Caribbean News, Latin America News:
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. March 26, 2020: As several Caribbean countries have announced weeks of border closures to people coming in and going out of their countries airports, several major hotels across the region have announced they will be closing their doors for now.
The Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay, Jamaica announced Wednesday in a statement that it will close on a temporary basis effective March 27th – May 31, 2020.
Managing Director Kevin Hendrickson said new reservations will not be accepted during the temporary period of closure.
“It is our intention to resume operations on June 1, 2020. However, as circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on global airlift remain beyond our control, we reserve the option to adjust our plans,” he added. “We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and provide updates as warranted.”
Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada also announced it will be closed through April 30, 2020.
“It has become clear that current events relating to COVID-19 and travel restrictions are making it unviable for Spice Island Beach Resort to continue trading at this time,” Janelle Hopkin, president and managing director of the resort said in a statement. “Regretfully the Hopkin family has taken the difficult decision to close the resort through April 30, 2020 in the first instance.”
Popular all-inclusive resort chain Sandals and Beaches resorts will also close their doors to guests amid the coronavirus pandemic for a month. Management of the 15 Sandals resorts and three Beaches hotels will shut down operations from March 30 until May 15th.
Saint Lucia’s BodyHoliday and Rendezvous resorts will close their doors to guests from March 20 through May 31. Excellence Resorts has already temporarily closed Excellence Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic as of March 20th due to the new coronavirus. The property will re-open on June 5. Club Med suspended it operations at its Club Med Punta Cana and Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda resorts in the Dominican Republic from March 19 to May 1st.
Jamaican resort Half Moon has similarly announced plans to shut down from March 18th to May 1 while the Riu Negril, Riu Palace Jamaica and Riu Montego Bay are closed on March 19 through April.
The Bahamas’ Club Med Columbus Isle closed on March 21 through May 1, 2020 and Club Med Caravelle in Guadeloupe and Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek in Martinique are also temporarily closed until May 1.
The Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas, USVI advised future guests arriving through April 12 to postpone their trips.
The news comes as several countries have announced a total border shut down for 14-30 days. Among those closing their airports to inbound and outbound visitors are Guyana, Jamaica, Haiti, Curacao, Guadeloupe, the Dominican Republic, Anguilla, The US.V.I., the Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, Martinique and Trinidad and Tobago.
The British Virgin Islands announced the immediate closure of the Tortola cruise port, allowing no cruise ships to call on the territory for a 30-day period. The BVI also limited international arrivals to just three ports.
Antigua and Barbuda are not allowing in foreign nationals who have traveled to and from China, Italy, Iran, Japan, Korea and Singapore the past 28 days.
Barbados and St Kitts and Nevis have also imposed quarantines for recent travelers from most countries affected by the virus while The Bahamas has introduced expanded travel restrictions. Non-residents who have traveled to the UK, Ireland and Europe within the last 20 days will be barred from entry into the country. This is in addition to restrictions already in place for China, Iran, Italy and South Korea.
The Inter-American Development Bank has noted that a long-lived high-impact crisis on tourism-driven output could result in as much as a 75 percent reduction in visitors over the last three quarters of this year.
Economists Henry Mooney and Maria Zegarra added that the Bahamas could suffer a catastrophic 26 percent gross domestic product (GDP) cut if the worst-case coronavirus scenario comes true or a staggering $3.337 billion.
Barbados could suffer a 20 percent drop and Jamaica a 17 percent the two added.
This as the death toll from the dreaded new coronavirus reached 20 in the Caribbean region as the number of confirmed cases continues to spike.
The Dominican Republic so far has the most deaths as well as the most confirmed cases. As of last night, the island reported 10 people have now died from the virus including famed designer Jenny Polanco.
The DR now also has 392 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 80 new cases added yesterday.
The French Caribbean territory of Guadeloupe has the second most cases in the region with 73 though it has only one death to date.
Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago yesterday surpassed Martinique’s COVD-19 cases and became the country with the third highest number of coronavirus cases in the Caribbean, as it announced 6 new cases that pushed its total to 60.
Martinique’s total cases is now 57 as the island announced it has closed its international airport and is not allowing inbound flight to/from Martinique.
The total number of cases region wide as of last night was 853.
Here’s the count for other countries confirming COVID-19 cases to date:
Cuba – 57, with 9 new cases reported Tuesday while the death toll remained at 1.
Puerto Rico – 39 cases with 8 new cases reported and 2 deaths.
French Guiana – 23 with three new cases reported Tuesday.
Jamaica – 25 cases with one death.
Barbados – 18
USVI – 17
Aruba – 17
Saint Martin – 8
Suriname – 8
Haiti – 7
Dominica – 7
Cayman Islands – 6 plus 1 death
Bermuda – 6
Curacao – 6 plus one death
Guyana – 5 plus one death
Bahamas – 5
St. Barths – 3
Sint Maarten – 3
St. Lucia – 3
Antigua & Barbuda – 3
St. Vincent and the Grenadines – 1
Montserrat – 1
Grenada – 1
Belize – 1
Turks & Caicos – 1
CORONA FREE NATIONS
The only remaining coronavirus free nations in the Caribbean currently are Anguilla, St. Kitts & Nevis, Bonaire and the British Virgin Islands.