Three hundred and fifty-six (356) Vincentians to be repatriated from Royal Caribbean

St. Vincent and the Grenadines will welcome home three hundred and fifty-six

(356) Vincentian Crew members from a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line tomorrow, Tuesday May 26, 2020. The Vision of the Seas is expected to arrive in Vincentian waters at around four in the morning, with the sailors on board.

All 356 of them will be screened for COVID-19, using  rapid and PCR tests. Due to the time required to process this number of tests, it is anticipated that the Vincentian crew members may not complete disembarking the ship before Thursday May 28, 2020.

Crew members found to be positive for COVID-19 will be placed in a government approved isolation facility until they have recovered as evidenced by two consecutive negative PCR COVID-19 tests. Crew members who are negative for COVID-19 will be allowed to quarantine in their private homes for the required 14-day period.

This enhanced repatriation protocol is aimed at minimizing the risk of importation of new COVID-19 cases into St. Vincent and the Grenadines posed by this particular group of Vincentians. The increased risk was determined in view of reports of the presence of known cases of COVID-19 on the ships of origin of some of the crew members and more recent reports of crew members testing positive for COVID-19 on disembarking this particular ship.

The COVID-19 Task Force/Health Services Sub-committee says it is committed to reducing the risk of new importation and subsequent exposure of the Vincentian public to COVID-19. Every effort is being made and existing protocols will be continuously reviewed, to ensure that COVID-19 remains contained in St Vincent and the Grenadines.