circumstances, to take other health or security measures as may be deemed necessary.

Office of the Prime Minister

March 20, 2020

St Vincent and the Grenadines Sets Measures to Limit Spread of COVID-19

Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (March 18, 2020) – Following the news of the first case of COVID-19 found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to date, the government of the Caribbean nation has announced several measures to limit the spread of the virus.

SVG confirmed its first imported case of the virus on Wednesday, March 11 and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that several meetings of officials have taken place since then to address the issue. The affected person is in self isolation after returning from the United Kingdom.

Measures to limit the spread include ordering the suspension for certain formal ports of entry while the hours of operation at other ports will be expanded in some instances. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of a collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, nine of which are inhabited. The ports of entry which will remain open for yachts are Wallilabou, Blue Lagoon, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. Crew will have to immediately check in at immigration upon anchoring at a port of entry.

People entering the country with a travel history which includes Iran, China, South Korea and Italy are now to to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry. Approval was also granted to implement active surveillance of people with a travel history that includes countries with community transmission by nurses assigned to hotels.

Measures setup for Vincentians to stay safe include the Prime Minister announcing that he has also given approval to hire between 20 and 25 additional Vincentian nurses “to strengthen surveillance, maintenance and management of COVID 19 especially at airports and other ports of entry”. The Prime Minister also urged Vincentians to take proper cautions to keep themselves and others safe. He has also formally requested from the Cuban government, 12 nurses and three doctors who specialize in handling infectious diseases including COVID-19, to assist in further training of local nurses and medical personnel. An order for equipment and supplies for the testing of COVID-19 was also made by health minister, Luke Browne.

More information on the COVID-19 situation in SVG can be found here: http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/c

St Vincent and the Grenadines Sets Measures to Limit Spread of COVID-19

Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. (March 18, 2020) – Following the news of the first case of COVID-19 found in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to date, the government of the Caribbean nation has announced several measures to limit the spread of the virus.

SVG confirmed its first imported case of the virus on Wednesday, March 11 and Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said that several meetings of officials have taken place since then to address the issue. The affected person is in self isolation after returning from the United Kingdom.

Measures to limit the spread include ordering the suspension for certain formal ports of entry while the hours of operation at other ports will be expanded in some instances. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of a collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, nine of which are inhabited. The ports of entry which will remain open for yachts are Wallilabou, Blue Lagoon, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. Crew will have to immediately check in at immigration upon anchoring at a port of entry.

People entering the country with a travel history which includes Iran, China, South Korea and Italy are now to to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry. Approval was also granted to implement active surveillance of people with a travel history that includes countries with community transmission by nurses assigned to hotels.

Measures setup for Vincentians to stay safe include the Prime Minister announcing that he has also given approval to hire between 20 and 25 additional Vincentian nurses “to strengthen surveillance, maintenance and management of COVID 19 especially at airports and other ports of entry”. The Prime Minister also urged Vincentians to take proper cautions to keep themselves and others safe. He has also formally requested from the Cuban government, 12 nurses and three doctors who specialize in handling infectious diseases including COVID-19, to assist in further training of local nurses and medical personnel. An order for equipment and supplies for the testing of COVID-19 was also made by health minister, Luke Browne.

More information on the COVID-19 situation in SVG can be found here: http://health.gov.vc/health/index.php/c or Facebook/SVG Health

Canada to close border to non-residents, with exception of United States Citizens

Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  (March 18, 2020) – On Monday March 16, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian border will be closed and that only Canadians citizens, Canadian permanent residents and U.S. citizens will be allowed into the country. This was in response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation and an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Starting this Wednesday March 18, all international visitors to Canada will be turned around at the airport, with the exception of Americans, diplomats and flight crews. Anyone travelling to Canada will need to self isolate for 14 days. Airlines have also been asked to conduct screenings and anyone displaying any visible symptoms, will not be able to travel to Canada. Also announced was that only four airports in Canada will be accepting international flights to ensure best passenger screenings; Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

Non residents of Canada currently booked to travel to Canada are advised to contact their travel agent or airline contact to make the necessary changes to their ticket as they may not be allowed to board.

At the press conference on Monday, Trudeau also urged Canadians abroad to come home immediately and for Canadians in the country to stay home as much as possible. Currently in Canada there are 424 cases of COVID-19 across the country.

For more information on the COVID-19 situation in Canada visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html   

About St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG):

A collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines boasts the best of what the authentic Caribbean is renowned for. The Grenadines which stretch 45 miles south from the main island of St. Vincent, include eight inhabited islands: Young Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Union Island, Palm Island and Petit St.Vincent (PSV). The Tobago Cays (home of SVG’s national marine park) is a horseshoe shaped reef that shields five deserted islets and is known to have some of the best sailing waters in the world.  For more information on the islands of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, please visit www.discoversvg.com

 Media Contact:

Hannah Choat, Public Relations Manager

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, represented by VoX International in Canada / Email: [email protected]Phone: 416.935.1896 ext. 242

The Bahamas on Coronavirus

Government site: https://bit.ly/2MOiLFt

 

BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM & AVIATION PREPARES FOR PHASE 2 REOPENING JULY 1

All Islands Of The Bahamas Will Reopen to International Travel; Visitors Must Present Negative COVID-19 Test and Complete an Electronic Health Visa to be Granted Entry 

NASSAU, Bahamas, June 18, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is preparing for Phase 2 of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, which will begin on Wednesday, July 1 and allow for the resumption of international travel to The Bahamas, with the exception of visitors from China, Iran, Italy and France.

