CORONA VIRUS UPDATE
Dominica’s Prime Minister, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit informed the nation that there are currently no COVID-19 cases in Dominica. The last recorded cases from repatriated cruise ship workers have recovered and were discharged from the COVID-19 Isolation Unit.
COVID-19 restrictions were further lifted this week to allow for public officers to return to work full time effective June 15, 2020. The Prime Minister also stated that plans are underway for the reopening of the country’s borders in July, however he cautioned that the chances of having more cases of COVID-19 would increase once the borders are reopened.
Protocols are being put in place for the reopening of the borders and advice is being sought from regional and international agencies such as United Nations Development Programme, Caribbean Public Health Agency, World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization on utilizing a phased approach for reopening the borders. Prime Minister Skerrit further announced that the capacity of the laboratory to do PCR tests will increase from 25 tests in 24 hours to 100 tests per day.
Established Guidelines for Tourism Accommodations
The Environmental Health Department (EHD) of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New health Investment has developed COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Tourism Accommodation. These guidelines were developed to help steer the accommodation sector towards keeping their guests, employees, and property safe and to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, it articulates the protocols to be adopted by tourism accommodation in areas relating to guest arrival (at front desk and lobby entrance), the property amenities such as pool, gym and spas, conference spaces, food and beverage, public areas, staff areas amongst others.
Under the orders of EHD, properties which are reconvening operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, are required to establish a COVID-19 Action Plan, specific to their property. This Action Plan should establish and explain the policies, practices, and conditions necessary to meet the established protocols as outlined in the COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Tourism Accommodation. This plan should be submitted to the EHD for approval following which an assessment will be conducted. Once the requirements of the established protocols have been met the property will be issued with and EHD Certificate of Approval. The COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for Tourism Accommodation can be sourced at this link http://dominicaupdate.com/guidelines-for-accommodation/
CHTA Rolls Out Reopening Tourism Tracker for the Caribbean
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has launched a reopening tourism tracker for the major islands in the region, to help visitors in their travel plans, as the world reopens from the coronavirus pandemic. Read more on this new development at https://www.theweeklyjournal.com/business/reopening-tourism-tracker-launched-for-the-caribbean/article_3d82f9a4-af1a-11ea-9d06-8b09b448acd7.html
Dominica Episode of Epic Trails Launched
Discover Dominica Authority is pleased to announce that the Dominica Episode of Epic Trails was launched in the US on Thursday June 18th on OutsideTV via cable and the OutsideTV App. Epic Trails is distributed to over 80 million US households through OutsideTV, Fox Sports and 27 regional sports networks with further international distribution to 134 countries, and 20 airlines, via the National Geographic Channel-Asia and the UK based Extreme Sports Network. The Epic Trails crew came to Dominica in February of 2020 and experienced some of our most unique offerings including freediving, hiking the Waitukubuli National Trail, canyoning and taking in the sights and sounds of The Nature Island.
Dominica’s Indian River among Eight Caribbean Rivers Featured
On June 18th Dominica was featured in “Repeating Islands” Eight Caribbean Rivers to Explore. Carol Bareuther (All at Sea) provides a brief overview of eight rivers to explore in the Caribbean. She highlights rivers in Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad. This is the featured piece on the Indian River.
Indian River, Dominica: It’s called the Land of 365 Rivers. Yet, one of the best not to miss on this Lesser Antillean island is Indian River, located near Portsmouth to the island’s north. A guided 1.5- to 2-hour boat ride of Indian River, complete with a stop at a bush bar for a cold drink, is one of Dominica’s major tourist attractions. Far from overvisited, it’s the river’s wild nature that holds the greatest scenic appeal. In fact, it’s the Bwa Mang trees, with their gnarled limbs and other-worldly root system, that made the river a prime film location for parts of the movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Man’s Chest. www.discoverdominica.com;
American Airlines Begins Relaunch of Caribbean Flights
American Airlines has kicked off its relaunch in the Caribbean, with the return of service to Antigua. The airline’s first international Caribbean flight touched down last week at Antigua’s VC Bird International Airport.
It marked what the carrier called a “significant milestone,” since it resumed operations to the Caribbean since COVID-19 travel restrictions began being lifted. American Airlines had continued to serve Caribbean destinations within the United States, including San Juan, St Thomas, and St Croix, over the last few months. Read more at https://www.caribjournal.com/2020/06/07/american-airlines-begins-relaunch-of-caribbean-flights/?utm_source=Caribbean+Journal&utm_campaign=e2465a36a5-CJ_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_ea4e1e4090-e2465a36a5-189527553
Relief Measures for Airlines
IATA is appealing to governments for relief measures to support the industry in the face of collapsing travel demand, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and mandated border closures and restrictions on mobility. Vis this link for areas of action. https://www.iata.org/en/programs/covid-19-resources-guidelines/#tab-2
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.
Discover Dominica Authority will continue to monitor the situation with Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) and the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), along with updates form cruise lines.
Exclusive Pre-sale now open: Silversea Unveils 86 new Voyages for Winter 2021/2022
Silversea Cruises, the leading ultra-luxury cruise line, today unveils 86 new itineraries for winter 2021/2022 and opens an exclusive pre-sale to members of its Venetian Society—the cruise line’s loyalty program. Departing between October 2021 and April 2022, the new voyages will call in 222 destinations in 67 countries, including eight maiden calls, with a focus on immersive new experiences for those well-travelled. The new itineraries will go on general sale from June 17, 2020. Dominica is schedule on the winter 2021 itinerary – February to be exact. Read more on Silver Seas winter plans at https://www.silversea.com/destinations/central-america-caribbean-cruise/bridgetown-to-fort-lauderdale-wh211120012.html
P&O Cruises extends pause in operations for all sailings until October 15, 2020
P&O Cruises has announced an extension to the pause in its operations until October 15, 2020 as it focuses on working in close coordination with all relevant public health bodies to approve further enhancement of the company’s already stringent health and safety protocols. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/po-cruises-extends-pause-in-operations-for-all-sailings-until-october-15-2020-301068666.html
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 Val’ Ferry from Guadeloupe and Martinique.