Sun | Jul 12, 2020

Adventure cruise ship workers touch soil today

Published:Friday | May 22, 2020 | 12:07 AMLeon Jackson/Gleaner Writer
Crew members on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Adventure of the Seas, which docked in Falmouth on Tuesday afternoon. The ship repatriated 1,044 Jamaicans.
Crew members on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Adventure of the Seas, which docked in Falmouth on Tuesday afternoon. The ship repatriated 1,044 Jamaicans.

WESTERN BUREAU:

After weeks of voyaging on the high seas as high-level negotiations dragged on between the Government of Jamaica and their employers, the more than 1,000 Jamaican cruise ship workers who sailed into the Falmouth Pier on Tuesday will finally set foot on local soil today.

Yesterday, police, military, and port security personnel maintained a strong presence at the entrance to the pier.

Superintendent Kirk Ricketts, commanding officer for the Trelawny police, said that the lawmen were tasked to keep the pier sterile and to provide escort service at the direction of the Office of the Prime Minister.

“We are in charge of the pier to maintain it as a sterile area,” explained Ricketts. “Members of the Jamaica Defence Force are working along with us.”

Mark Hylton, the manager of the pier, said that he was not authorised to speak to the press.

“Any information to the media has to come from the Office of the Prime Minister ... . I have no authority to speak about anything that is taking place on the pier at this time,” said Hylton.

Passengers, on disembarking, will be processed by customs and immigration officials before undergoing test sampling for COVID-19.

HEALTH CHECKS FOR ALL

After giving the green light to Jamaican workers on the cruise ship Adventure of the Seas to come ashore, Prime Minister Andrew Holness made it clear that before being reunited with their families, they would have to undergo health surveillance and COVID-19 tests to determine their health status.

Lorene Whinstanley, public health manager at the Falmouth Hospital, said that samples would be taken from each passenger and sent to Kingston for assessment.

The crew members will be accommodated at the Bahia Principe and Jewel Paradise Cove hotels in St Ann for at least three days to facilitate the testing. Those who test positive will be isolated at the hotel or admitted to hospital while those who are deemed COVID-19 free will self-quarantine at home.

The ship is expected to spend more than a week docked in Falmouth as the passengers will not be released at once, but in batches of approximately 200 crew members every 48 or 72 hours.