The Ministry of Health and Human Services is encouraging the general public to remain vigilant and utilize the COVID-19 Protocols throughout the 2021 Summer Holiday period.
It says that despite the pandemic, residents are likely to travel for the summer holidays and should take the necessary precautions in order to keep safe amidst the ongoing public health challenges caused by COVID-19 globally.
The ministry discloses that the TCI COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has given great protection to the local community, evidenced by the relatively low number of cases over the past few months.
It pointed out that due to the emergence of COVID-19 variants, several countries have experienced outbreaks despite ongoing vaccination campaigns and some countries are having a slower pace of vaccine rollouts.
“The Ministry of Health and Human Services encourages all unvaccinated residents to strongly consider taking the COVID-19 vaccine and to register on the vaccination portal,” it urges through a news release.
It added that vaccination offers a superb layer of protection not only from contracting/getting the virus, but also reduces transmissibility/spread and has proven to reduce the severity of the disease.
“As restrictions are relaxed and international travel is anticipated to increase to/from the TCI, persons are reminded to take any and all possible precautions, including vaccination as additional layers of protection, not only for themselves but also the wider community,” the ministry further urged.
In imploring vigilance, the Ministry of Health is advising those traveling this summer exercise the highest level of protection by adhering to the guidelines which you have been advised to practice when at home including:
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet between persons
Wear face coverings in public settings (covering both your nose and mouth)
Avoid mass gatherings or crowds
Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or use disposable tissues
Comply with public health measures
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 which include; cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, diarrhoea, loss of sense of taste or smell-please get tested
The Ministry of Health is also advising the general public not to visit health care facilities if you have symptoms or signs of COVID-19, but to follow the guidance in the country you are visiting unless your symptoms are severe.
It further advises that once you are under quarantine by the Public Health Team, to remain at home and comply with the guidance provided to you and complete quarantine prior to returning to the TCI.
It said that travelers should be reminded to apply through the TCI Assured Travel Portal in order to return to the TCI - (turksandcaicostourism.com).
The Ministry of Health is reminding the general public that only returning residents who have been fully vaccinated in the TCI (more than two weeks after the second dose) will be waived from the requirement to have pre-arrival PCR tests to re-enter the country.
It is asking that persons stay informed with the latest information from the Ministry of Health by visiting its website on https://www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus/.
For persons who have been fully vaccinated in the TCI who plan to travel, the ministry is asking they apply early for your e-certificates to email@example.com
It is also asking that persons consult with their healthcare provider regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and register online.