Author: Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board | Date: 21 March 2020
The Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board continue to work along with the Ministry of Health as we prepare for the possibility of coronavirus (COVID-19) reaching the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Turks and Caicos Islands as of today 20th March 2020 reported zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 virus.
The safety and security of the travelling population is our major concern. We would like to advise visitors and travel industry partners of the recent changes in regulations that will affect travel to the destination. Please take note of the following: The Emergency Powers (COVID-19) Regulations 2020 which will come into operation on 24th March 2020.
Closure of Airports and Sea Ports
(1) For the purposes of preventing, controlling and suppressing the spread of the virus—
(a) all airports shall be closed to regional and international flights;
(b) all sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring; and
(c) no visitor shall be permitted to enter or transit through the Turks and Caicos Islands,
for a period of twenty-one days, commencing on the date these Regulations come into force or until such date as the Governor may be notice specify.
(2) The restriction contained in subregulation (1) does not apply to—
(a) outgoing flights or outgoing ships, as the case may be;
(b) cargo flights or cargo ships, as the case may be;
(c) courier flights;
(d) medevac flights;
(e) technical stops (stops by aircraft to refuel and proceed onward to another destination);
(f) emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Airports Authority; or
(g) a Turks and Caicos Islander or resident returning to the Islands.
(3) A Turks and Caicos Islander or resident who, at the date of commencement of these Regulations, had travelled to the Islands from a place outside the Islands, shall be—
(a) subjected to screening and passenger tracing at port of entry;
(b) subjected to clinical examination at port of entry;
(c) for the purposes of surveillance by the Chief Medical officer, required to remain at home or such other place of quarantine as specified by the Chief Medical officer and subject to such conditions as are provided by the Chief Medical Officer, for a period of fourteen days.
4. (1) For the purposes of these Regulations, the screening and clinical examination requirements, in relation to a person are requirements to the effect that a person shall—
(a) answer questions about his health or other relevant circumstances (including travel history and information about other individuals with whom he may have had contact);
(b) produce any documents which may assist a medical officer in assessing his health;
(c) at such time as a medical officer may specify, allow a medical officer, to take a biological sample the person, including a sample of his respiratory secretions or blood, by appropriate means including by swabbing his nasopharyngeal cavity, or provide such a sample; and
(d) provide sufficient information to enable the person to be contacted immediately by a medical officer during such period as a medical officer may specify, where the medical officer considers that such provision of information is necessary in order to reduce or remove the risk of the person infecting or contaminating others.
For full details and guidance on the Emergency Powers Regulation COVID-19 20th March 2020 please go to: https://www.gov.tc/moh/
Please be reminded that: As of March 17th the list of ‘infected countries’ in Regulation 2 of the Public and Environmental Health (Control Measures)(COVID-19) Regulations 2020 has been amended to include the following additional countries which are experiencing sustained in country transmission and may pose a risk to the public health of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
This list is based on the CDCs travel advisories which lists the following countries as having widespread ongoing transmission (level 3 warning). The expansion includes the following countries;
c. Czech Republic
ab. San Marino
ac. Vatican City
In addition to the above screening protocols, travellers coming from such states will be asked to monitor themselves for symptoms over the subsequent 14 days and if they develop symptoms, then immediately call the Ministry of Heath’s Coronavirus hotline: (649) 333-0911 and (649) 232-9444.
The government continues to monitor this fluid situation and will update the general public regularly. For additional information, please visit our website www.gov.tc/moh/coronavirus, or email COVID19@gov.tc.