by Kevon Browne
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Ahead of the expected phased restart of cruise tourism come July 2021, which was announced in April, notable changes have occurred to the existing COVID-19 protocols only applicable to the ‘fully vaccinated.’
Fully vaccinated individuals would only quarantine for nine days in St. Kitts and Nevis as of May 1.
Additionally, spectator sports reclaim their spectators, once fully vaccinated, effective May 20.
Fully vaccinated travellers to the Federation who submit a negative RT-PCR COVID-19 test can now pay reduced quarantine costs if staying at the Ocean Terrace Inn.
Abdias Samuel, Chairman of the National COVID-19 Task Force, said that the overall cost was adjusted to reflect the reduced time frame.
“Persons who are in the nine-day category for quarantine at the Ocean Terrace Inn will now pay US$320 for the duration of the nine-day stay,” he said at the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) COVID-19 Briefing on Wednesday (May 05).
It equates to about US$35 per day.
For travellers not vaccinated, existing protocols still apply even when mixing with those who are vaccinated.
Travellers who quarantined at OTI paid US$500 for the 14 days which equated to roughly US$36 a night.
The government has been promoting the full restart of the tourism sector, especially cruise tourism as an incentive for taking the vaccine.
Most recently, the St. Christopher Air and Sea Port Authority joined other organisations in the Federation that required employees to vaccinate or conduct an RT-PCR test every two weeks at the cost of the employee from June 1.
The requirement includes all companies and organizations (stakeholders) with staff providing services at the various ports: Airline staff, vendors, etc.
While these requirements from private and public business continue, Minister with responsibility for tourism, Lindsay Grant, has had interviews with US-based media houses to help sell the territory.
Most recently Grant made appearances on WSB-TV Atlanta and WSVN-TV Miami.
The segment on WSB-TV was in partnership with WSB-TV Atlanta to generate support for the non-stop Delta flights that are expected to begin June 5th.
On WSVN-TV Miami he spoke about the ongoing Five-Day Getaway promotion with the Park Hyatt St. Kitts, St. Kitts Marriott and Four Seasons Resort Nevis.
The official reopening of the cruise sector is projected for October 2021, the expected full reopening of the borders.
By that time officials are expecting St. Kitts and Nevis to achieve herd immunity.
As of Thursday, May 6, 13,558 doses have been administered, with 277 of them being second doses.
The goal for ‘herd’ immunity is 33,037.