Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 17, 2020 (SKNIS): Under the advice of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws and the COVID-19 National Task Force, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said that both cruise ships scheduled to arrive at Port Zante on Wednesday, August 19 must adhere to the NEOC’s (National Emergency Operations Center) Sterile Port Protocol.
Minister Grant, who made the announcement during the Ministry of Tourism, Ports and Transportation Press Conference on August 17 at the Customs and Excise Conference Room in Bird Rock, highlighted that this protocol is “part of the International Health Regulations issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
He said that the Vision of the Seas and the Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ships will be docked at Port Zante for an extended period with crew members being quarantined for 14 days onboard.
“The crew has not been in contact with the general public in any other destinations over the past five months, however, they must still adhere to the Federation’s health and safety protocols,” Minister Grant said.
“Upon arrival on Wednesday, each crew member will be given a PCR molecular test and will be quarantined for the 14 days onboard their respective vessel,” he said.
“At the end of the 14 day quarantine, they will be given a second test. Once the crew receives a negative test, they will be given the option to integrate into our society adhering to the well-known safety measures of social distancing, hand sanitization and wearing of masks,” Minister Grant added.
The Minister of Tourism also outlined that “If any crew members test positive, all crew members will remain onboard of their respective vessel and go through quarantine until the entire crew tests negative.”
“Each ship must have in place its isolation facility for crew if tested positive after 14 days,” he said.
“The Ministry of Health has received all medical records for all the crew members for each cruise ship and there are no overriding health issues as of today,” he further stated.
SCAPA’s pilots will not be required to provide any physical assistance to facilitate berthing for the vessels, and Coast Guard assistance will not be required unless in the case of an emergency.
Minister Grant underscored that the health and safety of the Federation’s citizens and residents are paramount as the nation embarks upon this partnership with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.