Spread Joy, Not COVID This Festive Season

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(Caribbean COVID-19 Task Force Press Release) With the holiday season upon us, Caribbean visitors and residents are reminded to continue to protect themselves and the health and lives of those around them by practicing sound health safety measures, while celebrating the spirit of the season.

The Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force commended the overwhelming majority of Caribbean visitors and residents for their role in contributing to the region’s successful efforts to date to contain the spread of COVID-19 but cautioned that the coming weeks will be critical to the region’s ability to control the virus’ spread and its highly contagious variants which are spiking around the world.

COVID-19 and the newest variant, omicron, can easily spread at large indoor gatherings and wherever people come in close contact when they are not protected. Face coverings, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings, particularly with unprotected individuals, should guide behaviors during the festive season, according to the Task Force. 

While those who are fully vaccinated have far greater protection against severe illness and death than those who are unvaccinated, the public is reminded that everyone, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, can still catch and transmit the virus and should diligently adhere to health safety measures. 

The Task Force reminded that the pandemic has forced residents to adapt and adjust the ways they gather and socialize, advising that the holiday season might be the biggest challenge yet. By remaining mindful of the highly infectious nature of coronavirus, residents are advised that they can still enjoy the holidays while protecting themselves and those they love. 

“As we celebrate and reflect upon the meaning of the season, we must continue to be mindful that life is one of our most precious gifts and this holiday season in particular affords visitors and residents the opportunity to share that gift,” the statement read. 

The Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force was formed in March 2020 to coordinate efforts aimed at protecting tourism-related employees and visitors from COVID-19 and by extension helping to protect all residents. Member organizations include the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. 

About the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)

The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) is the Caribbean’s leading association representing the interests of national hotel and tourism associations and the region’s private sector. For more than 55 years, CHTA has been the backbone of the Caribbean hospitality industry. Working with some 1,000 hotel and allied members, and 33 National Hotel Associations, CHTA is shaping the Caribbean’s future and helping members to grow their businesses. Whether helping to navigate critical issues in sales and marketing, sustainability, legislative issues, emerging technologies, climate change, data and intelligence or, looking for avenues and ideas to better market and manage businesses, CHTA is helping members on issues which matter most. For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com

About the Caribbean Public Health Agency

The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is the new single regional public health agency for the Caribbean. It was legally established in July 2011 by an Intergovernmental Agreement signed by Caribbean Member States and began operation in January 2013. The Agency is the Caribbean region’s collective response to strengthening and reorienting its health system approach so that it is equipped to address the changing nature of public health challenges. The approach is people-centered and evidence-informed. For more information visit www.carpha.org.

About the Caribbean Tourism Organization

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), which is headquartered in Barbados, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, comprising membership of the region’s finest countries and territories including Dutch, English, French and Spanish-speaking, as well as a myriad of private sector allied members. The CTO’s vision is to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm weather destination, and its purpose is Leading Sustainable Tourism – One Sea, One Voice, One Caribbean. Among the benefits to its members the organization provides specialized support and technical assistance in sustainable tourism development, marketing, communications, advocacy, human resource development, event planning & execution, and research & information technology. For more information, visit www.OneCaribbean.org.

About the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an international organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18, 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS currently has 11 members spread across the Eastern Caribbean, comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. For more information, visit www.oecs.int.

About the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre

The vision of the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre is to assist global tourism destinations with destination preparedness, management and recovery from disruptions and/or crises that impact tourism and threaten economies and livelihoods globally. For more information, visit www.gtrcmc.org.

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