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Region starts gradual easing of lockdown

Regional 22 May, 2020 Follow News

Dunn’s River Falls is Jamaica’s most popular tourist attraction

The Caribbean reacted relatively quickly and efficiently in shutting down their borders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and although the region is still dealing with cases, return to normality is unfolding. Jamaica is preparing for a phased reopening of the tourism sector.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness said: "We’re already figuring out ways how we can have controlled corridors of entry, and how to move our tourists safely from airports to hotels, so that they can enjoy our lovely beaches and our lovely people. That’s key towards providing the kind of service that people would need in the post-COVID environment." Anyone arriving in Jamaica currently must quarantine for 14 days, and there is no date for when this will end. Tourist attractions like Dunn’s River Falls are keen to reopen.

Barbados has a curfew from 8pm to 5am every day. This will be lifted on 31 May. Beaches began to open on 18 May, with limited hours of 6am to 9am and 4pm to 6:30pm. Anyone arriving in the country, visitors must quarantine for 14 days, and the authorities are carrying out temperature checks at the airport. British Airways will resume flights to Barbados on 1 July. Saint Lucia announced that it will begin to open its borders to tourists from 4 June. Strict protocols have been put in place to protect both visitors and the local population. Visitors must have a certified negative COVID-19 certificate to travel, and masks are compulsory while on the plane and in the airports. At hotels, guests will have their temperatures taken at mealtimes, while staff will have theirs tested at the beginning and end of every shift. Social distancing and regular hand washing will also be in operation, and there is a curfew from 9pm to 5am. The Bahamas is hoping to reopen its borders for tourism on 1 July - although Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has made it clear that this date could change. He said: "Our resorts, our airports and our seaports are finalising the health and safety protocols that will be necessary for us to provide for a re-opening.” Antigua and Barbuda will see British Airways resume flights in July. All hotels in the country will be inspected by a team of tourism and health officials before they can reopen for business. Grenada has not set a firm date for reopening but is aiming for June. Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell said: "We will not move unless we are satisfied that adequate health and safety guidelines are in place." St Kitts and Nevis is currently not admitting anyone travelling or transiting from China, Iran, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the EU, the UK, Switzerland, the USA or any Dutch or French territories in the Caribbean. Any other non-national arrivals will be screened and must quarantine for 14 days. Cuba has confirmed that borders will remain closed for now, but that hotels and other venues are busy preparing for a time when tourists can return.

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