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Arrival of saliors on Carnival Cruise Lines may be postponed

Arrival of saliors on Carnival Cruise Lines may be postponed
RALPH GONSALVES, Prime Ministers

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Carnival Cruise Lines may have to choose a new date to repatriate the 85 Vincentian crew members who were intended to arrive by sea in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) tomorrow, May 9.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said on Wednesday that the Government had received a list from Carnival Cruise Lines but that it was of all the crew members, instead of only the Vincentian sailors as requested.

“They haven’t separated the Vincentian names from a whole list of other people whom they bringing down; Carnival, and all they send is the general certificate of health signed by the ship’s doctor. That’s not sufficient,” the prime minister said while speaking on NBC radio.

Gonsalves said the cruise line was informed of this and that he did not think that it would be able to stick to its original date of arrival as they have not met all the protocols outlined by the authorities.

“…I’m sure that they will do the thing, they will sort out the matter with the ministry of health, the chief medical officer, Simone Keizer-Beache…” he said.

And he told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, May 7 that conversations were ongoing with Carnival Cruise Lines to ensure all protocols are met and things are sorted so that the Vincentian sailors could return home.

However, the Prime Minister noted that several other cruise lines have agreed to the protocols, which will see the repatriation of Vincentian sailors as early as today, May 8 when one crew member working with Holland America will arrive by sea.

“Holland America is bringing somebody here. They’re in the region. They’re going down the islands and they have one person for St Vincent, one crew member, this particular lot and the protocols have been agreed on,” Gonsalves said.

He added that Holland America answered all eight prerequisites of the protocol laid out by the Health Services Subcommittee for the repatriation of sailors and agreed to pay for the person’s quarantine, should the individual’s home be deemed unsuitable for quarantining.

The prime minister also said that the cruise ship will not come right up to the jetty but will be transported via a ship’s tender, before being examined.

“Arrangements have been made. Remember I’ve been asking all the while for all of them simply to just follow the protocols and persons are thinking I was being particularly hard on Royal Caribbean,” he said.

Disney Cruise Lines also agreed to the Government’s repatriation protocols earlier this month and will bring 25 Vincentian crew members home on May 20th via sea on its vessel, Disney Fantasy.

Gonsalves said the cruise line will also cover the cost of quarantine for the crew members, at a rate of US$100 per day per person.

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