Policies and Procedures for all travellers visiting The Bahamas beginning July 1 are as follows. Plans continue to evolve in response to COVID-19 trends, and so additional guidance will be communicated as details are available.

  • Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and in an abundance of caution for the health and safety of both travellers and residents, all incoming visitors must present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old.
    • Select individuals will be exempt from testing, which includes children under the age of two, private pilots who do not deplane, and Bahamian citizens, residents and homeowners returning from English speaking CARICOM countries.
  • All travellers will be required to complete an electronic Health Visa. Additional information is forthcoming.
  • No quarantine will be required upon arrival, however, travellers who show symptoms of COVID-19 may be transferred to an area away from other passengers for further testing and evaluation.
  • All inter-island travellers must complete an electronic Domestic Travel form at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion. All travellers must have their confirmation on hand upon arrival to their destination. This is a crucial step for contact tracing purposes.
  • At airports and seaports, healthcare personnel will conduct temperature screenings for all incoming visitors. Travellers will be required to wear a face mask in any situation where it is necessary to enforce physical distancing guidelines, such as when entering and transiting air and sea terminals, while navigating security and customs screenings, and at baggage claim.

As part of Phase 2, hotels and vacation rentals, including Airbnb and HomeAway will open to guests. Domestic and International airlines are permitted to resume service, and many are beginning to announce plans for their return to The Bahamas:

  • Delta Airlines will be resuming its twice daily Atlanta to Nassau service July 2
  • United Airlines announced its daily Houston to Nassau service will resume July 6 and the Saturday-only Denver to Nassau service will resume July 11.
  • American Airlines will resume flights to Nassau and Exuma on July 7.
  • Air Canada is scheduled to resume flights from Toronto to Nassau on July 3, 2020

Additional airlift resumptions are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Travellers should check with airlines directly for details on recommencement of service and any protocols for travel.

This July 1 tourism re-entry builds on and supports existing government rules and regulations, which already allows for the resumption of travel for international boaters, yachters and those traveling on private aviation as well as inter-island domestic travel for Bahamian citizens and residents.

Once on island, travellers should expect to follow The Bahamas’ “Healthy Traveler Campaign” that encourages both visitors and residents to continue practicing social distancing measures, regularly wash hands or use hand sanitizers, and pack appropriate PPE such as face masks, just as they would their swimsuits and sunscreen.

A Certification Agency has been established – representing a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Health, and other regulatory agencies – to enforce a Clean & Pristine certification program across the islands. All tourism related, customer-facing entities in The Bahamas must verify they have in place and are adhering to the Government approved health and safety guidelines to receive Clean & Pristine certification. Adequate signage outlining policies will be clearly displayed at all locations helping to guide staff and visitors. Travellers are encouraged to visit direct business websites prior to booking or traveling to ensure they are aware and comfortable with the policies they will need to abide by. Additional details about on-island protocols can be found at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.

Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Reopening dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, if there is a deterioration in improvement or if government and health organizations deem these phases unsafe for residents or visitors.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation believes it is an absolute baseline requirement for consumers to have a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination to visit, and the ultimate goal is for that to remain the case. For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit: www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).

 

BAHAMAS MINISTRY OF TOURISM & AVIATION PREPARES FOR PHASE 1 REOPENING JUNE 15

All Islands of The Bahamas Will Reopen to International Boaters, Yachters and Private Aviation

NASSAU, Bahamas, June 12, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation has announced the destination will begin Phase 1 of the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan on Monday, June 15, which welcomes international boaters, yachters and private aviation back to Bahamian shores, across all The Islands Of The Bahamas.

During Phase 1, hotels will also reopen for staff to return to work and put in place all the measures required to ensure they are ready to welcome guests at the onset of Phase 2.

Commercial airlines will also be allowed to bring in Bahamian citizens, legal residents, homeowners qualifying for economic permanent residency, or the immediate family members or significant others of any of these groups. It is anticipated that during this period of time there will be a reduced flight schedule as airlines begin adding The Bahamas to their schedules once again.

This is the first part of the strategic, phased reopening approach for the tourism sector that ensures critical health and safety protocols are being adhered to, and that the Health sector remains well equipped and ready to respond as necessary. The plan was constructed by The Bahamas Tourism Readiness and Recovery Committee, a group comprised of public and private sector partners. Allowing Phase 1 access to these smaller, special interest groups will allow a more controlled segment to test the country’s new measures. The second phase will commence on July 1 with the resumption of international commercial travel.

Guidelines, Policies and Procedures for International boaters, yachters and private aviation visiting The Bahamas between June 15 – June 30 are, as follows:

  • A COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test is required and must be presented upon arrival. Results must be no more than ten (10) days old.
    • Children under the age of two are not required to take a test.
    • Private pilots who do not deplane are not required to take a test.
  • All travellers – both domestic and international – are required to complete an Electronic Health Declaration Form at travel.gov.bs prior to departure and for any inter-island travel within The Bahamas. An automated response will be provided upon completion, and it is essential that travellers present proof of confirmation upon arrival in their destination This is an important step for contact tracing purposes.
  • No quarantine will be required upon arrival (if all steps are met).
  • Failure to comply with the test requirements and heath form submission will result in denied entry.
  • Boaters must inform marina at least 48 hours prior to vessel’s arrival.

This June 15 tourism re-entry builds on and supports existing government rules and regulations, which already allow for inter-island domestic travel for Bahamian citizens and residents.

