ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The Grenada government says it has had to postponed the planned reopening of the international airport to July 15, because of the heightened risks from the coronavirus (COVID-19) seen in some major source markets in recent weeks.
In a statement, the Keith Mitchell administration said that while it is cognizant of the many Grenadian nationals abroad wishing to return home; as well as others who are eager to visit the island, his administration has had to put additional safety measures in place as the pandemic has worsened in major source markets, such as the United States.
“The Government has put in place additional safety measures to ensure that we protect the health of Grenadians at home, and that we continue to successfully guard against the virus on our shores.
“In view of this, the initial July 1st date indicated for the commercial reopening of Grenada’s borders had to be postponed because of the heightened risks seen in some major source markets. We also had to secure our domestic capacity to mitigate against any increased spread of the virus, resulting from incoming passengers,” the statement said.
It said that the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has been in contact with the management of the airlines and other stakeholders, “as we plan for a smooth and secure process, when borders are eventually reopened.’
The government said that the reopening process takes into consideration the health risks possibly posed by passengers coming from different regions of the world and that countries will be categorized as Low, Medium or High-risk, for the purposes of entry requirements to Grenada
“From July 15th, the airport will accept commercial flights from countries across the Caribbean region, viewed as Low-risk. From August 1st, the airport will accept international flights, from countries listed as Medium-risk, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries in the European Union.”
The government said that only chartered flights will be accommodated from all other countries not mentioned, until further notice and that Grenadians and visitors wishing to charter a flight from any country, in the interim, must do so through a private entity.
“Government has accepted a proposal from Caribbean International Trade Inc., to manage all the logistics of this engagement, including the verification of the health and testing requirements, and quarantine accommodations,” the statement noted.
It said that Grenada’s diplomatic missions abroad will continue to provide information, document requests, and keep a database of nationals and anyone seeking to travel to Grenada, but the Missions will direct everyone to the managing agency for all coordination of chartered flights, such as bookings and requirements for entry.
“The government of Grenada continues to encourage everyone to exercise extreme vigilance in daily activities, so as to safeguard health and save lives during this pandemic,” the statement said.
Grenada has confirmed 23 cases of the virus that was first detected in China last December and linked to the deaths of 544,000 people and the infection of 11.8 million others.