Ministry of Health reports on breach in Travel Protocols
On Wednesday 22nd July 2020, which marked the reopening of the TCI’s International and Regional Borders, the Ministry of Health staff responsible for Port Health and Surveillance at the Providenciales International Airport, through its rigorous screening process, identified two travelers with inadequate health documentation who were flagged for additional review.
These individuals were interviewed and swabbed as per Health Protocols before leaving the airport and the National Public Health Laboratory subsequently identified that one of the persons tested positive for COVID-19.
An investigation is ongoing into how this breach occurred to prevent further occurrences. The Public Health Team has commenced contact tracing. Persons on flight AA1279 on July 22, 2020 are advised to self-monitor for symptoms or signs of COVID-19 for the next 14 days and to contact the Health Hotlines on (649) 232 9444 or (649) 333 0911 for further advice and guidance.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Edwin Astwood, added that he is pleased that the system in place works in identifying breaches in the testing requirements. He is also pleased and proud with the success of his staff within the Ministry of Health having the ability to ensure that the individuals were swabbed and tested within a short period of time.
The general and traveling public are reminded that The Turks And Caicos Islands Public And Environmental Health (Control Measures)(Covid-19)(Arriving Passengers Health Clearance) Regulations 2020 came into force on 22 July 2020 and stipulates the requirements for travelers wishing to enter the TCI. These regulations are designed to safeguard both residents and travelers by mitigating the risk of the importation of COVID-19 into the TCI through a number of measures inclusive of the requirement for a negative pre-arrival PCR COVID-19 tests taken no more than 5 days prior to departure to TCI.
Information required for travel should be uploaded to the travel portal 72 hours prior to travel and includes but is not limited to;
- Contact information, including name, address, date of birth, nationality;
- Passport number;
- Type of transport;
- Flight information, including date of travel, date of departure, airline, flight number;
- Intended address(es) throughout their stay in the Islands;
- Details of travel within the fourteen days before arrival in the Islands;
- Declaration of health, including disclosure of symptoms, previous COVID-19 positive test results and close contact with known infected individuals;
- Upload approved documentary evidence of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR COVID-19) test from an accredited laboratory, as provided in regulation 5 undertaken no more than five days prior to travel to the Islands; and
- Upload proof of health or travel insurance cover, as provided in regulation 6; and
- Obtain a TCI Assured Travel Authorisation
- Every person arriving in the Islands shall produce a copy of his TCI Assured Travel Authorisation (printed or electronic) and the original copy of the negative PCR COVID-19 test result to an immigration officer and a health officer at the port of entry
- Every person arriving in the Islands shall complete and submit to a health officer at the port of entry, a health screening questionnaire for COVID-19.
- A visitor who fails to produce a TCI Assured Travel Authorisation may be refused leave to enter the Islands by an immigration
- A visitor or resident who fails to produce the TCI Assured Travel Authorisation as required under subregulation (2), shall be subject to a fine of $3,000 by the Director of Immigration.
- The fine under subregulation (5) shall be payable to the Government.
Persons are reminded to comply with the requirements or be subject to the penalties as outlined above.
For additional information, please visit the Tourist Boards website at https://travelauthorisation.turksandcaicostourism.com/public/.