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Vaccination is key to return of cruise ships in 2021 says Tourism Minister Charles

Vaccination is key to return of cruise ships in 2021 says Tourism Minister Charles

Visitors disembarking from a cruise ship in Dominica Cruise ships could return to the country’s ports by summer 2021 Tourism Minister Denise Charles has indicated but according to her the key is vaccination.

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Director of Tourism, Colin Piper, mentioned recently that achieving herd immunity against the dreaded Covid-19 could determine future tourist arrivals to Dominica.

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Herd immunity, or community immunity, will be achieved when a large part of Dominica’s population becomes immune to the coronavirus. The Dominica government has set a target of 70% of the population being vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity.

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“The cruise ships they are ready to come back to Dominica. I have had a few meetings with them, they are looking at May/June ,” Charles said in an interview with State-Owned DBS Radio.

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She said the cruise companies  are ensuring that all their staff  and employees get vaccinated.

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She said they are still going to follow some protocols for dis-embarkation.

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“All they want to ensure is that when they bring their guest here, people can feel safe as well,” the minister stated

She stressed the importance of taxi and tour operators getting vaccinated and having their vaccination card, “so that they can feel like they are operating in a safe environment.”

Meantime, Charles said the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) “is on the cards” once the country achieves herd immunity…”Really the onus is on our citizens …”

She continued, “If we really want World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) let’s play our role and get vaccinated.”

Charles explained that being vaccinated reduces one’s ability to transmit the virus or if one contracts the virus it would become as a common flu, “So that is an advantage in itself.”

“We are still monitoring to see how things go, see if there are certain protocols we should have,” she said and revealed that in this regard, the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is planning to meet with the Ministry of Health to see whether the WCMF should be staged this year and what protocols must be put in place “to ensure that happens in a safe way.”