Dominica: Official COVID-19 Tourism Update
Dominica continues to ease COVID-19 related restrictions 46 days after the last confirmed case. The announcement was made by Minister of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment, Dr. Irving McIntyre in a statement on May 23, 2020. The Minister stated that while restrictions are being lifted to cater to the mental and physical well-being of the population, it does not imply that Dominica is COVID free. Dr. McIntyre urged Dominicans to continue wearing face masks and practice physical distancing measures. He also noted that testing is ongoing for frontline workers and persons wo meet the case definition for the virus. Community testing is also in progress to determine immunity levels to the virus and to identify undetected cases.
The Technical Health Team of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and New Health Investment has recommended further easing of restrictions as follows effective May 25, 2020:
- Curfew hours will be 8 pm to 5 am Mondays to Fridays and from 6 pm to 5 am on Saturdays and Sundays
- Businesses can remain open up to 6 pm Mondays to Fridays and up to 3 pm on Saturdays
- Public transportation buses will be allowed to transport 3 passengers per row.
Recommendations for the reopening of churches, dine in restaurants and gyms have been made and will be finalized pending further discussions with the relevant stakeholders. This is to develop guidelines and protocols for possible reopening by next weekend. Discussions are also ongoing with the Ministry of Education regarding students. In light of ease in restrictions, the Minister stated, “All of these being done with extreme caution to avoid sacrificing our present health status and gains that we have made so far.”
A national plan is being developed for the reopening of borders even while regional discussions are ongoing. Dominican nationals, namely cruise line crew members and students have been allowed to return home however they must go through a mandatory 14 day quarantine at the government run facility followed by a further 14 day home quarantine, monitored by community health teams. The Minister reiterated that his Ministry would take all necessary action to limit the risk of imported cases of the virus with the returning of nationals and the eventual reopening of the country’s borders.