CORONA VIRUS UPDATE
Dominica’s Covid – 19 Active Cases down to 2
Dominica eases COVID-19 related restrictions effective May 7, 2020. The announcement was made by Minister for Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre in a statement to the nation on May 6, 2020. The total number of confirmed COVID 19 cases remain at 16, with 2 active cases. Fifteen persons are currently housed at the Government run quarantine facility and 417 PCR tests have been conducted. Minister McIntyre noted that the recommendation to ease the restrictions were being made considering that there has been no reported transmission for the last 28 days, the capacity of the health care system to deal with a resurgence in cases if needed and the ability of the state to reintroduce or tighten public health measures in vulnerable settings.
For detailed information on Dominica’s Covid 19 situation log on to our Dominica Update page at http://dominicaupdate.com/
World Bank Strengthening Dominica’s COVID-19 Response with US$6.6 Million
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2020 — The World Bank activated on April 15 US$6.6 million to provide immediate funding for Dominica’s emergency response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, focusing on enhancing health system capacity and strengthening food security.
“The World Bank has mobilized rapid support for Dominica’s emergency response activities to limit the impacts of COVID-19, protect the people of Dominica, and lay the groundwork for recovery,” said Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/04/20/world-bank-to-strengthen-dominicas-covid-19-response-with-us66-million?cid=SHR_SitesShareLI_EN_EXT&mc_cid=ee764f9995&mc_eid=e8bbdc6d50
The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives has appointed a Task Force to review and make recommendations for the recovery and growth of the Tourism industry post COVID-19.
The Task Force comprises an experienced cadre of public and private sector tourism stakeholders. The mandate of the Task Force is to enable stakeholders to participate in the destination’s preparation for the Tourism recovery post COVID- 19 in terms of our product offerings, product integrity and our communications plans.
The Task Force will focus on the recovery of both the stayover and cruise sectors. The Task Force will be in place for up to six months in the first instance and the expectation is that the Task Force will review current and future action and implementation plans and make both policy and operational recommendations for the short, medium and longer term as the market and pandemic allows.
General Airline Sector News
Worldwide airlines are trying to reassure passengers on the aircrafts’ air system; “The air we breathe on board is very clean and really safe,” says IATA. “The air is changed every three minutes,” insists Air France. All Airbus and Boeing aircraft in service are fitted with ventilation systems, equipped with a very powerful air filtering system, the Hepa filter.
British Airways, Icelandair and SAS have announced last week several social measures to reduce drastically their workforce. Other airlines such as Norwegian and Virgin Australia are in critical situations due to the pandemic and the reduction of air travel.
International Air Transport Association
IATA Calls for Passenger Face Covering and Crew Masks
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) supports the wearing of face coverings for passengers and masks for crew while on board aircraft as a critical part of a layered approach to biosecurity to be implemented temporarily when people return to traveling by air. IATA does not support mandating social distancing measures that would leave ‘middle seats’ empty.
Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board aircraft is low. Mask-wearing by passengers and crew will reduce the already low risk, while avoiding the dramatic cost increases to air travel that onboard social distancing measures would bring. For more information on measures to reduce the already low risk of onboard transmission visit https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/pr/2020-05-05-01/
To further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governments have imposed travel restrictions. Consequently, many major airlines have suspended, reduced, or cut flights to affected regions. Airlines in the Caribbean continue to update on their services:
CARIBBEAN AIRLINES AIRCRAFT SANITIZATION
Caribbean Airlines has released a new video highlighting the sanitization processes used on its aircraft.
Please click link https://f.io/5mhsBJHw
The airline advises that its aircraft cabins are cleaned above international standards and the chemicals used meet the requirements of the World Health Organization, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Centre for Disease Control as effective for use against viruses including COVID-19. Caribbean Airlines advises that its Barbados ticket office located at the Norman Centre Building, Broad Street, Bridgetown will re-open from Wednesday May 06, 2020. https://www.caribbean-airlines.com/#/caribbean-experience/media-releases/289
LIAT CARGO OPERATIONS REMAIN OPEN
During this period, LIAT Cargo is still open and available for your shipping needs. For more information, please contact our Cargo Department. More information at www.liat.com/quikpak-cargo.
