Roseau, Dominica – (May 19, 2020) Dominica has no active COVID-19 cases. This announcement was made by Prime Minister Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit in an address to the nation on May 17, 2020. Despite this, the Prime Minister urged citizens not to be complacent and noted the importance of community testing to identify possible undetected cases. Restrictions on the reopening of business places will be further lifted effective May 18, 2020 when barbershops, hair salons, Sulphur spas, manicure, pedicure and massage parlours will reopen by appointment only.
Prime Minister Skerrit also announced the following measures to ease the financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic:
- Extension of the deadline to file personal and corporate income tax.
- EC$10 million to be spent under the Contingency Emergency Response Component of the Emergency Agriculture Livelihoods Project. This will include support to crop and livestock farmers by providing plant material, essential inputs, small farming implements and animal feed.
- Cash grants valued at EC$3.5 million will be disbursed to 2500 crop farmers.
- EC$3 million will be allocated to purchase fresh produce and fish from farmers and fishers. A portion of the fresh produce purchased will be distributed to vulnerable groups.
- Government will invest EC$296.8 in the construction sector which will include at least one road project in each constituency.
- Small contractors and merchants will receive financial assistance with funds approved by the International Monetary Fund under the Rapid Credit Facility
- Loan financing is available to farmers, hoteliers and manufacturers through the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development (AID) Bank at a rate of 2% interest with a moratorium on payment for 6-12 months. This will include no payment on principal for one year and no payment of interest for six months.
- Income support will be provided to heads of families and single persons who are currently unemployed as a direct result of the pandemic. Income support of EC$400 – EC$600 will be provided for the period April – June 2020 and will be administered by the Dominica Social Security. A total of EC$15.7 million has been allocated for this.
- Loans will be provided to micro and small businesses at 1% interest up to $15, 000 through the AID Bank.
- Tax rebates will be granted on corporate income tax for the income year ended December 31, 2019 and for the period January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020.
- Import duty and value added tax on disinfectants, cleaning supplies, protective gear and face masks will be reduced to zero per cent for six months in the first instance.
For COVID related information on Dominica please visit our Dominica Update site at http://dominicaupdate.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 Valferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.