UK lockdown will hit Grenada’s tourism
ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste says that the announced four-week lockdown in the United Kingdom will have a negative effect on the island’s tourism industry which began the rebound phase following the resumption of international flights on October 1.
Grenada went into lockdown in late March as part of measures aimed at controlling and containing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after confirming its first case of the virus that killed more than one million people and infected 47.4 million others globally since the first case was detected in China last December.
“It is going to affect us, one month without flight is going to seriously impact us,” Modeste said during the post-cabinet weekly news conference on Tuesday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the lockdown will begin on Thursday.
Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority, Patricia Maher, who also attended the news conference, told reporters that the Authority is yet to hear how the UK lockdown will impact the scheduled flights to Grenada.
“We were very happy to resume the services with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways coming in twice per week as of the end of October. The UK market is our second largest international source market, so it’s a very critical market for us as well as the connectivity to Europe via London,” she said.
Modeste said that during discussions with the airlines offering the UK service, it was disclosed that the load factor for both airlines was acceptable for the service to continue.
“The numbers were looking very encouraging because as you know they will not be flights if the numbers aren’t very good,” she added.
Since resuming the international commercial passengers’ traffic, the Tourism Minister said that more than 2000 passengers arrived at the Maurice Bishop International Airport. The data for October arrivals was not readily available but she felt that most persons were returning nationals.
Because of COVID-19 regulations, there is now a new health entry protocol which among other things mandates having a negative PCR test to board flights. On arrival, each passenger undergoes an on-island PCR test while they wait for the result in a quarantine facility. (CMC)