COVID-19 Update: Chile, St. Vincent and More

Chile Closes Borders

Chile has closed its land, sea and air borders with entry of foreign people being denied until further notice.

Cruise ships are being denied access to Chilean ports through Sept. 30 in an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus to the country. Tourism authorities support the decrees for both domestic and international travel and reinforce practising responsible tourism with the adoption of preventative measures that aim to protect the health of the population and the world.

Chilean nationals and permanent residents arriving from high-risk countries will be able to enter the country by submitting to an obligatory quarantine of 14 days set forth by Customs and Health authorities in Chile. The Government decree that stipulates that travellers from Iran, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Italy must be isolated for 14 days still applies and that travellers who have not entered the territory from these countries are exempt from this measure. Health Authorities indicate that isolation can be carried out in private homes or tourist accommodations if absolutely necessary and will need to be reported accordingly.


St. Vincent and the Grenadines Set New Measures

After receiving their first confirmed case of COVID-19, officials in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) have announced several measures to limit the spread of the virus.

Measures 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 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.


Ethiopian Airlines Reduces Toronto Flights

Ethiopian Airlines will reduce its direct flights from Toronto to Addis Ababa to three times a week because of new travel restrictions resulting from COVID 19.

The carrier has been offering five weekly flights between the cities.

Samson Arega, Canadian manager for the airline, said Ethiopian Airlines is committed to the safety of its employees and passengers.

“We have been following relevant health authorities and continue to demonstrate the best practices in the prevention and handling of COVID 19 in the air travel industry,” he said. “We will continue to update our customers on news and information in real-time to ensure all decisions are made on a timely basis.”


CHIC Postponed

Big Picture Conferences Inc., producers of the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC), have decided to postpone the May 4-5 conference.

CHIC will now be held Oct. 7-8 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

Registration remains open at

FCCA, CLIA Confirm US Ports Open to Returning Ships

The Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said Monday that US ports are open to returning ships, and passengers are able to disembark and fly home as confirmed by a National Interest Exemption (Exemption) issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on March 13 and non-US citizens will be able to fly home to their home countries.

As a result of this Exemption, CLIA and FCCA have requested that all ports in the Caribbean, South America and other areas keep their ports open to cruise ships sailing on itineraries related to US ports to allow passengers to return as soon as possible to their homes.

Las Vegas Monorail Temporarily Suspends Service

The Las Vegas Monorail Company (LVMC) has announces the system has temporarily suspended operations.

“The health and safety of our visitors, fellow community members and employees is of the utmost importance during this unprecedented time,” said Ingrid Reisman, vice-president and chief marketing officer, Las Vegas Monorail Company. “We are confident our Las Vegas community will get through this together and we look forward to welcoming our riders once more when the time is right.”

Enterprise Reduces Minimum Rental Age to 18

In an effort to help University students get home, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is waiving its young renter fee and reducing its minimum age to rent a vehicle from 21 to 18 years of age.

The change is effective now through the end of May at all participating locations across Canada.

“We want to do whatever we can to make this unprecedented situation easier for students and their families,” said Will Withington, senior vice-president, North American Operations for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “With Enterprise Rent-A-Car locations in neighbourhoods and airports throughout Canada, we’re in range of nearly every college campus in the country and able to help students get wherever they need to go.”

In order to be eligible, students ages 18 to 24 will need to provide a valid driver’s license and official student ID card.


Thailand Continues To Welcome Tourists

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is advising that Thailand welcomes travellers with open arms to explore the Land of Smiles safely.

Since the beginning of 2020, the virus has brought panic throughout the world, says a release by the TAT. The people of Thailand are ready to help spread cheer and offer support in fighting the discouragement that coronavirus has recently spread. We’ll get through this together, says the tourism agency, which is tagged #BetterTogether.

As thousands of visitors have booked travel to Thailand over the next few months, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to thank them for their continued support and reassure them of their safety and security from the 2019 novel coronavirus. Thailand’s stringent health surveillance systems for disease control have been strongly monitoring the situation and containing the disease. Thailand’s tourism industry will be doing everything possible to strictly implement preventative measures for the people of Thailand and all its tourists, says the release.