Turks and Caicos minister of tourism, Ralph Higgs announced an update to travel requirements to the destination as a part of TCI Assured, a quality assurance pre-travel program and portal, which went live on July 15 in advance of the reopening of borders on July 22, 2020.
The minister said that in consideration of testing availability across the country, the Turks and Caicos Islands is now requiring a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a test taken within five days of travel, rather than the previous requirement of a test to be taken within three days of travel.
Children under the age of 10 years old are not required to be tested.
These requirements must be complete and uploaded to the TCI Assured portal, which will be available on the Turk and Caicos Islands Tourist Board website (www.turksandcaicostourism), in advance of their arrival.
Once travellers register on the TCI Assured portal and complete the requirements as outlined, a travel authorization notification will be given. The TCI Assured travel authorization should be presented at the time of check-in to the appropriate airline; airlines will not be able to board passengers without this authorization.
Minister Higgs observed: “We look forward to welcoming you to the Turks and Caicos Islands, which can best be described as ‘Beautiful by Nature.’ We feel confident these safety measures will allow us to safely reopen our borders and we will continue to review conditions on an ongoing basis to evaluate whether further changes are necessary.”
He continued: “We would like to encourage travelers to comply with all health protocols enforced in our jurisdiction as they are designed to help ensure the safety of our visitors and residents.”
Go to www.turksandcaicostourism.com for more.
The Bahamas Ministry of Health is advising that travellers must complete a Bahamas Health Visa application and present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test with a sample taken within ten (10) days of arrival in the Islands of the Bahamas.
Effective immediately, all travellers will be required to complete an electronic Bahamas Health Visa application before departure from the place of embarkation. This can be found at travel.gov.bs.
Travellers are required to upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test and provide contact information.
The government of The Bahamas will accept the negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (swab) test if the sample was taken within (10) ten days of arrival.
Tests over ten (10) days old will not be accepted. An automated response will be provided once the application is completed. The only persons approved to travel are those who have received a green color-coded response, as proof of approval. This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas.
The Health Visa application process will take twenty-four to forty-eight (24-48) hours and should be completed with adequate lead time. Failure to comply with the stated requirements will result in denied entry. It is recommended that all travellers interested in visiting The Bahamas review requirements applicable to each member of their traveling party at www.bahamas.com/travelupdates before booking a trip.
For more information, or to view the Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan, go to www.bahamas.com/travelupdates.
Grenada Phasing In Border Reopening
Grenada will take a phased approach to the reopening of its borders, promoting a smooth, systematic and safe process.
For this process countries will be categorized as Low, Medium or High-risk, for the purposes of entry requirements to Grenada.
The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has detailed the protocols for travellers into Grenada in an official comprehensive document for each of the three categories in the following link — https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IrhKxXY_tv0Ao1mqXcONLPXJHzIa8mri/view
Meantime, the UK Government has named Grenada as one of the countries that British passengers upon returning from, will not be required to self-isolate. An official UK travel bulletin, ‘Travel Corridors: countries and territories exemption list” reads, from July 10, unless they have visited or stopped in any other country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from the listed countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival into England and Grenada is included in this list.
Reinforcing Safety In Tobago
The Tobago Tourism Agency Limited (TTAL) is steadfastly preparing the island for increased tourism activity and the eventual opening of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders, through product development initiatives focused on collaboration, health, and safety.
While the onset of COVID-19 would have ground travel to a halt to the island in mid-March, the island’s tourism authorities grasped the opportunity to prioritize the developmental needs of the travel and tourism industry that was hit hard by the pandemic.
In addition to the ongoing dissemination of a Tourism Accommodation Relief Grant totalling $50 million, the TTAL conducted an online consultation series with the island’s tourism stakeholders from mid-June to July 9 to develop a COVID-19 Tourism Health and Safety Manual.
The manual will provide Tobago’s tourism industry with the most adequate measures that can be implemented to reinforce destination safety and underline the trust of tourists, workers and residents.
Narendra Ramgulam, director of product development and destination management at TTAL stated: “The purpose of our Health and Safety manual is really to work together with our industry stakeholders to develop actionable and harmonized processes and procedures that are in line with global and local public health instructions.Our stakeholders have shown their commitment to help TTAL position Tobago as a safe destination moving forward, by sharing their feedback and ideas for improvement and making the necessary recommended changes.”
Hotels, restaurants, and other businesses within the industry have already responded to the pandemic with stepped-up cleaning and sanitation, staff training, and innovative changes to their business models and infrastructure to allow for social distancing and customer safety.
“Current research indicates that travellers are looking for safe destinations and products as opposed to ones that are price influenced,” Ramgulam stated. “With Tobago’s residents, tourism stakeholders and industry workers on board, we can work together for a safer and healthy destination.”
Caribbean Airlines Requires Masks
Caribbean Airlines is requiring all customers to wear a face mask /covering throughout their entire journey at all Caribbean Airlines touch-points from check-in at the airport, departure gate areas, jet-bridges and on-board the aircraft for the duration of the flight.
This requirement is compulsory.
Refusal to comply will result in customers being denied boarding by the airline; except in the case of children under the age of 2 years, or adults who have a medical condition which prevents them from using a mask.
Any special exemptions would need to be endorsed by a medical practitioner and approved by Caribbean Airlines before travel.