Saint Lucia has will begin a phased approach to reopening the island’s tourism sector on June 4.
The Government of Saint Lucia and Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee unveiled the strategy on Monday, which will implement advance testing, daily screening and monitoring of staff and visitors, sanitization at various points throughout the travelers’ journey, and new social distancing protocols to protect visitors and nationals from the threat of Coronavirus.
Phase 1 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.
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. 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.
In Phase 1, 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.
New procedures that will be put in place for Phase 1 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.
Phase 2 of the island’s new responsible approach to tourism will commence on August 1, 2020, with details to be revealed in the weeks ahead.
Saint Lucia closed its borders to international markets on March 23. To date, Saint Lucia has recorded 18 cases of COVID-19, and all individuals have fully recovered. No active cases are currently being investigated.