Ferry services return to Dominica

The Government of Dominica has announced the resumption of ferry services to Dominica, effective November 15, 2021.

“Dominica has shared a long history of transportation linkages with the French Antilles which facilitated trade, tourism and social connections. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic and closure of the French borders, ferry services had been halted since March 2020,” Shekira Lockhart,  Parliamentary Secretary in the ministry responsible for international transport, said in a statement today. “Nevertheless, we have been working closely with agents and the Ministry of Health to establish protocols for the restart of ferry service.”

According to Lockhart, the tourism industry stands to benefit from this move as the French West Indies in particular, make up a significant percentage of stay over visitors.

“Therefore, we look forward to welcoming many more visitors back to Dominica,” she stated.

The approved protocols are the same as travelling to Dominica by air.

“In summary, travellers will require a Negative PCR test taken up to 72 hours prior to arrival, a Health notification of approval to travel to Dominica, upon completion of the health screening questionnaire, and vaccination certificate (if applicable),” Lockhart explained.

Upon arrival, vaccinated travellers will undergo an Antigen test and if negative, will be medically cleared. Non vaccinated travellers will also undergo an Antigen test, followed by five to seven days of mandatory quarantine.

The Ferry services will resume on a phased basis. In this first phase, only 50 persons will be allowed to disembark in Dominica per trip.

“We all have a critical role to play in ensuring that we can return to a state of normalcy by adhering to health protocols and helping our country to reach herd immunity,” the parliamentary secretary, who also has responsibility for maritime initiatives, stated  .

She thanked the ferry agents for their patience, during “this challenging period” and called for all parties to continue to work together in order to avoid any interruptions in service.

Meanwhile, inter-island ferry, L’Express des Iles, has announced that its service to Dominica and three other neighbouring Caribbean islands will resume from November 27, 2021.

In making the announcement, Michelle Joseph, Marketing Manager at HHV Whitchurch and Company Ltd (general agents for L’Express des Iles) expressed similar sentiments as Parl Sec Lockhart regarding the anticipated impact that visitors coming via ferry to Dominica will have on the country’s economy.

Joseph said that with the resumption of service, Dominicans will once again have ferry access to Guadeloupe, Martinique and St. Lucia.

“While capacity is reduced, we must ensure that all travellers adhere to protocol measures in place and to assist each other in curbing the spread of the virus while enjoying the service,” she stated. “HHV Whitchurch and company limited and L’Express des Iles would like to express sincere gratitude for the patience of our valued customers this past year, as this pandemic has not been an easy one to work around especially with the movement of persons. We also would like to thank the Ministry of Health and tourism and all those who have made this return possible.”

Ticket sales begin on Tuesday 16th November 2021 at Whitchurch main office, and Network Trading inc in Pottersville.


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