LIAT remains committed to ensuring that our region is connected. We would like to thank our staff, customers and stakeholders for their loyalty and understanding during this unprecedented time. Please see the UPDATED COVID-19 WAIVER POLICY for more information. Passengers can check their bookings online at www.liat.com
Post COVID-19, there will be changes to the protocols that destinations will need to follow. One critical area of the visitor’s trip is the accommodation experience. DDA through the Product Development Department and Quality Assurance Unit will be active along with other stakeholders to develop the local protocols to ensure that the destination offers a safe experience to the visitor.
HYATT Announces Global Care & Cleanliness Commitment
Focusing on the safety and wellbeing of colleagues and guests during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, Hyatt’s commitment includes Global Biorisk Advisory Council accreditation, hotel-level sanitization specialists, and a working group of trusted medical and industry advisors. The multi-layered commitment builds on Hyatt’s existing rigorous protocols and will include an accreditation process by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all hotels around the world, colleague training and support resources, and a cross-functional working group of medical experts and industry professionals that will contribute to various aspects of the hotel experience. http://www.insidertravelreport.com/hyatt-announces-global-care–cleanliness-commitment/
ALICE’s COVID-19 Checklists Software
The ALICE’s COVID checklists Software is now available for free to help hotels manage operations through times of low occupancy or closure, back into times of recovery, and up to full occupancy again. With ALICE Checklists, the company is supporting hoteliers during lean times in the way it knows best: providing staff with tools. ALICE has teamed up with seasoned hotel operators to create the most comprehensive checklists to keep staff organized and effective. https://www.aliceplatform.com/checklists
Local Trade Partners
Tranquility Beach Resort by Hilton Hotels assist the Ministry of Health
On May 6th 2020, at a press briefing of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Minister Irvin McIntyre announced that the Tranquility Beach Resort by Hilton Hotels donated 3 ventilators to assist the Ministry with its efforts towards combating the Corona Virus in Dominica.
Center for Disease Control &Prevention (CDC) renewed the No Sail Order
On April 9, 2020, the Center for Disease Control &Prevention (CDC) renewed the No Sail Order and Other Measures Related to Operations Order signed by the CDC Director on March 14, 2020—subject to the modifications and additional stipulated conditions as set forth in this Order. The Order is published in the Federal Register and effective as of April 15, 2020. The extended Order is in effect until one of the following occurs:
- The Secretary of Health and Human Services declares that COVID-19 no longer constitutes a public health emergency, or
- The CDC Director rescinds or modifies the order based on specific public health or other considerations, or
- 100 days have passed from April 15, the date the extended order was published in the Federal Register and went into effect. 100 days from April 15 is July 24. https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-07930
Discover Dominica Authority will continue to monitor the situation with CLIA and FCCA along with updates form cruise lines.
FCCA held a conference call to update its platinum partners on the activities of the Association in the cruise industry as well as to update about the opportunities for when the all clear is given to resume cruising. They stated that the Caribbean will be in demand. DDA has partnered with FCCA and Aquilla to hold an online readiness program with stakeholders in the industry. This workshop will lead participants through a collaborative process for looking ahead to maximize cruise opportunities in the destination, and exploring opportunities for working together. This will focus on An Overview of the Cruise Industry, Excellence in Destination Delivery, Excellence in Operations, Safety and Security, Excellence in Community, and Maximizing Opportunities Action Plan. Discover Dominica looks forward to the opportunity, while positioning for reopening.
UPDATE on CRUISE INDUSTRY RESPONSE to COVID-19
As the world continues to address challenges regarding COVID-19, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has been working with local and national governments around the world, as well as leading health authorities and our partners across the wider cruise community to coordinate our efforts during the ongoing suspension of worldwide cruise operations.
The top priority for our entire community—including cruise lines, travel agents, ports, destinations, suppliers and beyond—continues to be the health and safety of passengers, crew, and the communities in the places we visit.