Per the direction of the Bahamas Ministry of Health, Bahamian Citizens, Residents and Homeowners Returning from CARICOM countries are not required to present a COVID-19 RT-PCR Negative (Swab) Test upon arrival. However, they remain subject to other public health measures.

Reopening of borders will continue to be monitored and guided by The Bahamas government and health officials. Reopening dates are subject to change based on COVID-19 trends, if there is a deterioration in improvement, or if government and health organizations deem these phases unsafe for residents or visitors.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation believes it is an absolute baseline requirement for consumers to have a comfort level that The Bahamas is a safe and healthy destination to visit, and the ultimate goal is for that to remain the case. For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, please visit: www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).

For re-entry FAQs please visit https://www.bahamas.com/sites/default/files/bahamas_re-entry_faq_6-9-20.pdf

 

National Address by the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis Prime Minister

17 May 2020

Fellow Bahamians and residents: Good afternoon. We are continuing to make progress in containing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Because we acted quickly and decisively as a country and used a broad range of measures, we have been able to limit the spread of the deadly virus. To date, there remain 96 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in The Bahamas. This includes 74 in New Providence, 8 in Grand Bahama, 13 in Bimini and 1 in Cat Cay.

The Ministry of Health reported no additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 today. It has been four days since a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been reported. The number of recovered cases is at 42. Active cases are at 43.

Read May 18 update for the Bahamas.

 

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Statement on COVID-19 – March 27, 2020

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports throughout the entire Bahamas, including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs), shall be closed to all flights.
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas should be prepared to stay for an indefinite period of time.
  • No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
  • All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
  • Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., provided that the exercise is conducted in one’s yard or one’s immediate neighborhood and no person shall drive to any place to exercise.
  • Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.

Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com.

The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and has been actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol have been used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries​ or an area where community infection and spread is present, have been quarantined or placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

A destination-wide education campaign continues to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).

Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation Statement on COVID-19

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 24, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is following guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.  At this time, there are four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nassau, The Bahamas. Patients are isolated in quarantine following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Given the growing public health concern and to protect the health and well-being of the population of The Bahamas, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, has announced the enactment of an additional Emergency Order, “Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020.” New Emergency Powers and Regulations will be enforced under this order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, effective 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will expire at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, unless otherwise stated. Preventative restrictions include:

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.
  • No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
  • All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.
  • Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.

Full details of this order and the previous Emergency Order may be found at opmbahamas.com.

The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and has been actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol have been used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries or an area where community infection and spread is present have been quarantined or placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

A destination-wide education campaign continues to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8 p.m. – 8 a.m. EDT).

PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty / General Manager, Global Communications / Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation / [email protected]

Weber Shandwick / Public Relations / [email protected]

 

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 20, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation is following guidance from the Bahamas Ministry of Health and other government agencies pertaining to the country’s Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.  At this time, there are four confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nassau, The Bahamas. Patients are isolated in quarantine following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To further protect the well-being of Bahamian citizens, Prime Minister, The Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, yesterday announced increased preventative measures and protocol to minimize the potential spread of the illness. These include new border control and quarantine measures for persons travelling from highly infected areas, as well as an imposed curfew extending each night from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. effective Friday, March 20. Given the growing public health concern and to protect the health and well-being of the population of The Bahamas, effective Thursday, March 19, expanded travel restrictions were introduced. Foreign nationals and foreign individuals who have travelled within the last 20 days from United Kingdom, Ireland and other countries in Europe will be prohibited entry into The Bahamas. This is in addition to restrictions already in place for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. This restricted travel list of countries will be continuously monitored and updated as necessary.

The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and is actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol are used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries or an area where community infection and spread is present will be quarantined or be placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

A destination-wide education campaign is underway to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8am – 8pm EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8pm – 8am EDT).

Anita Johnson-Patty / General Manager, Global Communications /Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation

[email protected]

Weber Shandwick / Public Relations /[email protected]

NASSAU, Bahamas, March 16, 2020 – The Bahamas Ministry of Health is working closely with  all pertinent government agencies throughout the destination to execute the Bahamas National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.  At this time, there is one confirmed case of coronavirus in Nassau, The Bahamas. The patient is in isolated quarantine following the guidelines outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Ministry of Health is currently conducting full contact analysis and more details will be shared as they become available.

The Ministry of Health is encouraging preventative measures and protocol to minimize the potential spread of the illness, and The Bahamas implemented new border control and quarantine measures for persons travelling from highly infected areas. Given the growing public health concern and to protect the health and well-being of the population of The Bahamas, effective Thursday, March 19, expanded travel restrictions will be introduced. Foreign nationals and foreign individuals who have travelled within the last 20 days from the United Kingdom, Ireland and​ Europe will be prohibited entry into The Bahamas.​ This is in addition to restrictions already in place for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.​ This restricted travel list of countries will be continuously monitored and updated as necessary.​

The Bahamas is conducting COVID-19 testing and is actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern, in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol are used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment. In addition, all Bahamian nationals and residents returning to The Bahamas through any point of entry from any of the restricted countries​ or an area where community infection and spread is present will be quarantined or be placed under self-isolation upon arrival and are expected to follow the protocols of the Ministry of Health.

A destination-wide education campaign is underway to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

All COVID-19 inquiries should be directed to the Ministry of Health. For questions, or concerns, please call the COVID-19 hotline: 242-376-9350 (8am – 8pm EDT) / 242-376-9387 (8pm – 8am EDT).

