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St Lucia to launch COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate: COVID-19 testing for travellers revised

By Caribbean News Global contributor

CASTRIES, St Lucia – Following the ministry of health, wellness and elderly affairs, news release Saturday, November 13, on proposals received from private organizations seeking permission to verify COVID-19 digital vaccination certificates, followed with further announcement, Wednesday, December 22, that, “in collaboration with the Division of Public Sector Modernization will be rolling out Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificate Programme on December 29, 2021; meanwhile, The Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC) advised of COVID-19 testing adjustments.

COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate

Acccording to the ministry of health: “All fully vaccinated individuals will be granted the opportunity to apply for their COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificate through the government of Saint Lucia’s Digital Government Integrated Services Platform known as the digiGov,” and that, “the COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate issued by the digiGov Platform is, therefore, the official national COVID-19 certificate and will eventually replace the previously issued hard copy COVID-19 vaccine card given to you at the time of vaccination. This digital certificate can be stored on your digital devices, including mobile phones and tablets.”

In addition, said the ministry of health press release, “provisions are also in place for businesses and institutions to easily verify the authenticity of Saint Lucia’s COVID-19 digital vaccination certificate with greater security and privacy protection. This will assist with verifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling or accessing facilities requiring proof of vaccination. In the upcoming week, the public can look forward to the following activities leading up to the official launch of the digital certificate”, the ministry advised, with the expectant plan during the festive season:

  • Television commercials, explainer videos and public service announcements that will provide instructions on how to access and verify the COVID-19 Digital Vaccination Certificate on the digiGov;
  • Stakeholder engagement with public and private sector on December 28, 2021;
  • Television interviews with key officials;
  • A press conference on December 29, 2021, to mark the launch of the digital certificate.

COVID-19 testing

On December 3, Caribbean News Global reported that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated Global Testing Order to shorten the timeline for required testing for all international air travellers to one day before departure to the United States.

CDC tightens testing requirement for international travel to the US to one day

On Wednesday, December 22, The Millennium Heights Medical Complex (MHMC) advised on the Ezra Long Laboratory’s services during the holiday season, “particularly for travellers who require predeparture COVID-19 PCR testing to the USA,” and that “due to the new requirements for travellers to the USA, nasopharyngeal samples for PCR testing should arrive at the laboratory no later than 12 noon on the day before the flight’s departure from Saint Lucia. This is to ensure timely sample processing and reporting of results.”

MHMC cannot guarantee same-day processing of samples arriving after 12:00 noon on the day before travel,” further advised: “ The department’s operating hours for receipt of samples during the holiday season is ● Friday 24 to Monday 27 December 2021 – 8:00 am to 12:00 noon – and – ● Friday 31st December 2021 to 2 January 2022 – 8:00 am to 12:00 noon.”

St Lucia amends COVID-19 confinement for festive season: Carnival 2022 dubbed ‘The Vaxxed Mas’ on schedule

The ministry of health has also advised on opening hours for persons experiencing respiratory symptoms or requiring a COVID-19 PCR test for travel are as follows:

  • Christmas Eve on Friday, December 24, 2021 – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Christmas Day on Saturday, December 25, 2021 – Closed
  • Christmas Holiday on Sunday, December 26, 2021 – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Christmas Holiday on Monday, December 27, 2021 – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Old Years Day on Friday, December 31, 2021 – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • New Years Day on Saturday, January 1, 2022 – Closed
  • New Years Holiday on Sunday, January 2, 2022 – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • New Years Holiday on Sunday, January 3, 2022 – 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“For individuals requiring a COVID-19 PCR test for travel are asked to visit the Respiratory Clinic between the hours of 8 a.m. to 12 noon in order to facilitate timely processing of test results. Also, the public is advised that  “the Gros-Islet Respiratory Clinic and the Vieux-Fort Respiratory Clinic will be open during the festive season.”

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