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TTC Special: Ups and downs for Caribbean tourist opening

Photo: ©Simon Dannhauer/123rf

By Frank Martin

The Caribbean tourism industry cautiously reopens its operations under a fresh breeze of good prospects but with Covid-19 still haunted the region.

This return to work is not easy.  There are regional common rules on each island to definitively defeat the coronavirus.

Are included vaccination tests and social distancing guidelines that will be applied for a long time. Maybe forever.

Some of the Caribbean destinations summer brought the reopening.  Other islands remain closed to tourists’ arrivals.

Still the great part already open are extremely careful with sanitary rules.

The new strains of the virus expand the regional uncertainty.

In worst cases increase in infection rates still cause setbacks in the incipient opening.

Dominican Republic maintains a reopening considered fast if the situation is taken into account.

National Ministry of Public Health disclosed seven deaths from Covid-19 on the 15th and reported 535 new cases.

At the time, 336,144 cases were registered in the country since the pandemic began, with 3,907 deaths.

Dominican health authorities maintain measures against the epidemic like requiring forms of entry or exit to the country permanently online  in order to obtain QR codes  requested during the trip.

The form is available on the official website of the Department of Immigration.

Travelers must also sign an affidavit upon arrival stating whether they have experienced symptoms or not.

Antigen tests required for a return trip will be free for any visitor staying at a hotel.

Another regional country Cuba keeps its doors open, although not wide open, to tourists. Commercial flights continue to arrive on the island, which remains partially reopened despite a high epidemic that it is struggling to reduce.

Some Caribbean islands decided that only fully vaccinated visitors will be allowed to enter.

Vaccinated travelers will not have to self-quarantine or pay an entry fee.

Another Caribbean Island Aruba has already reopened to travelers from Canada, Europe and the US.

Authorities give travelers options like getting tested within 72 hours before traveling to Aruba or at the airport when they arrive.

Americans who choose to be tested at the airport must remain in mandatory isolation until the test results are negative.

Bahamas, which depends on US tourism decided that these travelers can enter but must submit a travel health visa application with attached proof of negative PCR test results taken within five days of arrival.

In Costa Rica an outbreak in June led the authorities to tighten sanitary measures to contain the contagion. The so-called third reopening phase was canceled at that time.

Last week the arrival of a direct donation of vaccines against covid-19 and new shipments from the company Pfizer endorsed another partial opening in Costa Rica that began on July 16.

Bad news came from Mexico when in early July as infections returned to the level of February this year.

It was announced by the Mexican authorities that the third epidemiological wave hit the country last week with 11,137 cases in a single day and 219 deaths.

Nevertheless vaccination progressed with more than 51 million doses already administered.

FM

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