By SLTA (PRESS RELEASE) -- Four months after the responsible reopening Saint Lucia\u2019s borders following a complete shutdown of the tourism industry due to COVID-19, the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA), Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) together remain strongly committed to the safety of nationals, residents and visitors. Saint Lucia has welcomed more than 16,000 visitors since the first international flight returned on July 9. As part of the islands responsible reopening plan, millions of dollars have been invested to implement and maintain safety protocols. All arriving passengers and returning nationals are subject to strictly enforced guidelines throughout their visit. As Saint Lucia joins the rest of the world in battling the pandemic, the country recorded 38 cases of Covid-19 (27 recovered, 0 deaths), as of October 21, 2020. Notwithstanding Saint Lucia continues to earn and retain its premier position as the Caribbean country with the fewest number of cases per capita. The SLTA and SLHTA applaud the Ministry of Health and Wellness, and the general public for their continued adherence to Covid-19 protocols, which has helped the island to propel its reputation internationally as one of the safest places in the world to visit at this time. The far-reaching series of Covid-19 actions that were developed in partnership between the public and private sectors, are designed to protect the health of both citizens and visitors. Protocols include a negative Covid-19 PCR test result for all arrivals; daily screening and monitoring of hotel staff and visitors; sanitization at numerous touch points throughout the travelers\u2019 journey in Saint Lucia; mandatory face-coverings and physical distancing. \u201cThe key stakeholders within the tourism industry have worked together closely since the pandemic began, developing public and private sector initiatives and dedicating significant resources to the island\u2019s Covid-19 response. Since the resumption of commercial flights on July 9, the tourism sector has been very vigilant in maintaining the protocols set by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.\u201d said Minister of Tourism, Honourable Dominic Fedee. \u201cI want to assure you of the industry\u2019s commitment to remain transparent as we continue to build confidence among international travelers and as we reinforce our strong commitment and track record of 100 percent tourism industry compliance to all Covid-19 protocols.\u201d The strict adherence to guidelines has not only helped to mitigate the spread and importation of Covid-19 it has also helped to reignite the tourism industry. As a result of the responsible approach to reopening, even more Covid-19 Certified hotels are scheduled to open in November, new activities are continuously being certified and additional sectors such as the restaurant industry are being reopened for tourism. As the destination gears up for increased arrivals with the reopening of additional accommodations and additional air service, safety protocols are critically important to protect our local citizens and keep the momentum going for the thousands of Saint Lucians who are involved in every aspect of tourism. We acknowledge the hospitality sector\u2019s adherence to these procedures as it has helped to facilitate our responsible reopening and we have every confidence that Saint Lucia will continue to offer the safest possible environment for visitors and nationals. Karolin Troubetzkoy, President of Saint Lucia Hospitality and Tourism Association, added, \u201cThe health and safety of guests, our team members and our communities remain the paramount concerns of our tourism businesses. Given the importance of our hospitality and tourism industry to the country\u2019s overall economic recovery, our professionals recognize the importance of remaining vigilant and upholding the highest possible standards at all times. Together with our public sector partners, we are entirely committed to working together closely with all stakeholders to allow for the continued success of the country\u2019s tourism reopening strategy. "