Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Saint Lucia permits full business operations to resume as of May 20; 2100-0500 curfew and airport closures continue.

This alert affects Saint Lucia

This alert began 20 May 2020 13:55 GMT and is scheduled to expire 05 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinitely
  • Impact: Significant transport disruptions, lingering business disruptions

Summary
The government of Saint Lucia has relaxed restrictions on all business operations as of May 20. The restrictions were previously enforced to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Businesses may resume full operations during regular business hours without prior approval for recommencement; however, all establishments and facilities must comply with physical distancing, infection prevention, and occupational health and safety measures. Certain existing restrictive measures will remain in place, including the closure of educational institutions and mass entertainment centers, such as cinemas. All social events and mass crowd events remain banned. A 2100-0500 curfew will also remain in effect until further notice.

Saint Lucia's airports were previously closed to all incoming commercial and private passenger flights and its seaports to all non-cargo sailing vessels. However, the government announced plans to reopen Saint Lucia's tourism sector from June 4. The first phase includes the reopening of Hewanorra International Airport (UVF) to international passenger flights from the US only. Travelers will be required to present certified proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of boarding their flight. Additional protocols must be adhered to upon arrivals. The second phase will commence in August, though the details have not been specified. All restrictions are subject to amendment at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The restrictions adopted by the government correspond with similar actions taken by governments globally in response to the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. Saint Lucia's decision to reopen the economy follows reports that as of May 18, all 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 had fully recovered. Should the number of COVID-19 cases increase, restrictions may be reapplied. Conversely, a continued low number of cases may result in a further relaxation of restrictions.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by national health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments. Plan for queues and delays at available shopping centers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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