Caribbean Economic Survival Tied To Balancing Health Safety And Responsible Tourism

For Immediate Release
Source: Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA)
Greta Andzenge, Marketplace Excellence +1 201
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) weighs in on U.S. travel requirements
MIAMI (February 2, 2024) – Despite having one of the world’s lowest rates of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the Caribbean’s economic survival is in serious jeopardy as tourism-dependent economies struggle with the consequences of the pandemic and travel restrictions being imposed and considered by its most popular countries of origin for travel.
The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) welcomed the new United States administration’s balanced international travel measures which call for returning travelers and those entering the United States to show proof of receiving a negative antigen or PCR test while not mandating quarantines but recommending self-isolation upon returning.

The organization, whose membership includes 33 of the region’s national hotel and tourism associations, expressed its appreciation and concerns in a letter to President Joseph Biden and U.S. government officials last week in response to the Administration’s call for input on international travel protocols as part of an Executive Order on the matter.
In throwing its support behind requiring travelers entering the U.S. to show proof of a negative antigen test within 72 hours of travel, CHTA cautioned against the imposition of mandatory PCR tests for travelers returning to or entering the U.S. from the Caribbean highlighting the stringent virus containment measures already in place within the region and the region’s challenges in administering a much larger number of PCR tests. The organization stated that should this become a new requirement, it would severely strain the current testing capacity of many Caribbean jurisdictions citing the availability, costs, and processing time as essentially rendering much of the region unable to meet local and U.S. traveler testing demand.
In recent weeks, the region has moved aggressively to increase its capacity to administer PCR and antigen tests as it aims to meet local demand and adhere to new testing requirements for travelers and returning residents to its key source markets. This stepped-up effort followed earlier announcements last month by Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union which imposed worldwide measures which essentially stopped all international travel to and from those areas.

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