A COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force (CCTF) has been set up to implement "readiness and response measures to prevent and contain the virus."
Task force members include representatives from theCaribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and the Global Tourism Resilience & Crisis Management Centre.
While there has been no local spread of the virus in the Caribbean, the organizations say they are concerned about the "high level of misunderstanding about the virus", which has elevated panic among travellers and resulted in misinformation.
"Tourism is the lifeblood of the Caribbean so we've come together as organizations already engaged in readiness programs to pool resources so we can ensure the people of our region, and our visitors, remain safe from this viral threat," read the task force's statement.
"Our ability to quickly contain any outbreak will be determined by how efficiently we can pool information and capacities - this agreement allows us to plan for an emergency and move our resources rapidly."
The CCTTF says it will focus on:
raising awareness and sharing accurate information;
strengthening monitoring at airports, seaports, and hotels and accommodations;
improving coordination among stakeholder organizations and locally between tourism and health officials;
sharing best practices;
training, education and capacity building;
and conducting tourism impact research.
CARPHA says the best preventative measures against coronavirus are exercising hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, social distancing (staying one meter away from persons with flu) and avoiding eating raw and undercooked meats.
Anna Kroupina Journalist
Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.