The St. Lucia government says it will on Friday lift the curfew that had been imposed as part of the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, made the announcement on Monday night, as he updated the island on the response of his administration to the pandemic that had infected 22 people, but so far caused no deaths here.
Flanked by his Tourism Minister, Dominic Fedee and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Sharon Belmar-George, Prime Minister Chastanet said “as of July 10 we no longer will have curfew hours in St. Lucia”.
Chastanet also announced other measures, which he said would also come into effect as of July 10.
He said they include the reopening of cinemas with proper protocols, the reopening of childhood development centres with protocols and the allowing of sports tournaments and contact sports with protocols for spectators.
Chastanet said the total number of persons who will be allowed is 200, regardless of how large the sports facility is and that the attendees will be required to observe social distancing.
Chastanet said that the yachting sector will reopen with strict protocols.
“In essence what we are doing right now is all the yachts that currently are in the bubble of about 24 countries in the Caribbean, once they have been in those locations for 14 days they will be allowed to come into the country without going through a quarantine,” he added.
But Chastanet said that when the yachts arrive here, their personnel will be inspected, their temperatures taken and medical staff will be on site at the mooring locations to continually assess the visitors while they are here.
Chastanet said regarding the reopening of the borders, it has been the single most difficult decision he has had to make during his four years in office.
He said he was grateful for the support of the command centre team and thanked his cabinet colleagues who helped to share the burden of the decision as to when and how to reopen the borders.
St. Lucia re-opened its international airport on June 4 and the government said it was introducing several new and updated protocols for arrivals from July 9.
Travelers will be required to obtain a negative PCR (Polymerized Chain Reaction) test within seven days of travel unless they are arriving from countries in the Travel Bubble designated by the St. Lucia government.
It said visitors traveling only from destinations that have zero or a low instance of COVID-19 cases will be exempt from the seven-day pre-testing requirement.
These destinations currently include Antigua, Barbuda, Aruba, Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Barthelemy, St.Kitts and Nevis, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos. Visitors with a travel history from these areas in the last 14 days will also be exempt from quarantine.
The government said that all returning citizens and residents must also complete the Pre-Arrival registration form.
“On arrival, they are required to quarantine for 14 days at a pre-approved home quarantine address, Government operated quarantine facility or a COVID-19 certified property”