Until last week, Grenada was a rare bright spot in the COVID-19 pandemic — an idyllic Caribbean island nation that had seen just 45 coronavirus cases and no deaths.
This week, officials in Grenada are tracing the contacts of 26 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 that stem from a single all-inclusive resort, the Sandals Grenada. The cluster was discovered during routine employee testing on Friday and Saturday, Grenada’s Ministry of Health said in a statement.
The government had previously reported no more than six new coronavirus cases in a single day, according to data from the World Health Organization. Now, Grenada’s tally of total coronavirus cases has risen to 71.
Officials are expecting the island nation’s case count to grow even more in the coming days. “The magnitude of this new cluster of cases means it is not business as usual during this holiday season,” Grenada Prime Minister Keith Mitchell said in a public address.
Thirteen of Grenada’s new COVID-19 cases live in the same household as a staff member, Mitchell said. And several households linked to the resort are under quarantine, the Ministry of Health reported.
The government is also tightening its virus suppression protocols, requiring nonessential businesses and public transportation to close at 10 p.m. and restricting restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery only. It is also urging people to limit gatherings to 10 people.
Grenada already requires visitors to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their travel to the country.
A Sandals resort spokesperson told The Washington Post that the resort remains open to current guests, but is not allowing new visitors to check in at this time.
Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.
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