PRESS INQUIRIES

Anita Johnson-Patty / General Manager, Global Communications / Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation / [email protected] /

Weber Shandwick / Public Relations / [email protected]

 

The Bahamas Ministry of Health is working closely with the all pertinent government agencies throughout the destination to execute The Bahamas National Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19.  At this time, there are no reported cases of the coronavirus in The Bahamas.

The World Health Organization (WHO) does not currently recommend any restriction of travel or trade, and The Bahamas continues to welcome visitors to the destination. The Bahamas is one of the few countries conducting COVID-19 testing and is actively employing several measures used globally to screen visitors and residents and to manage the response to individuals of concern in line with international health best practices. Traveller health questionnaires and a screening protocol are used at ports, hotels and rental properties to identify guests who may require surveillance or treatment.

On January 30, 2020, The Bahamas implemented border control and quarantine measures for persons travelling from China as a component of the country’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.

  • All travellers, who are not citizens or residents of The Bahamas, with a history of travel to China within the previous 20 days are to be denied entry.
  • Citizens and residents with a history of travel to China within the previous 20 days are to be quarantined and monitored closely by the Public Health Department to determine whether possible exposure while in China will result in illness.  Should they become ill, they will be managed per clinical management WHO guidelines for cases of COVID-19.
  • There are currently only four (4) quarantine cases in The Bahamas.
  • Currently, no other countries are restricted but the Government of The Bahamas is reviewing this matter on an ongoing basis and will keep the travelling public informed.

A destination-wide education campaign is underway to remind the public of the basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including frequent, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, frequent disinfection of surfaces and avoiding close contact with those exhibiting signs of respiratory illness.

The Bahamas is following the protocol outlined in the International Health Regulations (IHR) and reporting to WHO as appropriate. The WHO currently considers the risk to The Bahamas and Caribbean from the coronavirus to be low, but a key element of the IHR plan is to inform the public of relevant updates regularly.

For more information on 2019-nCoV, please visit these websites:

Inquiries on COVID-19 in The Bahamas should be directed to the Bahamas Ministry of Health, at 1-242-502-4790, 1-242-502-4776, 1-242-502-4737 or 1-242-397-1021.

Trinidad and Tobago on Coronavirus

Government site: http://www.health.gov.tt/sitepages/default.aspx?id=292

TTAL opens applications for tourism sector relief grants

Details: https://www.visittobago.gov.tt/corporate/tobago-tourism-sector-relief-grants

SCARBOROUGH Tobago, Monday June 08, 2020:  Applications are now open for two tourism sector relief grants administered by the Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL), to ensure that Tobago’s tourism sector can be helped onto a pathway to wider economic and social recovery post COVID-19.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago, through the Tobago House of Assembly, has developed a Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant for eligible tourism accommodation facilities in Tobago. The purpose of this grant is to provide financial support to owners/operators for the upgrade of the tourism accommodation facility to assist them in recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant ranges from a max of $100,000 TTD to $600,000 TTD, and will be determined based on the size of the property and number of guestrooms.

Trinidad and Tobago Covid-19 Update May 15, 2020

As of May 15th there were no new Covid-19 cases recorded in Trinidad and Tobago for the past 19 days.  This was reported even as the Ministry of Health continues to do all they can to mitigate the spread of the virus which has already claimed eight lives.  The total number of positive cases therefore still stands at 116.

On May 11th the Government began removing restrictions starting with food establishments inclusive of street food vendors being allowed to operate take-away services only.  In addition, hardware stores were allowed to open for longer hours.  Health officials however continue to stress the need to engage in physical distancing, wearing masks and frequent washing of hands to avoid a possible resurgence in the number of cases.

As part of the phased easing of the stay at home order, it is expected that the manufacturing sector and public sector construction will reopen on May 24th representing the second phase of a six phase process of reopening the economy.  During the start of phase three carded for June 7th all public servants should return to work when flexi-time and alternate day- work schedules are to be considered.  There will be a review of progress at specific intervals to determine if an adjustment to the phases can be possible.

The Health Ministry said that 2,576 samples were submitted to CARPHA and the UWI, St Augustine location, while 107 people have recovered.  Only one patient remains at hospital as of the morning of May 15th.

(April 29, 2020)

The Trinidad and Tobago Government is moving to obtain loans amounting to US$300 million (TT$2 billion) to address unprecedented financial demands on the country because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  This is according to Finance Minister Colm Imbert who spoke in Parliament on the Economic Effect and Financial Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In giving a breakdown of the money being sourced, Mr Imbert said: “US$20 million is from the World Bank, US$130 million from the IDB and US$150 million from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).” He said the Government was “also pursuing a further US$ 500 million (TT$3.4 billion) for budgetary support from other external sources.”

He noted that Trinidad and Tobago was not only impacted by the economic consequences of Covid-19 but also by the dramatic drop in oil and gas prices internationally.

According to Minister Imbert, substantial budgetary resources continue to be directed to the health sector to slow the spread of the disease and minimize its economic consequences. He said the country’s borders, schools and some businesses were closed early, stringent measures were implemented to encourage social distancing, reduce the number of people who can congregate and a Stay At Home Order for non-essential workers remain in effect. He said a parallel health care system was implemented with all the necessary equipment, infrastructure and personnel for Covid-19 patients and persons in quarantine. He said that continues “with no significant disruption or interference to our main health care system.”

He noted that the containment measures implemented by Government because of the pandemic have caused “a most severe economic fallout on some of our major employment creating sectors: tourism hospitality, manufacturing, trade, distribution, construction, agriculture, personal and professional services, arts, entertainment and recreation.”

