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Jamaican ship workers begin disembarking in Falmouth

Published:Thursday | May 21, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Jamaican ship workers being escorted from the Falmouth cruise ship pier in Trelawny on May 21, 2020 - Ashley Anguin photo

The first batch of the 1,044 Jamaican ship workers who returned to the island on Tuesday afternoon has departed for government quarantine centres in St Ann after being processed at the Falmouth cruise ship pier in Trelawny.

The Jamaican workers were repatriated aboard Royal Caribbean's Adventures of the Seas cruise ship, which remains docked at the port.

Those released this morning include persons who have been on the ship for 10 months or more.

It was outlined that the second batch will include persons in cabins without windows, followed by individuals with balconies. 

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Mathew Samuda, says the Jamaicans were allowed to disembark in batches of 20 and 40 and were subjected to health and safety screening including being tested for COVID-19.

“We welcome them back. We just want to make sure that we welcome them back in a manner that is safe for them and safe for the general population and certainly for their families,” Samuda said, adding that the process has been smooth so far.

He said test results are expected to be released by the latest Sunday, noting that the workers will continue to undergo regular health checks. 

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Andrew 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.

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