With the holiday season upon us, Caribbean visitors and residents are reminded to continue to protect themselves and the health and lives of those around them by practicing sound health safety measures, while celebrating the spirit of the season.
The Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force commended the overwhelming majority of Caribbean visitors and residents for their role in contributing to the region’s successful efforts to date to contain the spread of COVID-19 but cautioned that the coming weeks will be critical to the region’s ability to control the virus’ spread and its highly contagious variants which are spiking around the world.
COVID-19 and the newest variant, omicron, can easily spread at large indoor gatherings and wherever people come in close contact when they are not protected. Face coverings, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding large gatherings, particularly with unprotected individuals, should guide behaviors during the festive season, according to the Task Force.
While those who are fully vaccinated have far greater protection against severe illness and death than those who are unvaccinated, the public is reminded that everyone, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, can still catch and transmit the virus and should diligently adhere to health safety measures.
The Task Force reminded that the pandemic has forced residents to adapt and adjust the ways they gather and socialize, advising that the holiday season might be the biggest challenge yet. By remaining mindful of the highly infectious nature of coronavirus, residents are advised that they can still enjoy the holidays while protecting themselves and those they love.
“As we celebrate and reflect upon the meaning of the season, we must continue to be mindful that life is one of our most precious gifts and this holiday season in particular affords visitors and residents the opportunity to share that gift,” the statement read.
The Caribbean Tourism COVID-19 Task Force was formed in March 2020 to coordinate efforts aimed at protecting tourism-related employees and visitors from COVID-19 and by extension helping to protect all residents. Member organizations include the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Global Tourism Resilience and Crisis Management Centre, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.
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