BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Two Carnival Cruise line ships scheduled to arrive at Port Zante on Aug. 19 must adhere to the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC) Sterile Port Protocol (SPP). Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant said the ships will meet conditions set by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, and the COVID-19 National Task Force.
Minister Grant, who made the announcement during the Ministry of Tourism, Ports and Transportation Press Conference on August 17, said this protocol is “part of the International Health Regulations issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).”
Hon. Grant 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 on-board for 14 days.
“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,” said Minister Grant. “Upon arrival on Wednesday, each crew member will be given a PCR molecular test and will be quarantined for the 14 days on-board their respective vessel.
“At the end of the 14-day quarantine, they will be given a second test. After crew members 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,” said Hon. Grant.
The Minister of Tourism also outlined that “If any crew members test positive, all crew members will remain on-board 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.”
“The Ministry of Health has received all medical records for all crew members for each cruise ship and there are no overriding health issues as of today.”
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.