Another Caribbean destination has begun easing its travel requirements for vaccinated travelers.
Last week, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis announced a change in the country’s travel policy for travelers who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are arriving by air that includes a shortened quarantine period from 14 days to 9 days.
Today, the country announced that it will be welcoming back cruise tourism for vaccinated travelers in July with one of the world’s leading luxury lines.
Quarantine Shortened For Vaccinated Travelers Starting May 1
Before traveling to St. Kitts and Nevis, all travelers must get a travel authorization, upload an official COVID 19 PCR negative test result taken within 72 hours of travel, and complete a 14-day quarantine at an approved hotel.
Travelers must stay within their hotel for the first 7 days but are free to move about the property and partake in hotel activities. On day 8-14 travelers may take another COVID-19 PCR test and if they test negative, can take part in select tour excursions through a verified tour company. After day 14, travelers can undergo another PCR test and if negative can integrate into St. Kitts and Nevis.
Effective May 1, fully vaccinated air travelers will have this period reduced from 14 days to 9 days. If travelers test negative, they can integrate into the country, participating in tours, attractions, restaurants, beach bars, and shopping.
Vaccinated travelers still need to complete the authorization form and upload a negative PCR test within 72 hours before travel. They will also need to submit their official vaccination record card as part of their online authorization form.
St. Kitts Welcoming Back Cruise Ship Passengers in July
The ultra-luxury cruise line is scheduled to stop in St Kitts every week in late July as the islands begin its phased reopening of the sector.
“We look forward to welcoming Seabourn Odyssey to St. Kitts. The benefits of the cruise industry have been vital to the economies of St. Kitts & Nevis and we are delighted to welcome our first vessel back, as we begin our phased approach to resume cruise tourism,” said Lindsay F.P. Grant, Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports.
The 7-day itinerary also includes Antigua, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Maarten. Seabourn is relaunching operations out of Barbados in July due to the CDC’s no-sail order, which is still in effect in the United States.
This is welcome news for the tiny island nation that is dependent on cruise tourism. Before the pandemic, St Kitts and Nevis hosted one million cruise passengers for two consecutive years.
Developing the cruise sector has remained a priority for the government, which commissioned the construction of a second cruise pier that can host up to three world class vessels simultaneously, a project funded by the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme.
No cruise ship has been to St. Kitts and Nevis since March 2020. However, the tourism authority noted that this does not signal the official opening of the cruise sector. That’s projected for October 2021, when St. Kitts and Nevis is expected to achieve herd immunity.
St Kitts and Nevis has had very low Covid-19 infection rates since the pandemic began, recording only 44 cases in total with 0 deaths and no community spread. Vaccinations are currently underway, with over 11,000 people now inoculated – about 20% of the population.
All crew and passengers on cruise ships entering St. Kitt’s over the age of 18 must be vaccinated. Passengers, crew, and children under 18 must present a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of homeport embarkation.
“Safety of our nationals, residents and visitors remains a top priority for us, and we are working to ensure passengers can enjoy the exceptional and diverse attributes of the destination and can have a memorable shore experience while being confident in their safety.” said Racquel Brown, CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com