Grenada’s borders could open in June if Government is satisfied with protocols recommended by stakeholders.
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and National Security, Dr Keith Mitchell, made the announcement on Sunday, May 10, 2020, in a national address.
Grenada’s borders were closed in March as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID- 19, which was introduced to the country by an infected traveller on March 16. Dr Mitchell said the reopening of borders was a topic of discussion at recent meetings of Caribbean leaders at both the OECS and CARICOM levels and a regional approach is being considered. He said, “We collectively agreed to start gradually relaxing the restrictions for travel, as the pandemic in the region has been largely contained. Governments, airlines and hotels are now finalising the details of this phased re-opening. Assuming that the requisite protocols are in place, we expect to open our borders in the first week of June.” Dr Mitchell assured Grenadians that the health and safety of citizens remain a primary concern. He said, “borders were closed to prevent the spread of the virus and to save lives, and for now, we must maintain that status quo…I assure you, fellow Grenadians, we will not move unless we are satisfied that adequate health and safety guidelines are in place.” At the Tenth Special Emergency Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government last week, a sub-committee was established to engage stakeholders in the tourism industry to agree on appropriate protocols that will ensure the safety of workers and visitors alike, once borders are re-opened. These protocols will be informed by a regional public health policy, which the heads have agreed, is necessary to guide the criteria for reopening. The health policy is being drafted and will be submitted to CARICOM Heads of Government for final approval.
As plans continue for the reopening of borders, Government says it is open to receiving Grenadians stranded on cruise ships and in other countries, as long as they have the means to find their way home and considering the country’s limited capacity to provide mandatory quarantine facilities. Last weekend, more than 40 Grenadians, who served as crew members aboard cruise lines were repatriated. The returning nationals were all screened and transported to mandatory quarantine.
In his national address, Prime Minister Mitchell confirmed that Government is singlehandedly bearing the cost of this two-week quarantine, which includes the testing of persons to determine whether or not they are infected with COVID-19.