Curaçao nears herd immunity says tourist board

by Sep 14, 2021Pulse

With a large number of its population now vaccinated against COVID-19, Curaçao is one of the safest Caribbean Islands to travel for vacation, says Managing Director and CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board, Paul Pennicook.

“It is very safe to come to Curaçao and this is why: we have gotten to a pretty good place in terms of our vaccination. Seventy per cent of people over [the age of] 16 are fully vaccinated and we continue with our vaccination [efforts]. So, we are in the territory of herd immunity, and I suspect that our success in vaccination has assisted the process where we are having [very] little transmission these days,” he said.

Pennicook, who was speaking at a Caribbean Tourism Organization virtual media briefing, noted that the island’s current COVID-19 entry requirement is playing an integral role in keeping the destination safe for both visitors and residents.

“In regard to the entry requirements, prior to flight, everyone has to fill out a digital immigration card and what we call the Passenger Locator Card (PLC). They also [must] upload a negative [COVID-19] test result which must be taken maximum 48 hours before flight time, and depending on where you are coming from, it can be antigen or PCR,” said Pennicook.

Countries are categorised by low-, high- and very-high-risk and this determines which test is required.

“If you are coming from a very high-risk country, then you [must] take a PCR test before you come in and everyone who comes in has to take an antigen test 72 hours after arrival,” he said.

“The only difference with a low-risk country is that you can take an antigen test before coming in. So, you can tell, therefore, by that sort of entry requirement policy, that we are controlling the spread of the virus and we are making sure that everyone locally, as well as the visitors, is protected,” Pennicook added.

He pointed out that these requirements apply to Curaçao residents as well vaccinated individuals. The type of test requited for a fully vaccinated resident is based on the risk factor of the country from which they are coming.

“At the moment, we do not differentiate between vaccinated versus unvaccinated. Vaccinated or not, the entry requirement is the same for Curaçao and that seems to be working quite fine,” said Pennicook.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of September 10, 2021, some 184,073 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Curaçao. The Caribbean destination has a population of 164,906.

To find out more about Curaçao’s travel requirements and the countries they deem a travel risk, visit here.


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