The Finance Minister pointed out that the Government has responded with “a targeted and sizable financial support programme for an initial period of three months at a cost of approximately TT$4.5 billion.”  He said that was “for the most vulnerable households and businesses.”

He also revealed that more than 200,000 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago “have benefited from additional social support measures.”

The Minister said Salary Relief Grants are to be provided to as many as 100,000 qualifying persons over a three month period at a cost of $400 million.

Hoteliers and accommodation owners in Tobago are to benefit from $50 million to upgrade and refurbish their properties in preparation for the return of tourists post Covid-19.

The latest release issued by the Ministry of Health at 10 am on April 28 confirms that 116 persons had tested positive from 1582 samples taken by CARPHA. Thus far there have been 8 deaths and 59 people have recovered and only one new case reported for the past week in Trinidad and Tobago

 

Hoteliers Benefit from Government Assistance

(April 27, 2020)

Government is providing $50 million to hoteliers in Tobago to assist in the upgrade and refurbishment of their respective properties in preparation for the re-opening of their hotels post Covid-19.

The announcement was part of a comprehensive Statement on the Economic Effect and Financial Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic by the Minister of Finance, Honourable Colm Imbert in Parliament today.

Tourism Minister, the Honourable Randall Mitchell was among other ministers who met with hotel and accommodation owners on the sister-island in March to agree on the assistance being provided.

Minister Mitchell said the tourism sector was among those negatively affected by the virus. He said the assistance being provided by the Government will ensure the hotels are ready for the expected visitors who would be returning post Covid-19.

CARIBBEAN AIRLINES CARGO LAUNCHES CHARTER SERVICE

Trinidad and Tobago, April 27, 2020. Caribbean Airlines introduces cargo charter services to support supply chains within the  Caribbean region.

The airline launched this new option to meet the growing demand for cargo uplift to a number of Caribbean islands, which are now experiencing significantly reduced cargo capacity with the closure of borders to passenger aircraft, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caribbean Airlines Cargo will utilize the airline’s fleet of Boeing 737-800 and ATR-72 aircraft, offering up to 18,000 pounds for the movement of essential goods to and from destinations, including but not limited to, Antigua, Barbados, Curacao, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Nassau, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Vincent, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Charter flights will be subject to the regulatory approvals of each jurisdiction and airport.

The airline continues to operate its scheduled 767 freighter flights, offering up to 120,000 pounds of cargo capacity to and from its hub in Miami.

Marklan Moseley, General Manager Cargo, Caribbean Airlines states “In these unprecedented times, our cargo operations are crucial to securing the urgent supply of essential goods within the Caribbean. We will continue to adapt our business in order to meet the evolving needs of our valued customers”.

(April 26th, 2020)

The Stay At Home Order in Trinidad and Tobago is to be extended for a second time despite successes in the fight against Covid-19 over the past two weeks.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley announced his intention to extend the Order following the advice of medical officials during a news conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s on Saturday.

It was first imposed at midnight on March 28th, 2020 to assist the health authorities in effectively mitigating the spread of the virus. It was then extended for a period of 15 days on April 15th.

Dr. Rowley said this country’s success was achieved after the Government implemented additional timely measures including the closure of the country’s borders and the nation’s schools.  In addition, adherence to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) hygiene protocols- including social distancing are being constantly encouraged and these measures in particular are to be continued.

During the past two weeks there have been only two new positive cases but a significantly higher number of people discharged from hospitals.

The Honourable Prime Minister said although the Covid-19 threat remains, if Trinidad and Tobago continues along the current course there will be a favourable outcome. He said by May 15th, based on the situation at that time and the advice from the health experts the country should be in a better position “to reopen a lot of what we have shut down.”

As at April 25th, 2020, some 1,510 samples were tested for Covid-19 by CARPHA, 115 were positive, eight people died and 53 others were discharged from hospital.

Trinidad and Tobago Continues Fight to be COVID-19 Free

Trinidad and Tobago continues to be aggressive in its fight against COVID-19. The first positive case was confirmed on March 12th 2020 and there are now 115 confirmed cases from 1,424 samples tested by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). There have been eight deaths, while 37 people have been discharged from Covid-19-designated hospitals. Other hospitals and health facilities are being used to provide medical assistance to those suspected of or infected with the virus.

Government implemented a Stay at Home Order at midnight on March 28th, 2020 but it has since been extended to April 30th and will be reviewed in due course. Only essential workers are allowed to go to their respective work places, while non-essential workers are encouraged to fulfilling their duties from their respective homes.

There have been several changes to business operating hours with many stores, banks and other places opening for limited hours and on reduced days and schools remain closed. The country’s cruise season was suspended and all our borders were later closed.

Protocols issued by the World Health Organization, such as the wearing of face masks, social distancing and other measures, have been encouraged and many citizens are heeding those protocols.

The Ministry of Health has been holding daily virtual news conferences to update the population on the latest developments on the pandemic both on a global and national level.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley forms Committee for COVID-19 Recovery

A 22-member Committee of business and other professionals was convened last week by Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister, Dr Keith Rowley, to assist the country to formulate a plan of action for recovery from the effects of COVID-19.

The Committee’s Secretary is Public Administration Minister, Allyson West and also includes two former Finance Ministers, Wendell Motley and Winston Dookeran.

Dr. Rowley said the work of the Committee was not going to be easy as their recommendations will be critical in charting the way forward for the country’s economic successes.

He said: “the world is facing an unprecedented human crisis that is unleashing dramatic economic and social disruptions.”

According to the Prime Minister: “The world that we have become accustomed to and the life we know has changed and will possibly never return.”

