Saturday 5 December, 2020

Lockdown: Caribbean nations shut borders to fight COVID-19

As COVID-19 cases soar to over 600 in the Caribbean, countries are implementing rigid measures to curb the spread of the virus.

From Haiti in the North to Trinidad and Tobago in the South, Caribbean countries are closing their air and seaports and implementing restrictions on public gatherings whether or not they have confirmed cases of the virus in their territories.

Here is a breakdown of policies different islands have implemented to flatten the curve of the spread of the coronavirus.

Martinique

Air and Sea Ports

In accordance with the French Government travel restrictions, Martinique International Airport is not allowing inbound flight anymore (leisure, family visit etc) to the Island. And as a further step to stop the spread of COVID-19, all international flights to/from Martinique have been interrupted as of March 23.

Air service will only be authorised for
1)         The reunification of families with children or dependent person
2)         Professional obligations strictly necessary for the continuity of essential services,
3)         Health requirements. 

Flights transport capacity from Martinique to France has been reduced to the same three criteria as of March 22 midnight. The same regulations apply between the five French overseas Islands: Saint-Martin, Saint-Barth, Guadeloupe, French Guyana and Martinique.

The Martinique Port Authority has stopped all cruise calls scheduled for the season. Requests for technical stops will be treated case by case. Container transport activities are still maintained, as well as oil and gas refueling.  

Due to the important decrease of passenger capacity allowed by the French authorities; all maritime transportations are suspended.  Marinas: All activities at Marinas are discontinued.

Hotels and Villas

Due to travel restrictions, most hotels and villa rentals are bringing their activities to a close, while waiting for the departure of their last guests. No new guest will be allowed, and all the amenities such as pools, spa and other activities are closed to the public. 

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

Due to the quarantine implemented by the French Government, leisure activities, restaurants & bars are closed to the public. Only restaurants inside hotels with guests are still operating, until the departure of their last visitors. 

Economic Activities

In accordance with the restrictions in effect, all businesses are closed, and public transportation is no longer in operation. An exception is made for vital activities such as supermarkets, banks and pharmacies.  

All the residents have the obligation to remain in confinement until further notice. For any necessary purposes such as food supply, sanitary reasons or essential work activities, an exemption certificate, available on the Prefecture of Martinique’s website, is mandatory.  


The Bahamas

Air and Sea Ports

No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.

All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.

All seaports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.

Air and sea restrictions do not apply to outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.

No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter-island, except for transport of freight; or inter-island private commercial sea transport.

14 day lockdown and 24-hour curfew took effect on April 4.

Tourists and Residents

All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.

All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police.

Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 am to 9 pm.

Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet must be followed at all times while outside the home.

All individuals under quarantine whether self-imposed or at government facilities will be under 24-hour surveillance for the duration of their mandatory isolation.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above.

 

Saint Lucia

Air and Sea Ports

Saint Lucia’s airports have been closed to all incoming commercial and private flights effective 11:59 pm on Monday 23.. All airports will be closed to all incoming passengers until Sunday, April 5.

Aircraft facilitating departing passengers repatriating from Saint Lucia will be permitted. Air Cargo operations are permitted.

From the week period commencing from Monday, March 23 to Sunday, April 5 only essential services will continue

Belize

Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow announced additional measures including a 14-day lockdown for the Cayo District. These measures will go into effect at 8 pm on Tuesday, April 7.

No person shall gather in numbers of more than ten persons at a time, anywhere in Belize, whether in any public place, public space or on private property provided that a gathering of ten or more persons on private property is allowed where persons are residents of that property.   Except for residents of private property, persons in a gathering of ten persons or less shall maintain a distance of no less than three feet between each person.

Transportation

Notwithstanding the restriction and limitation on public gathering, the provision of public transportation by bus is limited to the seating capacity of the bus.

Every bus operator arriving at a terminal in Belize shall park the bus, instruct the passengers to disembark and oversee the sanitisation of the bus by personnel on-site at the terminal. Prior to boarding any bus at a terminal, every passenger shall wash and sanitise his hands at the conveniences provided at the terminal.

Economic Activity

The following establishments shall close until further notice­–

casinos and gaming establishments, spas, beauty salons and barber shops, gymnasiums (gyms), sporting complexes, discotheques, bars, rum shops and night clubs, restaurants, saloons, diners, and other similar establishments, provided that restaurants, saloons diners and other similar establishments may operate to offer to take out services only, any other establishment or business designated by the Quarantine Authority by Notice published in the Gazette.

In the interest of public health and safety, the Quarantine Authority may by Notice published in the Gazette, declare the closure of any market or other public place.

Leisure Activity

No person shall host nor attend–

a private party which includes any person from outside of the immediate household of the house occupant, a recreational or competitive sporting event, a wedding which hosts ten or more persons other than the bride, bridegroom, official witnesses and the marriage officer,  a banquet, ball or reception, any social event, any other ceremony of public worship in any facility or public place which involves the participation of any member of the general public or a congregation; a funeral, except ten members of the immediate family and at least one officiant and essential mortuary staff; or a meeting of a fraternal society, private or social club or civic association or organisation.

