by Linda Straker
- Grenada resumed international flights on 1 October
- UK scheduled to go into lockdown for 1 month as of 5 November
- Grenada Tourism Authority yet to hear how UK lockdown will impact scheduled flights to Grenada
Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste said that the upcoming 4-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 1 October 2020.
Grenada went into lockdown in late March as part of measures aimed at controlling and containing the spread of Covid-19 after confirming its first case — a woman travelling from the UK. 5 other people were linked to the first case.
“It is going to affect us. One month without flights is going to seriously impact us,” Modeste said during the post-cabinet weekly news conference on Tuesday, 3 November. The UK is scheduled to go into lockdown for 1 month as of 5 November 2020.
Patricia Maher, Chief Executive Officer of the Grenada Tourism Authority, also shared tourism information at the press conference and said 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.”
Since resuming the international commercial passengers’ traffic, the Tourism Minister said that a little more than 2,000 passengers have arrived at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA). The data for October arrivals was not readily available, but she felt that most persons were returning nationals.
Because of Covid-19, there is now a new health entry protocol, which among other things, mandates having a negative PCR test to board flights. After arrival, each passenger undergoes an on-island PCR test while they wait for the result in a quarantine facility.
Health officials have confirmed that 4 arriving passengers were tested positive along with 1 local who had direct contact with one of the arriving PCR-positive individuals. These 5 cases have increased Grenada’s laboratory confirmed Covid-19 cases to 29.
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