Grenada has added another layer to its COVID-19 prevention measures and travellers entering the country must now show a travel certificate on arrival at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA).
Health Minister Nickolas Steele announced the new measure on Tuesday at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing.
Anyone who wants to come to Grenada is now required to register and apply through the Quarantine Management, Travel management System, a Web portal through which the entire COVID-19 control and prevention operation will be coordinated and monitored.
Beginning on December 1, 2020, all travellers to the island will be required to complete the online application in order to receive a Pure Safe Travel Authorisation Certificate for entry.
Travellers will have to provide proof of paid bookings for quarantine stay with proof of payment and evidence of a negative PCR test.
The Web Portal also allows for inbound travellers to register and request home quarantine.
The entry certificate will be issued by email and all travellers to Grenada must present it to the airline in order to check in and board flights.
“This will be absolutely necessary by December 1, but we are asking individuals to begin the process now.
“We are informing IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the airlines tomorrow (November 18) of our intention and within ten days of notification the airlines usually begin to enforce.
“From December 1, expect that you would need a printed or electronic copy of an entry certificate when coming in to Grenada.
The Minister said that NADMA, the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and over a hundred wardens and contact tracers are being utilized as part of the Covid-19 protocol.
Steele explained that the system, which is also being used by St Lucia, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands, puts all of the pieces together and everyone involved is in full communication.
“The website allows us greater management of persons coming in, persons making request for home quarantine as well as persons going to State-approved quarantine sites,” he told reporters.
Minister Steele stressed that the system is fully coordinated and also includes customs and immigration declaration fields.
If there is community spread or clusters then the system would be able to manage this as well, he said.
The portal is accessed through COVID19.gov.gd.
As of this week, Grenada had four active cases and a total of 33 confirmed cases since the pandemic hit the country in March.
The Minister of Health also made it clear that there will no longer be exceptions for quarantine upon entering Grenada and the quarantine period is now up to seven days.
“In our opinion, travel in itself right now, intraregional and international travel is extremely risky and as such individuals entering Grenada are going to be required to home quarantine for the period,” he said.
Samples for PCR testing is taken on day four and a further two days minimum for results to be available.
So far there have been several breaches of quarantine and at least two locals have been infected in the last seven weeks as a result.
In a document released in October, the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) made a set of recommendations for countries resuming non-essential travel.
Among the recommendations is that mechanisms should be in place to monitor the health status of incoming international travellers for 14 days after arrival, or until they depart the country.
Such mechanisms, PAHO said, “should ideally be based on the collection of information prior to departure, possibly online, and should make it possible to locate incoming international travellers for the duration of their stay.”