He said that their recommendations will be critical in charting the way forward for the country’s economic successes.  Dr. Rowley also said: “An important first step in developing the Recovery Road Map must be to clearly identify and analyse the constraints that will continue to exist for some time.”

He added that the Road Map “must delineate objectives and targets to be achieved and actions to be taken over the immediate short-term and over the medium to long term.”

The Honourable Prime Minister told the first meeting of the Committee its immediate objectives would be focussed on initiatives aimed at keeping the country afloat, pursuing quick wins for jump-starting economic activity in key sectors and stemming any further widening of economic disparity through employment preservation and income and social support to vulnerable groups.

He said: “The disruptions we are experiencing also brings the opportunity to create new and more resilient economies and societies that potentially have a better chance at achieving sustainable growth and development.”

The Prime Minister said a rough draft of the agenda should be ready by the end of April, adding that it was not expected that the country would be out of the danger zone by June this year.

Turks and Caicos Islands on Coronavirus

Government sites:

https://www.visittci.com/travel-info/turks-and-caicos-coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/

Turks and Caicos Islands to Reopen Borders on July 22, 2020

The Honorable Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson, Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, today announced plans to reopen borders and begin welcoming visitors starting on July 22, 2020.

The specifics of new protocols associated with reopening will be shared in the coming weeks and will address stringent standards, trainings, and personal protective equipment, among other necessary measures.  The safety and wellbeing of the local population and international guests remains top priority for the Turks and Caicos Islands.  As such, the Premier has been vigilant regarding the continued containment of COVID-19 and finalizing new procedures.

“We are eager and excited to reopen our borders and safely welcome travelers back to the picturesque Turks and Caicos Islands later this summer,” said Pamela Ewing, Director of Tourism for the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board. “In the meantime, we are taking every precaution to ensure the Islands are safe and to enhance the exceptional experience and care afforded by the destination and our world-class hospitality partners.  Our intention is to cautiously reboot the tourism sector, laying the foundation for short- and long-term recovery.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands – home to the “World’s Best Beach” – is a coveted five-star luxury vacation destination for leisure, business, and notable guests from around the globe.  With nine main islands of about 40 small islands and uninhabited cays, the destination is inherently safe for travel in this new paradigm of physical distancing, given its expansiveness, stunning outdoor environment, privacy, spacious resort accommodations and unique portfolio of extraordinary private villas and private island vacations.

Further, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ airline partners have confirmed flight service will resume from within the United States, Canada, and Europe as soon as the destination is ready. Private jet terminals will open on July 22 as well in conjunction with the reopening of Providenciales International Airport.  The Grand Turk Cruise Center will remain closed until August 31, 2020 subject to guidance from relevant health authorities.

The Turks and Caicos Island Tourist Board encourages travelers to consider the vacation destination as they plan vacations for late July 2020 onwards.  The Islands’ award-winning hotels andresorts, private villas, restaurants and bars, and tour operators are simultaneously finalizing protocols and gearing up to accept bookings for upcoming trips to the destination.

For more information and to stay informed on the reopening of the Turks and Caicos Islands, call 1 (800) 241-0824 or visit www.turksandcaicostourism.com. Follow the Turks and Caicos Islands on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

Travel Advisory #4: Extension of Border Closure
Emergency Powers (COVID-19)(No. 4) Regulations 2020

The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board would like to advise visitors and travel industry partners of the recent changes in regulations that will affect travel to the destination. Please take note of the Emergency Powers (COVID-19)(No. 4) Regulations 2020 which shall come into operation at 6:01 a.m. on 4 May 2020 and shall, except for regulation 8(3), expire at 6:00 a.m. on 1 June 2020.

8 – Closure of Airports and Seaports

  1. For the purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of Covid-19—
  1. all airports shall remain closed to regional and international flights, whether commercial or private;
  2. all sea ports shall remain closed to regional and international seafaring; and
  3. no person shall be permitted to enter or transit through the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  1. The restriction contained in subregulation (1) does not apply to—
    1. outgoing flights or outgoing ships, as the case may be;
    2. cargo flights or cargo ships, as the case may be;
    3. courier flights;
    4. medevac flights;
    5. technical stops (stops by aircraft to refuel and proceed onward to another destination);
    6. emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Authority; or
    7. naval vessels, however no person shall be allowed on or off the vessel with the exception of Chief Medical Officer or other public health officials.
  2. Cruise ports shall remain closed until 30th June 2020 and no cruise ship shall be permitted to enter the Islands until after 30th June 2020, subject to guidance from the CDC and the cruise industry.

For full details and guidance on the Emergency Powers (COVID-19)(No. 4) Regulations 2020 please go to: https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/regulations

The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health advised the public that as at 12am on 3rd May, 2020 the COVID-19 position in the Turks and Caicos Islands saw no change over 24 hours. The number of confirmed positive cases continue to remain at twelve (12); with six (6) cases now having recovered from COVID-19.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Government continues to monitor this fluid situation and will update the general public regularly. For additional information, please visit our website www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirusor email [email protected].

Information Request for Potential Departures from the Turks and Caicos Islands

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (April 17, 2020) – The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board continues to partner with the Ministry of Health as we mitigate COVID-19 in our islands.

The Ministry and Tourist Board, with the consent of the Ministry of Health and Turks and Caicos Islands Government are working closely with Provo Air Center and Blue Heron Aviation to facilitate airlift out of the islands for any non –residents, work permit holders, temporary visitors, currently in the Islands and who wish to leave.

