Federation agrees to ‘Travel Bubble’ principle, but keeps borders closed

CARICOM states have established a “Travel Bubble” that makes it easier for travellers to move between nation-to-nation, but although the agreement goes in effect September 18, the Federation has indicated it has decided not to open its borders on that date.
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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Although the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government meeting established a ‘Travel Bubble’ to encourage travel between members, but while St. Kitts and Nevis has agreed in principle to the concept, its borders remain closed until further notice.

CARICOM discussed the Travel Bubble in an effort to address challenges to the travel and tourism sectors in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to seek ways to bolster these sectors.

St. Kitts and Nevis has not agreed to the September 18 the Travel Bubble’s implementation date.

In agreeing to establish the Bubble, the Heads were guided by a comprehensive report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which provided recommendations on how the Bubble would operate, and laid out the eligibility criteria for countries to participate.

The recommendations included 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 amount 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.

The government heads agreed that travellers from countries within the Bubble will 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.

St. Kitts and Nevis continues to be guided by the recommendations of the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on how the Bubble would function and the eligibility criteria for countries to participate.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has rated St. Kitts and Nevis on a list of 25 countries that has a very low risk country for contracting the COVID-19.

St. Kitts and Nevis will continue to act responsibly by adhering to all the health and safety measures and to follow the best professional advice and practices to ensure that its citizens and residents are protected against the COVID-19.

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