BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS borders across the region slowly reopening, CARICOM Heads of Government have agreed to a bubble among territories with currently low or no cases of COVID-19.
The decision was made at a Special Emergency Session last Friday and St. Kitts and Nevis was among the territories in the region where travellers will not have to be quarantined when they do intraregional travel.
A statement from the CARICOM Secretariat said the Heads of Government have taken a major step towards resuscitating the COVID19 challenged travel and tourism sectors, with the agreement to institute a “Travel Bubble among CARICOM Member States and Associate Members which meet the agreed criteria from Friday 18, September 2020”.
According to details from the meeting which was held on Friday 11th, September, initially, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be in the Bubble as they presently meet the criteria with minimum or no cases, while the other Member States and Associate Members will be allowed to participate when they meet the criteria.
So how is it determined which territories make the list?
Guided by a comprehensive report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), regional leaders used those recommendations on how the Bubble would operate, and the eligibility criteria for countries to participate.
Chief amongst the recommendations are that countries would be categorised 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; the level of risk would be determined by the number of positive cases per 100,000 of the population within a 14-day period; only those countries with no cases and those in the low-risk category would be allowed to participate in the Bubble, and CARPHA will assess relevant data to advise on participation in the Bubble.
Heads of Government also agreed that travellers from countries within the Bubble would be allowed entry without being subjected to PCR testing prior to arrival and would also not have to undergo quarantine restrictions.
Travellers may however be subjected to screening on arrival.