Richard Butler | Exclusive By Daily Post VU | August 7th, 2020
A COM decision (No 103) was released on the 16th of July to support the economic recovery of Vanuatu through a TAMTAM Travel Bubble.
The appointed technical task force is working on providing strict guidelines in preparation for Vanuatu’s borders to open after September the 1st. The borders will not open until the Council of Ministers are satisfied that all the national safety and security guidelines have been met.
Vanuatu is one of only 11 countries in the World with no confirmed COVID-19 cases to date. Honorable MP, Mr. James Bule Minister for Tourism, Trade, Commerce and Ni Vanuatu Business (MTTCNVB) confirms that “in the setting of this global pandemic, the Vanuatu Government has made the safety of its people and the security of this country its priority.”
Strict health guidelines and requirements will be in place to establish a safe gateway between countries before flights come in. Focus will be on these requirements being met before any traveler arrives in Vanuatu. The Bubble will enable quarantine-free travel only for individuals who meet a set of criteria in terms of health and contact tracing. The Countries that will most likely meet these health requirements first may include New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands. Countries that have active community transmission of COVID-19 will not be allowed to connect with Vanuatu. The health and well-being of Vanuatu’s citizens and residents will always come first.
This development and implementation of the Vanuatu Tourism Crisis Response and Recovery Plan is being led by an Air Transportation and Advisory Task force as instructed by the Council of Ministers. This team which was appointed by the honorable Minister James Bule has been working around the clock. The advisory task force is also represented in the AT3 technical task force and it includes the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Tourism, Vanuatu Tourism Office, Airports Vanuatu, Air Vanuatu, and other Government Offices such as Immigration, Customs, Foreign Affairs, Bio-security, Finance, the NDMO and the Private Sector. “It’s a partnership between the Government and Private Sector to ensure that Vanuatu remains safe” says honorable James Bule.
The Government’s Recovery Plan will be implemented using the 5 pillars which include health, access, product readiness, marketing and communication and public awareness. International access and aviation enable the social and economic advancement of our nation through trade and export, commerce, education, health, and tourism. As countries open up again, they will access critical foreign exchange revenue which is vital to support a healthy economy as well as providing employment opportunities for Ni-Vanuatu both in Vanuatu and overseas. The tourism industry is already getting interest from people wishing to visit our beautiful, safe country once the borders open.
There will be regular updates to the business community and public to provide information on timelines and progress as the nation works on this essential pathway to economic recovery whilst ensuring to protect the well-being of all Vanuatu citizens and residents.