PM Skerrit to further engage stakeholders on reopening of Dominica for cruise travel
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he plans to meet with tourism stakeholders this week to further discuss the reopening of the country’s borders for cruise ship travel.
He was speaking on the most recent issue of his Sunday programme, Anou Palay.
“The cruise ships have indicated that they want to come back, we are having discussions with them and I believe that if we can find a very safe way of allowing cruise to come back we should allow it,” he said. “We are discussing it with the cruise lines. There was a first meeting between the Ministry of Tourism led by the minister along with cruise lines. There will be a subsequent meeting this week to see if we can further the discussion.”
He added that once an understanding has been arrived at with the cruiselines, the information will be shared with the public, “so the public can appreciate what it is we are talking about in terms of allowing cruise ship passengers to come into Dominica.”
The prime minister maintains that the ports must be kept open to seek to generate revenue.
“Obviously, as we always said, the safety and health of our people is paramount, but at the same time we have to pay our bills,” he stated.
He said the government will also review recommendations from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) following a CARICOM heads meeting on some of the protocols that should be put in place.
Skerrit said he is hoping to arrange a meeting with the DHTA and the DAIC and other private sector entities to discuss recommendations from CARPHA.
“So we can have tourists coming in and at the same time protecting tourists and the visitors,” He reasoned…“Some countries, they are sticking firmly, with no exception, for the need to have a PCR Test for the maximum lifespan of 72 hours prior to arrival…and this is the advice from CARPHA.”
The Prime Minister said this is the safest way to minimize the presence of COVID-19 , “and then you do further testing when you get to our country.”