The fact remains that the vast majority of more than 270 cruise ships within the CLIA member fleet were not affected by this virus. This is due, in large part, to the aggressive measures adopted by CLIA oceangoing cruise lines in response to COVID-19 based on prevailing guidance from global health authorities, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Those measures include rigorous screening protocols, enhanced sanitation measures and the availability of onboard medical care and treatment 24/7. For more information on CLIA’s update please visit https://cruising.org/news-and-research/press-room/2020/april/clia-covid-19-toolkit
Carnival Cruise Line to Resume Service on August 1 with Eight Ships
Carnival has become the first cruise line to announce a detailed plan to restart cruising following the temporary pause of sailings as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Beginning August 1, a total of eight ships will begin offering cruises from three North American homeports: Galveston, Miami, and Port Canaveral (Orlando). All sailings from other homeports, including Australia aboard Carnival Splendor, will be canceled through August 31, 2020. https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/5328/
Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Global Ship Operations for Remaining 2020 Summer Season
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Due to reduced air flight availability, the closure of cruise ports in regions around the world and other factors impacting international travel, Princess Cruises is extending its pause of global ship operations and has therefore made the extremely difficult decision to cancel select cruises through the end of the 2020 summer season, including the following cruises and associated cruise tours: Summer Caribbean cruises and all Canada & New England cruises on Caribbean Princess and Sky Princess. Visit https://www.princess.com/news/notices_and_advisories/notices/global-ship-operations-pause-2020-summer-season.html for detailed information.
Coverage in the Press
Despite the current situation, the Destination continues to be covered and receive accolades in the Press. Following are a few excerpts and accolades received in the past months. Here is the latest accolade on Dominica from CNN.
Dreaming of the deeps: World’s most epic scuba diving destinations 10 OF THE BEST CARIBBEAN ISLANDS TO VISIT
Out-of-the-way Dominica has never caught on with visiting divers the way more trodden Caribbean dive destinations like Grand Cayman and the Bahamas have.
But in addition to its coral-clad walls and reefs, Dominica offers something many Caribbean islands cannot — the chance to swim with resident sperm whales that frequent the waters during specially permitted boat trips.
Even if you come to the Caribbean’s Nature Island just to dive the reefs, however, you will not leave disappointed. And the place to see the corals and fish life at their best is within the protected Soufriere-Scotts Head Marine Reserve on the island’s southwest tip.
“The diving in Dominica has surprisingly lush reefs. I kind of think of it as the Indonesia of the Caribbean,” says Cole. “It’s not a place to see big fish on the reefs, but it’s a great spot for beautiful sponges, feather stars and weird little fish.”
Dominica Participates in Caribbean Tourism Organization #CaribbeanDreaming campaign
DOMINICA this week participated in the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s dreaming campaign dubbed #CARIBBEANDREAMING, through submission of a video and destination images.
CTO is working with member countries on the #CaribbeanDreaming campaign which urges potential visitors to stay home and stay safe while reassuring them that CTO member countries will be ready to receive them once it is safe to travel again. CTO officials said, “It’s a simple campaign; the content is relaxing and comforting, with images and videos from member countries.” Visit Discover Dominica’s Facebook Page to view. https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverDominica/videos/840394396446237/
GLOBAL/ REGIONAL UPDATE
CHTA WARNS SOME CARIBBEAN HOTELS COULD COLLAPSE IF SOME TOUR OPERATORS DON’T PAY MONIES OWED
MIAMI (May 3, 2020) – Citing the unprecedented pressures facing Caribbean hotels and resorts because of the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) called on those international tour operators which have delayed paying hotels for services delivered to the operators’ clients as early as January to expedite reimbursements.
CHTA also offers Live resilient series and weekly Covid – 19 Updates to Industry professionals. Visit CHTA’s website for details. http://www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com/
For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website: www.DiscoverDominica.com, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.
About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Coastal Air Transport, interCaribbean Airways, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St Lucia, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia and on Val Ferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.