St Martin

Emmanuel Macron, the President of the French Republic extended the confinement until May 11, 2020.

Both French and Dutch governments have agreed to a “Friendly Border Control” in order to restrict non-essential movements. 

Airports

Travel restrictions have been imposed by the authorities. Only cargo flights are authorized to land. At Grand Case Airport, By decree, and in order to maintain regional territorial links, commercial flights are operated since March 23 by Air Antilles Express. Flights will be operated by Twin Otter 17-seater aircraft on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Flights are reserved to:

  • Someone accompanying a very sick person
  • Those that need urgent surgery, chemotherapy, dialysis...
  • Those traveling for professional reasons in link with the crisis.

They will have to show proof of residency on their travel documents and produce two documents proving the exactitude of their motivation to travel.

Inter-island ferries

The rotations between Saint-Martin and the island of Anguilla are suspended until further notice from the Ferry Station of Marigot. There is one rotation per day between Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy,

Marina fort louis

The Fort Louis Marina in Marigot is closed to the public

Private boating is now restricted in French waters.

Dingy navigation is authorised for groceries and fuel, but boaters need to fill in the same form as car drivers.

Galisbay Port

The reception of cruise ships is prohibited since the publication of the Ministerial Decree on March 13th.

All activities at the commercial port, considered a vital structure, are maintained.

There is no cancellation or modification of the schedule in terms of reception of goods.

Hospitals

At the Louis Constant Fleming Hospital, precautionary measures have been taken to limit access to the hospital with exception of the ER.

 

Sint Maarten

On April 19, the Dutch side of the island extended its lockdown period for another three weeks with a possible extension if necessary. 

Air and Sea Ports

Passengers are not allowed to enter St. Maarten.

This does not apply to residents of St Maarten. They must hold a proof of residence, which can be a St. Maarten driving license, St Maarten ID card or a St. Maarten registration document. This does not apply to airline crew.

Residents of St Maarten must undergo a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days.

Airline crew that is overnighting must undergo a mandatory self-quarantine while on the island.

Essential Flights from Saba, Sint Eustatius and Curacao are allowed

Medical emergency flights are allowed

This does not apply to passengers who are traveling to St. Maarten at the invitation of the Government of St. Maarten as technical or medical -specialists and -assistants.

Cruise, Yachting and pleasure craft calls are suspended to the island until further notice.

 

St Kitts and Nevis

Effective as of 7 pm on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, through 6 am on Friday, April 3, a 24-hour full curfew will be in effect.

Prime Minister Harris declared a state of emergency on March 28. It was initially scheduled to expire on April 11, but has been extended to April 18.

Air and Sea Ports

Effective Wednesday, March 25 borders will be closed to all commercial flights and maritime interests until April 7.

Economic Activity

All non-essential businesses have been closed and social distancing policies implemented.

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Air and Sea Ports

The government has closed until further notice the ports of entry at Union Island, Canouan, and Bequia for yachts and other vessels, with immediate effect from 7 pm on March 27, 2020. 

As a consequence of the closure of these three ports of entry, following upon an earlier closure of the Chateaubelair port of entry, all yachts are required to enter at one of three ports on St Vincent, namely Kingstown, Blue Lagoon, and Wallilabou. 

St Vincent and the Grenadines is made up of a collection of 32 islands and cays in the Caribbean, nine of which are inhabited.

People entering the country with a travel history which includes Iran, China, South Korea and Italy are now to be quarantined for 14 days upon entry. Approval was also granted to implement active surveillance of people with a travel history that includes countries with community transmission by nurses assigned to hotels.

Turks and Caicos

Air and Sea Ports

All airports shall be closed to regional and international flights.

All seaports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring.

No visitor shall be permitted to enter or transit through the Turks and Caicos Islands, for a period of 21 days, commencing on the date these regulations come into force or until such date as the Governor may specify.

Antigua and Barbuda

A state of emergency was declared on Mach 25.

Only essential workers are allowed to move about in accordance with regulations implemented to slow the spread of the virus.

It is now mandatory to wear face masks when venturing out of your home and into the public domain.

Public gatherings exceeding 10 people are prohibited. Violators could be fined up to EC$5000 or be jailed for up to six months.

Air and Sea Ports

The V.C Bird International airport will be closed to all commercial traffic from midnight on Thursday, March 26.

 

Economy

Supermarkets are allowed to open from 7am to midday.

Wholesalers and cargo ports are also allowed to do business from 7am to noon.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

In accordance with a decision made by the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, under the Quarantine Act of 1946, no more than 25 people will be allowed at any restaurants, bars, clubs and other public places at any given time.

Curaçao

Air and Sea Ports

The government has enacted temporary restrictions on flights and has limited incoming traffic to returning residents, essential medical specialists, nurses, and professionals.

The airport has also suspended all operations of its immigration E-Gates to control the spread of COVID-19. Information is available at Hato International Airport for any travelers experiencing symptoms or those traveling from known areas with widespread coronavirus transmission.

