Caribbean Community (Caricom) leaders have taken a major step towards resuscitating Covid-challenged tourism with a regional travel bubble, rolled out today. Effective today, September 18, those within CARICOM’s travel bubble won’t need to have a PCR test in advance or quarantine on entry. This criteria is determined by the country’s positive cases per 100k people in the last 14 days. However, CARICOM Chair SVG PM Dr. Ralph Gonsalves indicated that as more countries within CARICOM meet this criteria, they can be added to the regional bubble. While the travel bubble is among member and associated members states, the low-risk countries presently allowed are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Member states who did not meet the criteria are The Bahamas, Belize, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.
“The past six months have been a very challenging period globally and regionally, as countries have struggled to cope with the effects of the novel coronavirus”.
– Guyana-based Caricom Secretariat
CARPHA outlines Regional Travel Bubble Criteria
It has been particularly difficult for Caricom, given the high dependence of most of the economies on travel and tourism. By establishing the bubble, a comprehensive report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) provided guidance. Within lie recommendations on how [the bubble] would operate, and laid out the eligibility criteria for countries to participate.” The statement by CARICOM also said that the recommendations included that countries would be categorized ranging from those with no cases to those which had low, medium, high and very high risk with respect to the rate of positive cases over a 14-day period.
Almost every CARICOM country has reported positive cases and deaths associated with the novel coronavirus. COVID-19, detected in China last December, is responsible for 936,000 deaths and the infection of 29.6 million others worldwide. Now, Belize prepares to reopen leisurely air travel after more than 6 months of border closures. The Caribbean country reports 1,567 positive cases and 742 recoveries recorded to date. Read more on Belize’s travel advisory here.
Travel regulations and requirements are subject to change as new developments in COVID-19 arise. It is important to visit www.travelbelize.org/health-safety before booking travel or visiting Belize.