BASSETERRE (6th November, 2020): Local media and tourism stakeholders were given the opportunity to tour the RLB International Airport, to view the extensive renovations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for airport employees, travelers and the community on a whole.
Minister of Tourism, Transport and Ports The Hon. Lindsay F.P. Grant noted that throughout the airport, the following safety measures are in place such as, but not limited to:
- Enforcement of the wearing of mask
- Hand sanitization stations
- Distancing markers on floors
- Seating to enforce the 3ft physical distancing of passengers
- Directional signs to guide passenger movement.
“As a Government, we have done our best to prepare for the reopening of our borders safely. We are happy to welcome our visitors to our twin-island paradise, and our citizens and residents back home. It is now up to all of us to comply to ensure a successful outcome,” Minister Grant said.
On Saturday October 31st 2020, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis officially reopened its borders to commercial flights, the first of which is American Airlines, scheduled to arrive this Saturday November 7, 2020, with 126 passengers.
The St. Christopher Air & Sea Ports Authority (SCASPA) has been working diligently at the RLB International Airport, to ensure the safe processing of travelers through the airport for arrival, departure and in transit during the pandemic.
The Airport upgrade include:
- The resurfacing of the Alpha taxiway, the longest taxiway, used primarily by the larger airlines.
- The connection of the two taxiways.
- Plexiglass for all check in counters in the Check-in Hall for Departures.
Journalists were given the opportunity to follow a SCASPA employee, who acted as a passenger with carry-on luggage, through the departure and arrival process.
Arrival upgrades include:
- Construction of a Welcome Center and an Isolation Center.
- Conversion of the Arrivals VIP Lounge into a Medical Screening Unit.
- Upgrade of the Customs Baggage Hall.
- Converting the VIP parking lot, to accommodate taxi vehicles for dispatching from the airport.
Passengers who display COVID-19 symptoms, will be escorted to the Isolation Center, where further medical evaluation would be undertaken by the medical team, and later transported to either the COVID-19 Ward at the Joseph N. France Hospital or to a quarantine accommodation site.
Passengers are expected to manage their luggage, as Red Cap service will not be available in the interest of minimizing contact.
After exiting the Customs Baggage Hall, passengers are directed to the Taxi Dispatch Kiosks, to get their taxi. The Dispatchers will write receipts for all travelers, including the Visitors Name, Taxi Operator Name, Vehicle License Plate Number, Time out and Accommodation they are going to.