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Jamaicans on Royal Caribbean to disembark in Falmouth tomorrow

Published:Monday | May 18, 2020 | 7:15 PM
Prime Minister Andrew Holness - Contributed photo

The government has granted approval for the 1,044 Jamaican ship workers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship to disembark.

The process will begin tomorrow at noon in Falmouth.

In making the announcement, Prime Minister Andrew Holness stated that the Ministry of Health and Wellness will create a sterile zone around the port to conduct COVID-19 testing.

Holness explained that the Jamaicans will disembark in groups of 200 every 48-72 hours and taken to Bahia Principe hotel in St Ann.

The time window is to allow for the test results.

Holness said ship workers who test positive will go into state quarantine while those who test negative will be allowed to quarantine at home for 14 days.

Persons in home quarantine will have their location tracked and must do a video check-in multiple times a day, Holness said.

“I understand the frustration the ship workers are facing, they are eager to see their families, we well understand but Jamaica is a country of rules. Rules don’t mean we can’t have sympathy and empathy to ensure that suffering is minimised.

“We have learned a tough lesson as a government…we took note of the hardship cases right across the government and we brought them back. In bringing them back, we were not able to give them the good experience that they deserve, we cannot afford that to happen again, we have to ensure that we perfect the arrangements,” Holness said.

Holness said over 9,000 repatriation applications have been received by the government.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that the government is working to bring home nearly 900 additional Jamaican cruise ship workers.

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