St Lucia has announced a further easing of restrictions for visitors based on the successful management to date of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
A government statement Tuesday stated that based on the impact of “a responsible opening plan, traveller pre-testing and on-island protocols”, St Lucia has confirmed the lowest COVID-19 rates across the Caribbean region, at 1.42 cases per 10, 000 population. The island has recorded 26 positive cases since the pandemic was first detected in China last December.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reduced the island’s COVID-19 rating to the lowest, Level 1, one of only eight countries globally. It notes that “over the last 28 days, new cases of COVID-19 in St Lucia decreased or stabilised.”
Tourism accounts for 65 per cent of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP) and St Lucia is proceeding with caution in a phased re-opening programme.
“Having successfully managed the pandemic across the island, the Government has announced further easing of certain restrictions for visitors and has added even more ways to enjoy their island vacation. As such, visitors are now permitted to stay in up to two COVID-certified properties for the duration of their stay, which will offer varied experiences across the island,” the statement said.
“Guests staying at COVID-certified properties can take part in various water-based activities like scuba diving and sailing, following the protocols put in place at their hotel,” the statement said, adding that the 18 additional properties have been COVID –19 certified and will now join those which went into operation during the first phase.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee said government is encouraged by the figures that currently show St Lucia is leading the way in the Caribbean region with the lowest number of COVID 19 cases per capita.
“We are certainly not complacent, and the measures we have put in place have helped us to achieve such a positive record. These results will show potential visitors that our responsible approach to re-opening and providing a safe environment for a holiday is a good reason to choose St. Lucia.
“We have safely welcomed more than 4,000 visitors to Saint Lucia since reopening July 9, and to know that they have had a positive holiday experience here gives us optimism for the future,” Fedee said, adding that due to the changing nature of the pandemic, heath teams will continue to closely manage the situation, “which is why we have been able to ease some of the restrictions at this time.”
Entry requirements for arrivals continue to include completion of online Pre-Arrival Registration Form, and a negative COVID-19 PCR test up to seven days before date of travel. Rapid test will not be accepted upon arrival
Nationals and residents must quarantine for 14 days on arrival at a government facility, while those visiting from the regional ‘bubble’ are now required to show a negative PCR test taken up to seven days prior to travel.