St. Lucia announces updated travel protocols beginning July 9
Written by Radio Caribbean International on July 3, 2020
New protocols include mandatory COVID-19 pre-test within 7 days of travel, exemptions for visitors traveling from designated ‘Travel Bubble’ and pre-arrival online registration.
Following a reassessment of travel protocols based on market conditions, The Government of Saint Lucia will introduce several new and updated protocols for arrivals from July 9, 2020. 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 Government of Saint Lucia.
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, Monsterrat, Saint Barthelemy, Saint 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.
Pre-Arrival Registration of Travel
All visitors and returning citizens to Saint Lucia must complete a Pre-Arrival registration form prior to arrival. Visitors can go to www.stlucia.org and click on the COVID-19 page to find a link to the form. Visitors must fill out details including proof of negative PCR testing and indicate which COVID-19 Certified hotel they will be staying in.
All returning Saint Lucia citizens and residents must also complete the Pre-Arrival registration form as above (insert link). 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.
New Testing Protocols:
- Pre-testing prior to travel is now mandatory. Visitors must provide a negative test result taken seven days or less before travel to Saint Lucia. This comes into effect from July 9, 2020 and will be reviewed after 30 days.
- All arriving passengers will be screened, including temperature checks, at the airport. Any symptomatic passengers will be isolated and tested. They will be required to remain in quarantine/isolation at their hotel or Government Operated Quarantine Facility until the test result is obtained. If the test is positive they will be transferred to a treatment facility until they receive two negative test results and are clinically stable.
- Passengers arriving with proof of a negative PCR test may be exempt from onisland testing and advance through immigration, baggage claim, customs and arrivals for transportation to their COVID-19 certified hotel, pre-approved home quarantine facility or Government Operated Quarantine Facility.
- Anyone arriving without proof of a negative PCR test will be subject to immediate isolation and testing with possible quarantine or treatment should a passenger test positive – at their own cost. It is recommended that visitors check their local government websites to identify PCR testing locations. U.K. travelers need to check with an accredited private healthcare provider for PCR testing options.
Hotel, Accommodation and Transportation Updates
A key part of Saint Lucia’s responsible reopening is the COVID-19 compliance certification process for the accommodations sector. To date, hotels that have received COVID-19 Certification include Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa, Sandals Grande St. Lucian, Stonefield Resort Villas and Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort. Several other hotels and resorts are on track to receive certification in July. Visitors can select COVID-19 certified hotels through direct booking, tour operator or airline provider.
During Phase One, visitors can stay only at hotels that are COVID-19 Certified. Amongst the required protocols, accommodations must sanitize luggage upon check in; maintain a fully equipped nurses station; observe strict detailed sanitization protocols for housekeeping; maintain required distance with tables for dining; and have hand sanitizer stations installed throughout the property. Sanitizing stations and showers for staff must also be installed for use prior to reentering the public.
Mandatory On-Island Safety Protocols
The Government of Saint Lucia introduced its first Phase One protocols on May 18, including new health and safety rules to protect its citizens as borders opened for international travel from June 4. Since then, Government and tourism officials have continuously monitored global health updates and have assessed protocol options for reopening.
To mitigate the possible spread of COVID-19 for visitors and Saint Lucian communities, all safety protocols introduced for Phase One of reopening remain in place. Visitors will be required to follow the local regulations in Saint Lucia, including the wearing of masks during on-island transportation and when in public places. Visitors are advised to also check with accommodation properties regarding individual hotel safety and wellness policies.
To keep visitors informed on the island, health and safety protocols have been reinforced with new signage at airports and other public places. That includes QR codes navigating travelers to a landing page for more information and FAQs. For more information about Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 response, all protocols and details of requirements prior to entry, please visit www.stlucia.org/covid-19.