Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS): The National COVID-19 Task Force is working with port officials, health authorities and other stakeholders to review the entry protocols for air travellers.
The task force’s chair Abdias Samuel said that officials recently performed a walk-through of the R. L. Bradshaw International Airport as they seek to enhance the efficiency of the process and processing of incoming travellers.
“We have heard the concerns of the hoteliers, our citizens, and also some of the guests,” he said at the December 01, 2021, COVID-19 Briefing by the National Emergency Operations Centre.
He added that representatives from border protection agencies are also considering the matter to identify and eliminate processes where necessary. The objective to speed up incoming passenger processing, however, will not undermine the efforts of port surveillance by health authorities.
Mr. Samuel stated that officials would remain vigilant in efforts to screen incoming travellers for COVID-19.
“Yes we want changes. Yes, we are ready to absorb some more risks but let me just notify you of this. We are going to have three critical barriers to help us in buffering the protection of the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
The protective barriers referenced by Mr. Samuel are the comprehensive verifying process for incoming travellers. This process involves officials from the Ministries of National Security, and Health, as well as the Department of Immigration and Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Department. The second tier of defence is the robust port health surveillance system that is in place. The third tier of protection involves the procedures of the airlines to scrutinize travel and other related documents of passengers.
Mr. Samuel encouraged persons to be patient as the process is streamlined.