Press Release:- The Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association (SLHTA) welcomes the amendments to the COVID-19 protocols announced today, Friday 28th May 2021, by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
On Friday, the Government of Saint Lucia approved amendments to the COVID-19 Prevention and Control regulations which will take effect from May 31, 2021 to June 30, 2021.
According to the Government, as Saint Lucia continues to strengthen its vaccination campaign, and, after careful deliberation on recommendations from the Command Centre, the Cabinet of Ministers, have agreed to adjust the COVID-19 protocols to allow some concessions for fully vaccinated persons based on the protection being provided by vaccination in keeping with the science.
The public is further advised that ALL public health measures such as mandatory mask wearing in public, social distancing and washing and sanitizing of hands remain in place. The curfew remains 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. daily.
The changes are as follows:
- A person with a valid liquor license may permit a person on licensed premises to consume intoxicating liquor between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
- A competitive sporting activity may be permitted within a controlled facility with spectators on condition that persons in attendance are fully vaccinated. Competitive sporting events or activities must receive approval from the Ministry of Health.
- Returning nationals and visitors with a negative PCR test and who are fully vaccinated will not require quarantine. Random testing will be done at all arrival points. Notwithstanding, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) retains the power to place visitors in quarantine in order to protect public health.
- Social events with up to 50 fully vaccinated persons may be permitted after authorization through the Ministry of Health.
As the umbrella body representing and advocating the interest of the local hospitality and tourism sector, the SLHTA believes these amendments will have a positive economic impact on the lives of the thousands of people who have been displaced within our sector since the COVID-19 pandemic began earlier last year.
The SLHTA recognizes that these amendments to the protocols are critical as they convey excellent news to small and medium enterprises which can now come back on stream after suffering a tremendous economic blow. While the science is informing the decisions, we must remain mindful that we all have a responsibility to ensure compliance with the safety protocols and avail ourselves of the vaccines.
The SLHTA also appreciates the quality of engagement between the Association and the various government agencies that pre-dated these amendments. We encourage such engagements as they can only redound to building symbiotic partnerships that assist in solving challenges in real-time.
“Patience and cooperation will be required from all of us as we work towards the same goal of safely reopening sectors which have been shut down for so long,” said SLHTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Noorani Azeez.
“The SLHTA applauds the hard work of all public service officials who have made this evolution possible. It has not been an easy journey, and we are not out of the woods as yet. Nevertheless, we are certainly moving in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, SLHTA President, Paul Collymore, also thanked the Government of Saint Lucia for relaxing the protocols, which, he said, positions the island to benefit from the windfall of opportunities as the global economy gradually reopens.
“Saint Lucia is poised to have a competitive advantage in all of our key source markets with this welcomed announcement by the Prime Minister and the Government of Saint Lucia,” Collymore stated. “We acknowledge the excellent work that continues within the Ministries of Tourism, and Health and Wellness.”
Collymore added: “Driving visitor arrivals will positively impact the destination with the benefit of further reducing our high unemployment. On behalf of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Saint Lucia Hospitality & Tourism Association, and certainly on my own behalf, we extend our appreciation for these amendments announced today by the Prime Minister.”