Since opening our borders on June 4 th 2020 Saint Lucia has had stringent measures in place for incoming visitors, among them is a negative PCR test. Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet has been a strong advocate regionally and internationally for the adoption of PCR Testing before travel and continuously championed the policy as vital to the survival and restoration of confidence in international travel.
The Prime Minister’s statements were made on the heels of the recent announcement that passengers travelling to England and Scotland by air, sea and rail after 15 th January will be required to present a negative coronavirus test certificate before they are allowed to travel. Canada also implemented the same policy on January 7 th 2021 with some states in the US also following suit.
“It is welcomed news that the US, Canada and the UK have recently all decided to adopt PCR Testing for returning passengers. This will go a long way in being able to regain confidence in travel,” noted Prime Minister Chastanet. “Saint Lucia wants the world to know that we do support this decision and we have been preparing ourselves to ensure that anyone leaving the country can be facilitated with the PCR Test, in a timely manner to ensure that passengers meet these new standards to travel. This adoption of pre-testing for travel internationally confirms that Saint Lucia has always had the right idea of how to move forward; especially as we knew how important Tourism was to our economy, we had to start somewhere.”
Shortly after the opening of borders in June 2020, the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia was featured on several international news networks and newspapers some of which included CNBC, BBC and The New York Times where he advocated for airlines and countries to implement pre-testing to help boost consumer confidence in travel and tourism.
In the BBC interview on September 7 th 2020 the Prime Minister said: “If we are to see a return to travel globally, we need to do what happened after 9/11. Imagine if after 9/11 we did not have the security protocols in place, I don’t think it would have recovered that quickly. Economically, there’s a significant benefit for all countries if we can bring people’s confidence back in travelling.”
To date, Saint Lucia has been able to successfully reopen the Tourism sector, with thousands returning to work and many offshoot businesses operating once again.