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“This disease is a fast moving and fast pace disease. So it is critical for us to be concerned about it, to take all the necessary measures and precautions that we can and of course be very vigilant about this disease,” said Minister Grant.

The tourism minister stated that the basic guidelines developed during the CARICOM Heads of Government meeting on March 01, 2020, were developed to mitigate the impacts on tourism, which in turn can affect the GDP.

Minister Grant stated that the meeting included all the major players of the cruise lines “because they understand that the Caribbean is their number one source market.”

“So, they have to protect the Caribbean and also we have to protect ourselves, but they understand that as part of their own development and economic development that they have to protect the region,” he said.

The tourism minister stated that the meeting was important so that all members could be on the same page.

“I believe yesterday’s meeting was critical in the sense we are now in, I would say, a better level playing field. So, if St. Kitts takes a decision to turn away a ship, I hope that the minimum standards that we have developed, likewise Jamaica, would have done it,” he said.

“You would have heard people in St. Kitts and Nevis saying how can we allow a ship to come to St. Kitts when let’s say Saint Lucia turned it away. I think that will be minimized now because we will be all on the same playing field except that at the end of the day we can take a different decision although we have the same minimum standards we can take a different decision because we are a sovereign nation and the health, wellbeing and safety of our nationals come first,” said Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant.

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