BASSETERRE, St. Kitts -- TOURISM MINISTER Lindsay Grant said that though they would prefer to see there being no quarantine period for people who are entering the Federation from overseas, airlines are welcoming the reduction of the four-day quarantine to one day.
This comes as tourism stakeholders are bracing for the full return of travellers through the airports and the uptick in the number of cruise vessels making calls to Port Zante.
The arrival of passengers through the airports have been way below the usual numbers due to the slow down in travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the cruise sector is seeing a slow return with at least 12 calls to the island since the reopening of the Federation’s borders.
Addressing reporters, Grant professed that the decision speaks well for the Federation to increase the number of tourists travelling to the island. He however noted though that the results would not be seen immediately.
Grant is adamant that the results would be recorded early in the new year when the data are released, since it would take 60-90 days from now to bear fruits.
“Obviously, people would have already positioned their travel. We are hopeful that come early 2022, we might see the fruits bearing as a consequence of that adjustment in the quarantine period,” the Minister added.
The Federation is now playing catch-up when compared with other territories across the region.
Many of those territories have either removed quarantine restrictions altogether for fully vaccinated travellers or restrict them to one day quarantine in some instances.
Though the number of tourists have been below the Ministry of Tourism’s expectation, they are upbeat based on the feedback from the airlines.
“They welcomed it because obviously the 14-day and 4-day quarantine are a hindrance on travel. They welcomed the shift in the quarantine period down to 24 hours,” noted the m\Minister.
Despite those expectations, they are still hopeful that the quarantine period would move to zero upon arrival into the Federation.