Dominica

The Parliament of Dominica further approved legislation granting that the current Curfew be extended for an additional 21 days when it expires on April 20 and that the State of Emergency is extended for an additional three months to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Air and Sea Ports

The Government of Dominica has suspended all commercial air and sea access to all non-nationals from Thursday, March 26 and to all travelers including Dominicans and residents from Saturday, March 28 until further notice.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

All non-essential gatherings are contained to no more than 10 people. Restaurants are urged to deliver or offer curbside pick-up.

Hotels

Protocols call for the symptomatic individual and all contacts to be provided with masks, isolated and health personnel to be notified.

British Virgin Islands

Air and Sea Ports

Borders have been closed to all travelers from Tuesday, March 24.

Leisure Activities

Gathering are limited to a maximum of 20 people

Economic Activity

Businesses within the territory are only allowed to operate between the hours of 6 am and 8 pm.

Trinidad and Tobago

Air and Sea Ports

Non-essential businesses have been closed and citizens are urged to stay indoors.

Borders have been closed to all travelers including nationals and residents. Cargo boats are allowed but shipmates are not allowed onshore.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

Gatherings over five people are not allowed. Bars and cinemas are closed and there are no dine-in options at restaurants. All major beaches have been closed. All non-essential businesses have been ordered to close for the next 14 days.

Haiti

Air and Sea Ports

All seaports, airports and borders have been closed since March 18.

Leisure Activities

Schools, universities, places of worship and industrial parks are closed and a curfew is in force from 8 pm to 5 am.

Jamaica

Air and Sea Ports

Effective March 21, all borders have been closed for 14 days. Incoming and outgoing cargo allowed. Every person who entered the island as of March 18 will be quarantined for a further 14 days after the initial seven days.

Leisure Activities

From Wednesday, March 25, all persons 75 years and older must remain at home for 14 days and public sector employees 65-years-old and older must work from home. Effective March 25, no public gatherings shall exceed 10 people.

Montserrat

A 24 Hours saily curfew is now in effect from March 28 at 6 pm until April 14 at 12 am.

Air and Sea Ports

There is a 14 day quarantine period for anyone travelling to Montserrat.

Leisure Activities

Restriction of public gatherings from 50 to 25, the prohibition of visits to public and private homes of the elderly; the self-quarantine of elderly persons aged 70 and over with the provision for family and community members and Health authorities to provide support where necessary.

USVI

Air and Sea Ports

From Wednesday, March 25, the US Virgin Islands will close its doors to all visitors for 30 days, joining other destinations in global efforts to help stop the spread of Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

Marine vessels 300 tons and over are required to clear with the United States Coast Guard and produce a manifest of every passenger. If a health issue is identified during the screening process, the Department of Health will be notified and called for consultation. Vessels under 300 tons must clear with US Customs and Border Protection. Vessels that are registered with marinas must clear by appointment.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

All bars within the territory effective were closed from Monday, March 23, dine-in eating at restaurants is also restricted.

Hotels

Restrictions are now in place that prevents hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, home-sharing properties and charter vessels from accepting new guests. Guests who have already checked in to lodging facilities are advised to return home but can remain in the Territory if they choose. Emergency management personnel, overnighting flight crews and officials responding to the COVID-19 crisis are exempt from the restriction.

Economic Activity

Non-essential businesses are to remain close and residents to stay at home as the Administration ramps up its response to COVID-19 in the Territory.

Cayman Islands

A mandatory curfew went into effect from Tuesday, March 24 from 7 pm to 5 am.  Non-essential persons flouting the curfew will be punished to the full extent of the Police Law.

Transportation

All public transport has been shut down. Private taxis will continue with no more than two passengers at any one time so that each passenger is able to distance himself or herself as far as possible from the other passenger and the driver.

Grand Cayman (GIS) – The Cayman Islands will be under a partial lockdown from 7 pm on March 24. “Staying home saves lives” is Government’s message.

Grenada

A limited State of Emergency is now in effect for the next 21 days and a mandatory curfew has been announced from March 30 to April 6 was extended to April 20.

Air and Sea Ports

Except with the prior written permission of the Airports Authority, all airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor.

All seaports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating

No sailboat, sailing inter-island, except for transport of freight; or inter-island private commercial sea transport is allowed except with the approval of the Ports Authority.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

There is to be no activity during the curfew period. 

Economic Activity

All non-essential businesses are closed. Supermarkets will open on designated days.

Barbados

The Government has activated Stage 3 of the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.

In Stage 3, only essential services will operate, and the movement of non-essential personnel will be restricted between 8 pm. and 6 am daily, from Saturday, March 28 until Tuesday, April 14.

Regular movement will resume on Wednesday, April 15 unless otherwise stated. Prime Minister Mottley also urged Barbadians to minimise their movements during the day.

Guyana

The Cheddi Jagan and Eugene F. Correira International Airport remain closed to international flights until May 1.

Only cargo, aircraft stopping to refuel or drop off approved technical staff will be allowed to access the airports.

Leisure Activities and Restaurants

On April 3, a one month ban on all non-essential business and leisure activity went into effect.

Restaurants and supermarkets must ensure social distancing guidelines are followed by their customers.

There is also a curfew between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am.

 

 

 

 

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