Wed | Sep 30, 2020

Cruise calm ... Settlement reached over new Coronavirus protocol in Jamaica

Published:Tuesday | March 10, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Over the past week, there has been tension among the government and two cruise lines displeased with some of the new guidelines for their vessels coming to Jamaica.

Jamaica's Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and the Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton are reporting that the world's major cruise lines have committed to working closely with the government amid health protocols for visiting ships in the wake of the deadly Coronavirus now in several countries.

Over the past week, there has been tension among the government and two cruise lines displeased with some of the new guidelines for their vessels coming to Jamaica.

On Friday, the ministers along with Attorney General Marlene Malahoo-Forte and other officials met with the executives of MSC and Carnival Cruise lines.

"All parties committed to putting people and their well-being first and we have committed to ensure that the sector can effectively help to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus," said the ministers in a joint statement.

The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee has declared coronavirus a global health emergency given the rise in new cases outside China.

Currently, Jamaica has no confirmed case of the virus.

According to Bartlett, health security remains a critical part of destination assurance so he is pleased about the outcome of the meeting which forms part of effort to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor-McKenzie, who was also in attendance outlined the health protocols which, after rigorous discussions with the cruise lines, were reportedly accepted.

Cruise protocol

1. Copy of the medical logs since the start of the voyage - Jamaica requests that travel history, temperatures and the presence or absence of respiratory symptoms be recorded and submitted for review.
2. Travel History for all persons in the Medical log Any person who has a fever and/or respiratory symptoms who has been in a country where there is transmission of COVID-19 should be immediately isolated and close contacts quarantined (refer to the WHO document on Management of Public Health risks on ships).

3. Temperature log of all persons, including within the last 24 hours prior to arrival, traveling from the countries with travel restrictions within the past 14 days - Jamaica recommends that persons with a travel history to countries with transmission of COVID-19 be monitored on board as if in home/self quarantine.

4. Updated Maritime Declaration of Health within four hours of the ship’s arrival.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.