Dominica reviewing new tourism protocols from CARPHA

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Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders have been presented with new protocols to put in place regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as Dominica moves to implement measures allowing for cruise ships to resume calls to the island.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, speaking on his weekly television programme on Sunday night, said the protocols have been recommended by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and were discussed last Friday during the meeting with regional leaders.

“We received a report from CARPHA advising us on some of the protocols we should put in place and the categories of the CARICOM bubble and what that entails, and who should qualify.

“And then you have low risk countries and medium risk countries and high risk and what….should be put in place for each of these categories. And so we will be reviewing the CARPHA recommendations,” Skerrit said, adding that he is hoping to arrange a meeting between the stakeholders in the tourism sector and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) to further discuss the new recommendations from CARPHA.

He said that meeting will provide for an opportunity to “juxtapose them against what we have in place so that we can have tourist coming in but at the same time protecting the tourist….”

Skerrit also announced that the government is in discussion with cruise lines that have expressed interest in resuming calls to the island.

He said Tourism Minister Denise Charles, has already held talks with the representatives on the way forward and that his administration is examining the safest way cruise ships could be allowed to return here.

He said another meeting is planned for later this week “to see if we can further the discussion.

“Once we have understanding between ourselves then we will share this with the public so that the public can appreciate what it is we are talking about in allowing cruise ship passengers to come into Dominica,” Skerrit added.

Dominica recently reopened its borders to regional and international travel. The island has had 24 cases of the virus that was first detected in China last December and blamed for 925,000 deaths and the infection of 29.1 million others worldwide.

Dominica has had no deaths associated with COVID.

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