Saint Lucia unveils plans to restart tourism sector
The government of Saint Lucia has announced a phased approach to reopening the tourism sector in a responsible manner.
The process will begin on June 4th.
The strategy, which was unveiled by minister of tourism Dominic Fedee, protects nationals and visitors from the threat of Covid-19 through advance testing; daily screening and monitoring of staff and visitors; sanitisation at various points throughout the travellers’ journey; and new social distancing protocols.
Phase one of the reopening includes welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport from the United States only.
The United States, however, has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any other country.
Travellers 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 23rd.
Since then, the island has followed safety protocols recommended by the World Health Organisation 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 to the end of July, resulted from national Covid-19 Task Force consultations with on-island industry stakeholders.
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 sanitisation, 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.
Saint Lucia has for the past seven years been recognised as the Caribbean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination by voters at the World Travel Awards.
More information about Saint Lucia’s Covid-19 response can be found here.