St. Lucia, which closed its borders to international markets on March 23 due to the pandemic, will begin reopening its tourism industry in phases beginning on June 4, 2020, said Dominic Fedee, the destination’s minister of tourism.
“COVID-19 has kept us apart for too long. What a devastating few months we’ve had as a destination and as travelers,” Fedee said in a video message. “But there is good news – we are getting ready to host you again. Our people, our beaches and our mountains await you in all of their splendor. Now, the way we used to vibe will change just a little bit [with] responsible tourism [and] heightened protocols. There’s still going to be plenty of fun in the sun.”
St. Lucia’s coronavirus strategy is designed to protect locals and visitors through advanced coronavirus testing, daily screening and monitoring of staff and visitors; sanitization protocols at intermittent points during travelers’ stays throughout the travelers’ journey; and new social distancing strategies.
First, the destination will reopen Hewanorra International Airport for flights from the U.S.
Approximately 1,500 hotel rooms are being readied for the early June reopening, pending the completion of a new COVID-19 certification process.
Visitors will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flights, and upon arrival in St. Lucia, they must continue to wear facemasks and practice social distancing.
Travelers will also be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities.
Additionally, protocols are currently being put into taxis to separate drivers from travelers.
On the hotel front, properties will be required to adhere to more than 12 specific criteria for sanitization, social distancing and more.
In the first phase of St. Lucia’s reopening, excursions and experiences will be limited in capacity. Hotel staff and travel providers will work directly with visitors to arrange activities, tourism officials said.
The second phone of the destination’s reopening will begin on Aug. 1, 2020, with details being announced in the coming weeks.
“Our new protocols have been carefully crafted and will build confidence among travelers and our citizens,” Fedee said. “The government of St. Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jumpstarts its economy.”
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