Statement On ‘Authorised Cruise Tourism Operation’ On ‘No Movement Sunday’

The content originally appeared on: St. Lucia Times News

Press Release:- The Ministry of Tourism and the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), are aware of videos circulating via social media, depicting an unkindly expression of displeasure at an authorized cruise tourism operation on a “no movement Sunday”, where a bus stopped in a community for a bathroom break for some senior passengers.

Contrary to the opinions being expressed, we wish to inform the public that in addition to preboarding requirements, cruise passengers to Saint Lucia are met with a full complement of protocols including being fully vaccinated, negative pre-boarding testing and health screening.

The Government of Saint Lucia maintains that its protocols must apply to both visitors and nationals. However, in some cases exceptions are made for businesses and activities that are critical for the growth of our economy.

Even when doing so, every effort is made to ensure that there are no or little health risks to nationals.

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The tourism industry touches many communities and many lives – construction workers, trades men and women, photographers, wedding planners, beauticians, florists, creative industries, hoteliers and hotel workers, craft people, farmers, taxi drivers, car rental companies, utility companies, manufacturing industry, DJs, duty free stores and many more.

“In our quest to protect lives and livelihoods, the Government of Saint Lucia continues to implement strict protocols to ensure health and safety whilst seeking to maintain our position as a premier cruise destination. We are cognizant that interruptions to cruise calls can result in a loss of service to the destination and thereby negatively impact the industry and its many dependents locally. It is therefore our mandate, to ensure that we continue to restore vitality to the sector while working in tandem with our cruise partners to maintain the highest standards of safety. It is why we have insisted that all passengers are vaccinated and present a negative COVID-19 test when embarking,” said Hon. Dr. Ernest Hilaire, Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Investment, Creative Industries, Culture, and Information.

The public is called upon to participate actively and responsibly in the recovery of livelihoods and the fight against COVID-19 to get vaccinated and to be good ambassadors for our destination by treating each other with dignity and respect. We encourage Saint Lucians to provide the warm welcome that we are known for worldwide.

All Saint Lucia’s are being called upon to ensure we continue to build on work done, and to be united to be safe and restore as many livelihoods as possible.

Headline photo: Tourists departing aboard bus (Screen grab from video)

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