Travelers to the Turks and Caicos Islands as of April 1, will no longer required to be vaccinated to gain entry, as the government, on Friday, has announced the elimination of its COVID-19 Vaccine mandate.
Minister of Health and Human Services Hon. Shaun Malcolm made the declaration during an address on Friday. He said the measure was taken at a cabinet meeting on March 22.
“Effective 1st of April, 2023, all visitors travelling to the Turks and Caicos Islands will not be required to show proof of COVID-19 Vaccine,” Minister Malcolm said.
As such, tourists and other travelers to the TCI would no longer need to prove to the local government, through its COVID-19 portal, that they have taken the jab.
Malcolm declared that during the pandemic the government was forced to take harsh stiff measures to ensure the protection of the public. Those measures included the imposition of curfews, restrictions on social gatherings and border closures.
“The Turks and Caicos Islands, I believe, did exceptionally well,” Malcolm continued, adding that the country received numerous support from the UK Government, assistance from CARPHA and PAHO, and also the Cuban Brigade, to boast staffing at the country’s hospitals.
“At a time when the world felt that the COVID-19 Pandemic would dominate the very existence of the human race, the world saw the introduction of the COVID-19 Vaccine. Fortunately, for the Turks and Caicos Islands, through the assistance of HE The Governor (Nigel Dakin), and the UK Government, the Turks and Caicos Islands was one of the first islands in the Caribbean region to receive vaccines,” the health minister continued.
He continued: “With the introduction of the vaccine, this meant additional changes to the existing regulation, and as such, the arriving passenger regulations,” he said, adding that further measures were taken to enhance the regulation, such as all visitors entering the TCI must be fully vaccinated with one of the approved vaccines published by the WHO.
HE noted that while the WHO did not declassify COVID-19 from a pandemic status, like many other countries, the TCI has not been severely impacted.
In the meantime, Minister Malcolm declared that although at the time of the news conference, there were three active COVID-19 cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands, does not mean that the country should let it’s guard down, since the disease still remains a threat.