Returning student, boat crew nationals face quarantine for 28 days
Dr. Irving McIntyre, Dominica’s minister of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, said the island continues to ease COVID-19 related restrictions 46 days after its last confirmed case.
McIntyre, in a released statement, said that “while restrictions are being lifted to cater to the mental and physical well-being of the population, it does not imply that Dominica is COVID- free.”
He urged Dominicans to continue wearing face masks and practice physical distancing measures.
According to the statement, a national plan is being developed for the reopening of borders as early as next month.
Dominican nationals — namely cruise line crew members and students — have been allowed to return to the island. However, they must go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a government-run facility followed by a further 14-day home quarantine, monitored by community health teams, according to the news release.
The Health minister reiterated that his agency would take all necessary action to limit the risk of imported cases of the virus with the returning of nationals and the eventual reopening of the country’s borders.
He said testing is ongoing for frontline workers and individuals meeting the “case definition” for the virus. Community testing is also in progress to determine immunity levels to the virus and to identify undetected cases, he said.
McIntyre also said that a technical health team within his agency recommended further easing of restrictions, as follows, that went into effect earlier this week:
• Curfew — Hours will be 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays
• Businesses can remain open up to 6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and up to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
• Public transportation buses will be allowed to transport three passengers per row.
• Recommendations for the reopening of churches, dine in restaurants and gyms have been made and will be finalized pending further discussions with the relevant stakeholders. This is to develop guidelines and protocols for possible reopening by next weekend. Discussions are also ongoing with the Ministry of Education regarding students.
“All of these being done with extreme caution to avoid sacrificing our present health status and gains that we have made so far,” McIntyre said of the measures.
Grenada prepares to welcome visitors beginning with boating sector
Officials with the Grenada and Carriacou government said easing of local restrictions continues with emphasis on health and safety practices as registered yachts are being welcomed under new protocols.
According to a released statement via the Caribbean Tourism Organization, yacht arrivals began in mainland Grenada on on May 20 and in Carriacou on May 25.
As required, the entering yachts were pre-registered into a database before being given pre-clearance.
“On arrival at the designated dock at Camper & Nicholson’s Port Louis Marina, Ministry of Health officials conduct screenings, including temperature testing for yachts passengers who then proceed on the requisite 14-day quarantine at approved locations,” the release stated.
At the end of the quarantine period, crew members will be given formal clearance by Immigration and Customs, but only after receiving a negative COVID-19 test result and health clearance from the Ministry of Health.
Clarice Modeste-Curwen, minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, said officials are “satisfied that the implemented health and safety protocols will allow yachts a safe-haven in Grenada for the Hurricane Season, while ensuring the safety of all citizens, and contributing to the rebound of our economy.” The island, over the last two weeks, also welcomed four groups of repatriated cruise workers, all of whom were screened, quarantined and tested for COVID-19.
The last group of 45 individuals returned on May 24 and the island’s Ministry of Health reported that one of them tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the number of confirmed cases recorded in Grenada to 23 with five still active, but stable cases.
According to Modeste-Curwen, while the daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. is still in effect, “every day is designated a business day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
“The Government of Grenada has also added to its list of approved businesses that can operate now including retail stores and professionals in the beauty industry such as barbers and hairdressers,” she said. “While conducting business, citizens are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.”
Beaches on the island are now open to the public from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Tourism businesses and attractions, airports on Grenada and Carriacou, and all ports remain temporarily closed. Plans are in place to prepare for the eventual reopening of the borders and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation is working with all stakeholders including the Grenada Tourism Authority to implement new protocols for the hospitality industry. Tourism personnel are being trained and certified in these protocols as well as Tourism enterprises will be required to pledge their commitment to the new health and safety standards in the industry.”
St. Kitts and Nevis
Government extends limited curfew
Prime Minister Timothy Harris announced his government has introduced another round of regulations effective this month through Saturday, June 13 to continue the process of gradually reopening the economy. Harris said that as of May 18 all 15 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 on the island successfully recovered.
As of today, 394 persons have been sampled and tested for COVID-19, 15 of whom tested positive with 379 persons tested negative and no test results pending. Four persons are currently quarantined in a government facility. A total of 815 persons have been released from quarantine.
According to the statement, a limited curfew — relaxed restrictions where persons may leave home for work or to shop for essential items — will be in effect. The curfew hours are from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. The hours on Saturdays and Sundays will be from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Harris also announced that:
• Churches will reopen from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays only, as long as they comply with regulations.
• Fishers (snapper fishers and long line fishermen) can fish from 9 p.m. during nightly curfew hours, as per the established health and safety protocols.
• Beaches will stay open for an additional hour in the mornings, from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., for swimming and exercising only with the social distancing measures of remaining at least six feet apart in full effect with the exception of persons living in the same household.
According to the statement, the increased number of limited curfew days and additional relaxed restrictions are being implemented at the recommendations of the island’s chief medical officer, staff of the ministry and medical experts and “at their advice, borders remain closed” and island “successfully flattened the curve.”
St. Kitts and Nevis, the statement noted, has one of the highest testing rates in CARICOM and the Eastern Caribbean and uses only the molecular tests which are the gold standard of testing. The island was the last country in the Americas to confirm a case of the virus and among the first to report all cases having recovered with no deaths.