Haiti Reopens International Airports, Borders Amid Pandemic

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WASHINGTON/PORT-AU-PRINCE – Haiti reopened its two worldwide airports in Port-au-Prince and Cape Haitian, in addition to 4 official border crossings in Anse-a-Pitres, Malpasse, Belladere and Ouanaminthe on Tuesday. 

President Jovenel Moïse introduced the information in a nationwide tackle.  

The airports closed to all nonlocal flights on March 16 to cease the unfold of the coronavirus, however exceptions have been made for some nonlocal flights, together with to fly individuals who have been caught in Haiti again to their house international locations.

JetBlue Flies American Citizens, Residents Stuck in Haiti Home

Passengers boarding flight to Fort Lauderdale informed VOA they aren’t afraid and sit up for returning to Haiti

Safety measures  
Officials informed VOA that security measures are in place to restrict vehicular visitors in and across the airport, with particular consideration paid to passenger pick-up and drop-off zones. Agents will restrict the variety of passengers round airline check-in counters and safety verify factors. Face masks are necessary.  

“Security brokers will accompany passengers going by immigration, the place we positioned indicators indicating the place they need to stand in adherence with social distancing measures,” Joseph Frantz Sedras, director of apparatus for Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, informed VOA Creole.   

Protective glass boundaries are in place in any respect agent counters, and procedures are in place to maintain passenger strains shifting ahead.  

Sedras informed VOA that social distancing can be mandated at each step of the departure and arrival course of and that safety brokers will search passengers and their baggage earlier than they attain the immigration space. In addition, counters and gear can be disinfected typically, he stated.    

“When the passenger reaches the departure lounge, he/she can be allowed to occupy each different seat in accordance with social distancing pointers,” Sedras stated. “These measures can be mandated all through the departure lounge.”   

Hand sanitizer dispensers have been put in all through the airport for passenger and worker use.     

COVID-19 infections  

Haiti presently has 5,933 confirmed instances of COVID-19, in response to information revealed by the revealed well being ministry on June 29. That quantity is a rise of extra 1,000 instances since June 20 when the confirmed an infection toll stood at 4,916. The present loss of life toll is 105.  

Health officers say the hardest-hit areas are the northeast, west and Artibonite departments, however there’s hypothesis that the toll might be increased nationwide, the place worry of stigmatization retains folks from in search of medical therapy.

Workers with the Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population stroll exterior of International Airport Toussaint Louverture, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, March 15, 2020.

Diaspora journey

Travelers from the Haitian diaspora are important to the nation’s economic system, in response to Prime Minister Joseph Jouthe. During a go to to the Port-au-Prince airport earlier than its reopening, he informed VOA Creole he acknowledges their want to are likely to property, in addition to attending annual non secular festivals.    

“I can not maintain them from coming to bounce on the festivals. And if the airport in Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) is open and we aren’t, Haitians will discover a technique to get right here someway,” he stated.  

With regards to the pandemic and its unfold, the prime minister stated he consulted the nation’s high well being specialists on a timeline however was not given a solution.     

“Community transmission is a matter. There are many individuals who say they’ve a fever or a chilly, they insist it isn’t corona(virus). But we all know how Haitians are. I assume if I had it, I might say I did not, too. So, all we will do is reinforce the safety measures and preventative measures already in place,” he stated.  

Jouthe stated hand washing and sporting masks are a necessity, though they’re not all the time comfy.  

Opposition Sen. Jean Renel Senatus informed VOA that he, too, understands there are individuals who must journey to Haiti to take care of necessary issues, however he doubts the federal government’s details about the present COVID-19 state of affairs.  

He additionally expressed concern concerning the surge in U.S. instances.   

“We’ve heard that instances are spiking in Miami. And a lot of the planes arriving in Haiti are coming from Miami, Florida,” the senator stated. 

Scheduled flights   

Eleven flights are scheduled to reach in Haiti on July 1, in response to FlightRadar24, a web site that tracks air visitors worldwide in actual time. Among these, 5 flights from U.S. carriers American Airlines, Spirit and JetBlue departing from Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida and New York City, are as a result of arrive between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. native time.     



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