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Only travel approved taxi operators allowed at RLB and Port Zante says Tourism Minister

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by Devonne Cornelius

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The no-quarantine and testing upon arrival policy for fully vaccinated travelers have brought about changes in operations at the RLB International Airport and Port Zante that will take effect from Saturday, December 11, 2021. 

The changes were announced by Minister of Tourism the Hon. Lindsay Grant on Friday, December 10 at a press conference hosted at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. 

“A taxi or tour operator who does not have the travel approved seal issued by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism will not be eligible to enter the RLB International Airport or Port Zante. Coaster vehicles are not permitted in the dispatching line at the RLB International Airport,” the Tourism Minister explained. 

He said “fully vaccinated visitors who do not have arrangements with their place of accommodation or a destination management company will be required to take a certified travel approved taxi to their place of residence. Fully vaccinated returning nationals and residents can now have their friends and family pick them up or use their private vehicles from the airport.”

“Unvaccinated returning nationals and residents will be required to take a certified taxi to their place of quarantine,” he added. 

Destination management companies, hotels, and accommodation sites are permitted to arrange for their preferred certified travel-approved taxi or tour operator to transfer their guests from the RLB International Airport. Information on the preferred driver including their vaccination status must be submitted to the St. Kitts Tourism Authority prior to picking up guests at the airport. Once a driver’s information is submitted and they are approved, they will not be required to submit the information for any future occasion. 

Minister Grant said, “even with the easing of restrictions, I want to remind us that we still have a responsibility to keep our community safe.”

He further explained that “only fully vaccinated travel and approved taxi operators will be permitted to operate at Port Zante during this second phase. Cruise visitors who are desirous of exploring the island on their own are permitted to rent a vehicle from an official car rental company. 

“It is still particularly important that we understand our product and our service offerings. That they add value to the guest experience and encourage safety. 

Taxi and tour operators are not permitted to stand at Port Zante with signs and call visitors. Retail operators are not permitted to have individual standing on the common corridors calling visitors. Operators who are found soliciting will face disciplinary action by the security forces. The two taxi associations and the taxi cooperative will collaborate with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority to manage the dispatching system at Port Zante. One president and two taxi liaisons will work with the St. Kitts Tourism Authority team to dispatch our passengers arriving at Port Zante. 

Only five taxis will be permitted in the dispatching zone. We will have two dispatching lines. The rotation for the day and the free line. The rotation line will be based on the travel approved numbers assigned that those individuals that do not receive a job in the rotation will roll over to the next ship day at Port Zante. The free line will be on a first-come, first-serve basis and will not roll over to the next day.”

Vendors operating at tourist sites and accommodations must be fully vaccinated and must have completed the travel-approved training. 

 

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