What’s next? In desperate attempts to mitigate COVID-19 cases in the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Tourist Board announced that effective September 1, 2021 all tourists 16 and over not medically exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine must be full vaccinated to enter the country. This has been accompanied by further rules, including requiring residents to quarantine 7 days after entry, with a negative result on the fifth day.
Of course, there has been outrage from tourists and residents due to the new rules however in economic terms it does not seem pretty for the islands.
The Turks and Caicos Chamber of Commerce released an analytical report on August 20, 2021 claiming that there may be an approximate of 52,210 fewer tourists coming in for the September-December 2021 tourism period. The analysis uses a cumulation of TCI Government projections and data from the CDC. Furthermore the analysis suggests there would be an overall economic impact is estimated to be around $96 million.
This plays into the fears of the TCI public still scarred by redundancies experienced in 2020 due to the pandemic. Meanwhile prospective visitors are lashing out at the changes, some fighting against “authoritarian travel restrictions”.
However, giving contrasting hope, in the press conference held on August 12th, recently appointed Health Minister Hon. Jamell Robinson, shared that a similar vaccine policy has been implemented in other countries like Anguilla and has had non-adverse impacts to their tourism industry.