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Montserrat Taxi and Tour Operators Asked to Establish New Protocols

Local taxi and tour operators have been requested to submit a health and safety plan for how they will continue operations once the island reopens to accept visitors.

The Government of Montserrat has been participating in regional discussions with tourism officials on a phased reopening of the tourism sector within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Premier Joseph Farrell, who has responsibility for tourism said in his weekly COVID-19 update that “leaders across the region are very cautious about this and so it is essential that as a region we take a unified approach when our borders are open.”

Tourism ministers and stakeholders in the sector have been discussing a draft protocol for reopening and welcoming air travel. Member states are expected to set their own timeline for reopening their borders to air travel once the protocols have been agreed.

Similarly, the tourism minister said a protocol for the cruise industry must also be developed and linked to the services which are provided to them once they arrive on island. The tour operators are to make recommendations on how this can be accomplished, keeping in mind social distancing and safety for all.

“It is clear that Tour and Taxi operators will have to modify their seating arrangements, and will have to implement other protocols to ensure persons are not at an increased risk of exposure when utilizing their services,” the premier stated.

The Ministry of Health will continue to vigorously monitor the situation for any presence of or likely resurgence of the virus, and will provide further guidance on ways to reduce possible exposure, he added.