Tourism Task Force: Be careful while celebrating

Miami – The Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force is urging Caribbean people to continue to protect themselves and the health and lives of those around them by practicing sound health safety measures, while celebrating the spirit of the season.

The Task Force said that while it commended the overwhelming majority of Caribbean visitors and residents for their role in contributing to the region’s successful efforts to date to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is cautioning that “the coming weeks will be critical to the region’s ability to control the virus’ spread and its highly contagious variants which are spiking around the world.

“COVID-19 and the newest variant, Omicron, can easily spread at large indoor gatherings and wherever people come in close contact when they are not protected. Face coverings, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings, particularly with unprotected individuals, should guide behaviours during the festive season,” the Task Force said.

It said that while those who are fully vaccinated have far greater protection against severe illness and death than those who are unvaccinated, the public is reminded that everyone, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, can still catch and transmit the virus and should diligently adhere to health safety measures.

“As we celebrate and reflect upon the meaning of the season, we must continue to be mindful that life is one of our most precious gifts and this holiday season in particular affords visitors and residents the opportunity to share that gift,” said the Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force.

The task force was formed in March last year to coordinate efforts aimed at protecting tourism-related employees and visitors from COVID-19 and, by extension, helping to protect all residents.

Member organisations include the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States. (CMC)

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