Posted on 17/03/2020
With the uncertainty felt among many travelers over the effects of the Coronavirus outbreak, we are hoping this letter will help alleviate immediate concerns.
We encourage travelers to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously, but if you are uncertain about travelling on a trip already booked or booking a future trip there are a handful of facts we’d like to point out.
When there’s a world crisis, travel is usually the first industry to be impacted – and usually also the first to be responsive, and the most important thing is that calm prevails.
The safety, security and peace of mind of our passengers has always been our priority, so is their holiday enjoyment. That’s why we operate in strict accordance with advice issued by the FCO and closely monitor all updates in relation to our destinations.
The Caribbean region is known for its natural disasters/hurricanes, and with almost 40 years in business, we have dealt with a number of global outbreaks affecting travel patterns in the past and are experienced in working through these.
In other words, we know what to do because we’ve been there before, not to minimize the seriousness of the coronavirus, but to emphasise the fact that, while each situation is different, the one thing that hasn’t changed is that your travel agent will always be the best resource of knowledge and help at any point prior or during travel, by providing the service, support and information to passengers at all times.
As your travel agents, we also have a duty of care, assuring that we will only send you on your holiday if we know it is safe to do so; we use the FCO to determine what is safe.
In circumstances such as these, the travel industry unites and we, as your travel agent, work together with all our partners with whom we have built strong relationships over the past 39 years: airlines, tourism boards, local authority bodies, hoteliers and ground suppliers allowing us to re-assure our passengers stay safe and well informed.
As the situation remains dynamic, we believe the key to overcome any doubts or concerns you might have regarding travelling to the Caribbean is to keep you informed by providing accurate, timely updates from reputable, official resources and thereby allowing you to make informed decisions that will allow you to feel you’re in good hands and look forward to your holiday.
We all look forward to going on our hard-earned holiday and should enjoy it as long as it is safe to do so. That’s why we will continue with our job to provide a memorable experience for all our passengers.
What we know so far
According to the lastest updates, the FCO deems the Caribbean region as safe in relation to the Coronavirus, hence there is no need to alter your travel arrengments.
To keep it safe there are restrictions on passengers who have visited highly infected areas, for more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or ask your agent.
**As a general rule, recommendations are to follow the normal precautions you would apply for any travel; avoid contact with sick people, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20-seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60% – 95% alcohol and where possible keep a social distance from other people.
Should your travel arrangements be affected, be assured that we will contact you as soon as we have all the relevant information and discuss your options, however we always advise our clients to take out travel insurance.
Message from the director
We are experiencing a challenging period of crisis and disruption which is affecting everybody.
Governments are taking unprecedented action to control the spread of the COVID19 virus in their respective territories, this will have significant impact on travellers as the restrictions they put in place get more and more sever.
Jamaica is not allowing any but residents to enter the country, St Lucia and several other states have done the same.
Until now, flights have been going and coming, but those will stop!
Trinidad is effectively closing its boarder as is St Lucia, from this evening it seems only citizens or residents (we are not even sure of this) will be allowed in. We are being told the last flight leaving Port of Spain and St Lucia will be tonight, we have checked, there are no seats left to book.
We imagine the rest of the Caribbean will follow as the virus is spreading rapidly. This situation is fast changing, what we knew this morning changes by the hour, which only leads me to believe that, before it all gets better, we should expect it to get worse.
We have been experiencing huge difficulties getting through to any official channels on the phones, we are not getting replies to our emails, so good information is hard to come by and without this, we have no way of planning any course of action.
If you are due to return to the UK within the next few weeks, your travel arrangements will most likely change, people are going to be put in difficult circumstances, and for a little while, little or nothing can be done about that.
But I believe it is our duty of care to inform you about what will happen next, as it gives you the chance to prepare for the possibility that, if and when flights stop, you are going to be stuck where you are until flights resume again. Currently, we don’t know when that will be, as it’s unclear which airlines will survive this operational halt. This is the most severe problem to beset the travel industry in all of my 38-year career, it’s a global crisis and it is affecting every other sector in one way or another.
Whilst our trade partners choose not to answer their phones and not respond to emails we have decided to stay committed to our clients and remain available on the phones and via emails.
For the most part I expect that we will have nothing but bad news to tell you as there is a lot of uncertainty regarding air travel, but we feel this is the proper way to behave to our long-standing clientele.
However, when the worst is over and we emerge from this fallout, it will be a different landscape, and we will be here doing our job as best as we can to make sure we get you to where you are going speedily and safely.