Caribbean Airlines is collaborating with The Caribbean Public Health Agency through its Regional Traveller Health Program (THP) to promote healthy, safer tourism, as the region opens to tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both CARPHA and Caribbean Airlines are committed to safe and responsible tourism to protect the health and wellbeing of both visitors and the local populations.
On April 20-21, a total of 179 employees of Caribbean Airlines underwent CARPHA’s COVID-19 Essential Health Guidelines Training for Airlines. These staff members included flight attendants, customer experience officers, crew control officers and others. All participants received certificates of participation.
The training is the first step in Caribbean Airlines acquiring the Caribbean Travellers Health Assurance Stamp for Healthier Safer Tourism (HST) award. The HST Stamp is a measurable and verifiable recognition award for tourism entities that are implementing CARPHA’s recommended proactive COVID-19 health monitoring and safety measures. The award is recognised by the region’s premier tourism agencies (CTO and CHTA) and internationally in November 2020 by the World Travel Tourism Council (WTCC). It provides travellers with the added assurance of a healthier safer option when choosing a tourism product in the Caribbean.
The COVID-19 training that Caribbean Airlines employees received was specifically designed by CARPHA for the airline industry. Caribbean Airlines is the first airline in the Caribbean region to receive this training and to enrol and initiate the process for the HST award. The airline’s participation demonstrates its commitment and leadership to ensure safe regional travel. Caribbean Airlines is working judiciously to be the first airline to be awarded the HST Stamp in the region.
Caribbean Airlines, Head of Corporate Communications, Dionne Ligoure noted, “From the onset of the pandemic, Caribbean Airlines rolled out programmes to educate and secure the health and safety of our employees and customers, including the ability for customers to access COVID-19 test via our website and adding a tool that provides up to date info on entry requirements to all of our destinations. Collaborating with CARPHA on this important initiative is another example of our commitment. The HST Award, will be a further demonstration of Caribbean Airlines putting safety first.”
Dr. Lisa Indar, Director of Surveillance, Disease Prevention and Control Division, remarked, “We are delighted to be engaging with Caribbean Airlines. As the Caribbean’s main airline with the largest network, Caribbean Airlines is ensuring that they are protecting travellers every step of the way from check-in to disembarkment, playing a critical role in fighting COVID-19 and reinstating safe travel to the Caribbean.”
The award of the HST Stamp is also dependent on reporting to CARPHA’s Tourism and Health Information System (THiS) – a real-time, web-based, confidential, early warning system for public health illnesses. Previously, it was designed primarily for use only by the accommodations sector, but CARPHA modified its THiS to also enable reporting by airlines. In the upcoming months CARPHA and CAL also propose to collaborate on various advocacy activities to promote Healthier Safer Tourism and the HST Stamp.