Kindly note that you should contact any of the following agencies for potential flight details.

Provo Air Center: [email protected] or

Blue Heron Aviation: [email protected]

Please have the following information handy.

  • Name
  • Number of persons in your traveling party
  • Contact information
  • Country of origin/destination

The above request is extended to citizens of all countries including (but not limited to) the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom and Caribbean nations.

Please note that during the operation of any flights all Public Health Protocols relating to COVID 19 will be strictly enforced.

 

TCI Travel Advisory # 3  – The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020.

BORDER CLOSURE

The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board continue to work along with the Ministry of Health as we prepare for the possibility of coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Turks and Caicos Islands as of today 20th March 2020 reported zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus.

The safety and security of the travelling population is our major concern. We would like to advise visitors and travel industry partners of the recent changes in regulations that will affect travel to the destination.  Please take note of the following: The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which will come into operation on 24th March 2020.

Closure of Airports and Sea Ports 

(1) For the purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of the virus—

(a) all airports shall be closed to regional and international flights;

(b) all sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring; and

(c) no visitor shall be permitted to enter or transit through the Turks and Caicos Islands,
for a period of twenty-one days, commencing on the date these Regulations come into force or until such date as the Governor may be notice specify.

(2) The restriction contained in subregulation (1) does not apply to—

(a) outgoing flights or outgoing ships, as the case may be;

(b) cargo flights or cargo ships, as the case may be;

(c) courier flights;

(d) medevac flights;

(e) technical stops (stops by aircraft to refuel and proceed onward to another destination);

(f) emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Authority; or

(g)  a Turks and Caicos Islander or resident returning to the Islands.

(3) A Turks and Caicos Islander or resident who, at the date of commencement of these Regulations, had travelled to the Islands from a place outside the Islands, shall be—

(a) subjected to screening and passenger tracing at port of entry;

(b) subjected to clinical examination at port of entry;

(c) for the purposes of surveillance by the Chief Medical officer, required to remain at home or such other place of quarantine as specified by the Chief Medical officer and subject to such conditions as are provided by the Chief Medical Officer, for a period of fourteen days.

Screening Requirements

  1. (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, the screening and clinical examination requirements, in relation to a person are requirements to the effect that a person shall—

(a) answer questions about his health or other relevant circumstances (including travel history and information about other individuals with whom he may have had contact);

(b) produce any documents which may assist a medical officer in assessing his health;

(c) at such time as a medical officer may specify, allow a medical officer, to take a biological sample the person, including a sample of his respiratory secretions or blood, by appropriate means including by swabbing his nasopharyngeal cavity, or provide such a sample; and

(d) provide sufficient information to enable the person to be contacted immediately by a medical officer during such period as a medical officer may specify, where the medical officer considers that such provision of information is necessary in order to reduce or remove the risk of the person infecting or contaminating others.

For full details and guidance on the Emergency Powers Regulation COVID-19 20th March 2020 please go to: https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/regulations

Please be reminded that:  As of March 17th the list of ‘infected countries’ in Regulation 2 of the Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures)(COVID-19) Regulations 2020 has been amended to include the following additional countries which are experiencing sustained in country transmission and may pose a risk to the public health of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

This list is based on the CDCs travel advisories which lists the following countries as having widespread ongoing transmission (level 3 warning). The expansion includes the following countries:

Austria
Belgium
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany

Greece
Hungary
Iceland
Italy
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovakia
Slovenia

Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Monaco
San Marino
Vatican City

 

In addition to the above screening protocols, travellers coming from such states will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms over the subsequent 14 days and if they develop symptoms, then immediately call the Ministry of Heath’s Coronavirus hotline: (649) 333-0911 and (649) 232-9444.

The government continues to monitor this fluid situation and will update the general public regularly. For additional information, please visit our website www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus, or email [email protected].

 

Turks and Caicos Islands Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures) (COVID 19) Regulations 2020

Travel Advisory as of March 10th 2020

The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board continue to work along with the Ministry of Health as we prepare for the possibility of coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the Turks and Caicos Islands. As of 10th March 2020, the Ministry of Health report zero suspected and zero confirm cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board is working closely with its partners from the Ministry of Health, the lead agency for the prevention of this virus. On behalf of all our partners we hereby advise visitors and travel industry partners of the recent changes in regulations which may affect travel to the destination. The safety of our visitors is of utmost importance and we advise all visitors to take note of the Turks and Caicos Islands Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures) (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on March 10, 2020:

The general and travelling public is hereby being asked to take note of the following provisions of the Turks and Caicos Islands Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures) (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on March 10, 2020:

  1. Refusal of entry of direct flight to the Islands originating from infected country

No flight originating from an infected country shall be permitted to land in the Islands.

Infected country means China, Iran, South Korea, Italy, Singapore, Macau, Japan and any other country which the Governor declares from time to time, by notice published in the Gazette, as a country where there is known or thought to be sustained human-to-human transmission of Covid-19, or from which the CDC reports there is a high risk of importation of infection or contamination (with Covid-19) via travel from that country to the Islands;

  1. Refusal of entry of cruise ship carrying passenger from infected country 

No cruise ship shall be permitted to enter the Islands, where that cruise ship is carrying a passenger who has travelled to, from or through an infected country within a period of twenty-one days or less immediately preceding the intended arrival in the Islands.

  1. Refusal of entry to the Islands by visitors after visit to an infected country

No visitor shall be permitted to enter the Islands, whether by ship or aircraft, where that person has travelled to, from or through an infected country within a period of twenty-one days or less immediately preceding the visitor’s arrival in the Islands.

