CORONA VIRUS UPDATE
Dominica Announces Preparations for reopening of its Borders
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.
DISCOVER DOMINICA AUTHORITY REOPENING INITIATIVES
As Dominica begins preparations to reopen its borders, Discover Dominica Authority has escalated its efforts at re-introducing the destination, and setting the stage for welcoming visitors to the Island. One of DDA’s mandates is to increase visitor awareness and arrival, consequently increasing visitor expenditure. During the past months DDA has been working closely with various entities such as the Environmental Health Department, The Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Tourism Task Force so that the tourism sector transitions into the “new normal” in a smooth and effective manner. Here are some key initiatives run by Discover Dominica Authority.
Discover Dominica Health and Safety Travel Survey
A Health and Safety Travel Survey has been commissioned by Discover Dominica Authority to gauge the interest and readiness of potential visitors as regards travelling to Dominica upon reopening of the border, amidst the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
Through this survey DDA also intends to capture concerns and issues that are important to travelers to Dominica with the existence of the pandemic. From this survey, stakeholder actions and decisions on protocols for travel can be informed regarding quarantine and testing, accommodation, dining and participation in tours, and other activities on island; all in an effort to ensure visitors have the best and safest travel experience while visiting Dominica.
The survey, which will run for an initial 2-week period, is being administered online through DDA’s FB and Instagram pages and will also be made available through online mediums used by source market representatives. Click the link to access the survey: https://digivey.net?sac=0050630177
The Authority is actively working on plans to promote a ‘Staycation’ campaign, to encourage islanders to participate in home-based holidays. Staycation 2020 could be one way to restart the tourism economy while allowing locals to enjoy our tourism product, post COVID lockdown. There are great experiences and activities to enjoy including great hotel, restaurant, and tour deals.
The goal of a relaxing vacation experience can still be achieved by planning a staycation. It is all about how the experience makes a person feel, so pick the right property or activity for you and your family or friends. Staycation will help to stimulate the economic activity for the tourism sector, as well as serve as a critical ramp up period to ensure health and safety protocols are implemented in anticipation of the opening of the borders to the wider travelling public. Look out for staycation information on the Discover Dominica Facebook and Instagram pages.
#Dominica Viewpoints social media initiative
The objective and target of the #DomincaViewpoints campaign is to amass a number of great images of the Nature island, especially from those who have experienced the magic of Dominica personally. A secondary objective is to stimulate engagement among our organic fanbase. This information will lead into future campaigns that will be announce shortly. Meanwhile the images from this #DominicaViewpoints campaign will be collated and voted on by followers of the Nature Isle, and a slide presentation ultimately released to grow the fanbase.
Participants are required to post or repost single or group photos on Facebook or Instagram, while at one of Dominica’s viewpoints for a chance to win great prizes. Photos can also be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .The competition runs until July 31st.
#DominicaViewpoint social media initiative was launched with a social media post on Discover Dominica Authority’s Facebook Page on June 15th, 2020. Visit our Facebook page for posts on #DominicaViewpoints, and other updated posts on the nature Island at https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverDominica/
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:
Caribbean Tourism Health Safety Training
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has launched Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force Health, Safety and Sanitation Guidelines and Training Series. Sessions are open to: All Private Sector Tourism-Related Businesses: Owners, Managers, Supervisors, Directors.
Participating businesses will be recognized, and accommodation providers may be eligible to receive the Caribbean Traveler Health Assurance recognition stamp (CTHAs). Each individual that attends the session will receive a certificate of participation.
Upcoming sessions will include:
- Accommodations – Public areas (July 1st)
- Recreation & Entertainment – Sites & Attractions (July 7th)
- Food & Beverage Service (July 8th)
- Accommodations & Attractions – Pools, Beach & Spa (July 13th)
- Accommodations – Housekeeping (July 15th)
- Accommodations – Laundry (July 22nd)
Hoteliers are urged to take advantage of this training opportunity. To register , visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.
“Infection Prevention Control (IPC) measures for hotels” training session
Hoteliers participated in an “Infection Prevention Control Measures for Hotels” session on June 24, 2020. The session was delivered by Dr. Valeska Stempliuk, Advisor, Health Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control of Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The topic areas covered were The Transmission of COVID 19, Workers Health, and IPC Recommendations for Healthy and Sick Guests.
Local Trade Partners
Tranquility Beach Resort development continues steadily
Construction work continues to move steadily on Tranquility Beach Resort – Curio Collection by Hilton in Salisbury Dominica. The project commenced in January 2019 and is scheduled to be completed between the end of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022. Over 70 persons are currently employed on the construction phase of Tranquility Beach Resort – Curio Collection by Hilton. This development is led by Ian Edwards a visionary Property Developer and Architectural Designer renowned for first-class architectural design solutions – a well-reputed businessman whose work has been hallmarked by notable global accolades in his field.
Upon completion, including an expansion, the resort will consist of 99 rooms and permanently employ between 250 and 300 persons. Read full article at https://tranquilitybeachdominica.com/1676-2/
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. https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2020-07930
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.
CLIA Announces Voluntary Suspension of Cruise Operations from U.S. Ports
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. As such, The Cruise Lines International Association announced on Friday 19th June that ships will not be sailing from U.S. ports throughout the summer, extending a pause put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The current no-sail order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 14 is set to expire July 24. The association says cruise lines have decided to voluntarily prolong this pause until Sept. 15 because they need time “to resolve barriers” with U.S. authorities to restart sailing. Read more about CLIA’s voluntary suspension of operations at https://cruising.org/news-and-research/press-room/2020/june/clia-announces-voluntary-suspension-of-cruise-operations-from-us-ports
Royal Caribbean, MSC, Carnival Cruise Line extend sailing suspensions into fall
Major cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, MSC and Carnival Cruise Line have announced extensions of their sailing suspensions into the fall months.
The extensions come on the heels of an announcement from industry group Cruise Lines International Association that member cruise lines have voluntarily extended the suspension of U.S. cruise operations until Sept. 15 amid coronavirus concerns.
Carnival Cruise Line extended its operations pause in North America through Sept. 30, citing CLIA’s move on Friday to voluntarily suspend U.S. operations until at least Sept. 15. Read more at this link https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/06/22/carnival-cruises-canceled-through-september-amid-coronavirus/3234687001/
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