Several Caribbean islands are in the process of working to have their nationals – cruise ship crew members who are currently stranded at sea due to COVID-19, returned to their native homes.
Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Hon. Luke Browne speaking on his Facebook page on Tuesday (May 5), informed that a schedule for Vincentian crew aboard cruise ships is being “worked out”.
He noted that repatriation is expected to begin this month (May 2020).
“We would likely see a significant number of these sailors from several ships come home by the end of this month.”
All relevant stakeholders have been engaged in the process, Browne informed, noting that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Port Authority is coordinating the arrangements.
“The repatriation would proceed according to international and local protocols,” Browne asserted.
Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves previously announced that the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is in negotiations with a cruise line to have them pay EC$150 per night for 14 days’ quarantine for each sailor, which according to Gonsalves, the company is responsible for by law.
Additionally, the Health Minister informed that CARICOM Heads of Government, including himself, attended a meeting on Tuesday (May 4) via video-conference, to discuss “a range of COVID-19 matters.”