  1. Persons in the Islands who have travelled to, from or through infected country may be quarantined

(I) A Turks and Caicos Islander or resident of the Islands who arrives in the Islands after travel to, from or through an infected country shall be—

(a) subjected to screening and passenger tracing at port of entry;

(b) subjected to clinical examination at port of entry; and

(c) quarantined for a period of fourteen days, as deemed necessary.

(II) A person referred to in sub regulation (1) who is deemed at high risk of having the virus by a health officer, based on travel or contact information but is asymptomatic, shall, for the purposed of surveillance by the Chief Medical officer, be placed under quarantine in a specified place for up to fourteen days and monitored for symptoms and signs of viral illness daily by a health officer.

(III) An immigration officer shall alert the health authorities of any Turks and Caicos Islander or resident of the Islands arriving in the Islands –

(a) who has travelled to, from or through an infected country within the within the last twenty-one days;

(b) with symptoms suggestive of the virus; or

(c) if he suspects that a person has been exposed to the virus.

(IV) A person suspected of having been exposed to or having symptoms of the virus shall be removed to an isolation room for assessment and evaluation by health officials.

(V) A person who is symptomatic or a person who becomes symptomatic under home-based quarantine shall be placed under quarantine in a designated facility with precaution taken to protect uninfected persons from exposure to the virus.

(VI) Where –

(a) any person in the Islands who, at the date of the commencement of these Regulations had travelled to, from or through an infected country within a period of twenty one days or less immediately preceding the person’s arrival in the Islands; and

(b) that person shows respiratory symptoms or symptoms of the virus, the person

(c) shall be managed under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer and shall be quarantined at a quarantine facility specified by the Chief Medical Officer for a period of up to fourteen days, or until the Chief Medical Officer determines that the person is fully recovered, whichever is later.

  1. Health practitioners, health officers and other persons may be quarantined 

A health practitioner, health officer or any other person who may have had direct contact with a person suspected of having the virus or with bodily fluids of such a person shall, on assessment, be subject to quarantine for fourteen days, or until the Chief Medical Officer determines that the person is fully recovered, whichever is later.

  1. Court’s power to order quarantine

If on the application of a health officer the court is satisfied that a person who is placed under quarantine has failed to comply with such direction, the court may order him to be placed under quarantine for a period specified in the order and a health officer and any police officer may do all things necessary for giving effect to the order.

  1. Duty to provide information

The Chief Medical Officer may, request any person to provide to the Chief Medical Officer with such information the Chief Medical Officer considers necessary to assess what precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of the virus in the Islands.

  1. Offence 

A person who does not provide any information as required by sub regulation 9, or who leaves a specified place or a designated facility when he is placed under quarantine there, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine or to a term of imprisonment.

 

Statement on Coronavirus from Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism 

Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands (10 March 2020) – The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism, Tourist Board and relevant industry partners are working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health, the lead agency tasked with monitoring the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). To date, the Turks and Caicos Islands has no suspected or confirmed cases of the Novel Coronavirus.

Turks and Caicos Islands Minister of Tourism Hon. Ralph Higgs stated that “we have confidence in the actions and protocols that are in place by the Ministry of Health for the management of this disease. We endorse the Ministry of Health’s updates and releases aimed at safeguarding residents and visitors alike.  To date, the Turks and Caicos Islands will continue to review and monitor the risk, as the Ministry of Health implements aggressive protocols, as outlined by regional and international health agencies. ‘

Travel restrictions issued in the press release of March 2nd from the Ministry responsible for Health remain in place on the following:

  • All returning residents who have visited infected countries with high transmission such as China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, Japan or Italy in the last 14-20 days will have landing privileges but will be subject to health assessment and quarantine.
  • Persons who have visited China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Macau, South Korea, Japan or Italy in the last 14-20 days and who do not have permanent residency or marriage exemption in Turks and Caicos Islands will not be granted landing privileges at any of the country’s ports of entry (sea/air).

As of Tuesday, 10 March, the Cabinet of the Turks and Caicos Islands Government released updated regulations to control the entry of persons to the Turks and Caicos Islands from various countries experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19; these restrictions are similar to that of regional and neighbouring territories to strengthen our approach and assist in safeguarding visitors and residents alike.  These restrictions are in accordance with the Turks and Caicos Islands Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures) (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on March 10, 2020.  Further information regarding the requirements may be retrieved by visiting Cabinet approves Control Measures.

The Turks and Caicos Islands tourism industry is under heightened surveillance to ensure the safety of visitors to the destination and our residents alike.  A nation-wide education campaign is underway to remind residents and visitors of basic hygiene practices that can be used to prevent the spread of the virus including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick and do not travel.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Staying home when you are sick is recommended every flu season, but especially important now.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is following the protocol outlined in the International Health Regulation (IHR) and reporting to Public Health England/PAHO as appropriate. Similarly, all the necessary protocols are in place for the Cruise Ship Industry and the residents and visitors of Grand Turk.

The Ministry of Health is currently operating emergency health hotlines from 6am to 11pm (EST) to provide residents and visitors with urgent information about the Coronavirus. The hotline may be reached by calling 649-333-0911 or 649-232-9444. Additional information is also available by visiting https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus.

The Ministry of Tourism will also liaise with partners to determine the exact extent of the impact of this disease on the industry, and put in place the appropriate measures regarding public relations and marketing strategies that are or will become necessary to safeguard this vital industry. We urge everyone to follow the necessary guidelines and ‘keep in the know’ to ensure your health and safety.