Saint Lucia opening borders to US visitors as tourism plan announced
Saint Lucia's Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee
Saint Lucia will reopen its borders to visitors from the United States as the island seeks to restart its tourism industry.
The reopening, scheduled for June 4, will see the island welcoming international flights at Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) from the United States only.
Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee announced the strategy as he unveiled the phased reopening of the tourism industry.
Fedee said the phased approach, which continues through July 31, resulted from national COVID-19 Task Force consultations with on-island industry stakeholders.
To ensure the safety of visitors and Saint Lucians, new protocols will be implemented and will span from the hotel booking process to the airport arrival and hotel experience in Saint Lucia. Protocols include:
- Visitors are required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight
- Upon arrival in Saint Lucia, all travellers must continue the use of face masks and physical distancing
- Travellers will be subject to screening and temperature checks by port health authorities
- Protocols are being established for taxis, to provide safety precautions and separate the driver from guests as an added security measure
- Health and safety protocols will be reinforced through the use of signage that includes QR codes which take travellers to a landing page for more information.
Phase one will see some 1,500 hotel rooms in Saint Lucia being prepared to open in early June, pending completion of a new COVID-19 certification process in time to welcome the first visitors.
The government is developing a COVID-19 Certificate for hotels. Hotels must meet a dozen or more specific criteria for sanitisation, social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols before they will be permitted to open to guests.
In Phase One, the traditional experiences that Saint Lucia is known for will be available in a limited capacity. Registered hotels and travel providers will work with visitors directly to arrange safe experiences.
“Our new protocols have been carefully crafted and will build confidence among travellers and our citizens,” said Fedee.
“The Government of Saint Lucia remains resolved to protect both lives and livelihoods as it jumpstarts its economy.”
Phase Two of the island’s new responsible approach to tourism will begin on August 1, with details to be revealed in the weeks ahead.
More information about Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.stlucia.org/covid-19.