Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves. (File photo)

Vincentian sailors and oilrig workers hoping to return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic must have a certificate of health issued by the authorities in their country of departure.

This is one of eight requirements of the “Protocol for the Repatriation of Vincentian Crew Persons” that Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves detailed on WE FM on Sunday.

He said that on arrival, the returning nationals will be probed for signs of COVID-19, including a temperature check, and may be subjected to a rapid test for the viral illness.

The health certificate, the prime minister said, must include information about the person’s exposure to any COVID-19 positive or suspected cases and any objective screening for COVID-19 the returning Vincentian has undergone.

The document must include the name of the screening agency and the date when the test was conducted.

Hundreds of Vincentian sailors in the cruise industry, many of whom have been quarantined aboard their cruise ships for over a month, are anxiously waiting to return home.

Of the 15 cases of COVID-19 in SVG, at least seven of them were cruise line workers.

Gonsalves said National Emergency Management Agency’s (NEMO) health services subcommittee developed the protocol.

The aim of this protocol, he said, is the safe repatriation of Vincentian nationals in a manner that reduces the risk of the importation and subsequent transmission of COVID-19 in SVG.

Its objectives are to establish the nationality of the returning individual; establish the status of exposure of returning individual to COVID 19; and, establish the appropriateness of the site of the quarantine.

According to the protocol, cruise lines must also provide the government with the following information:

·Total number of persons to be repatriated

·Mode of arrival: boat or plane.

·Full name, date of birth, passport number contact number and address in departing country

·Address of the proposed site of 14 to 21 days of the quarantine

·Contact number of persons residing where the person proposes to stay in SVG or who can facilitate the inspection of the proposed quarantine site.

·Commitment of the repatriating company or individual to pay for the accommodation of those persons without an appropriate quarantine site

·The repatriating company to secure an alternate site approved by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment.

The prime minister said that there is a disembarking protocol for cruise workers returning to SVG by air. 

The protocol says all passengers will be screened before entering the arrivals area and that the screening will mainly include “probing for symptoms and temperature check”.

Under the protocol, persons with adequate home facilities for quarantine will be allowed to leave while those going to a government facility will be boarded on agreed transport to await departure. In this context, “government facility” refers to whatever hotel is selected, which the cruise line will be paying for.

Vincentians returning by sea will be subjected to the same protocols.

In addition, the vessel will berth at the cruise ship terminal in Kingstown and disembarkation will be in groups of 10, or more, if possible.

Hand hygiene will be enforced, the prime minister said, adding that photo identification is required for all the seafarers.

The area of screening will be sanitised after each group is screened.

11 replies on “Sailors must get health certificate before returning to SVG — PM”

  1. Fidus Achates says:

    This absolutely ridiculous.What’s wrong with the PM OF SVG.Why is he coming up with all of these nuisances??Is he Trying to spite the cruise workers?Why he all of s suddenly now coming up with all of these things??So many questions that he needs to answer to the VINCENTIAN families.

  2. Seriously! If you can’t afford to bring the people back home leave them.
    Do you know how expensive it will be to get a test in the US?!!
    Not even people in the US can get tested privately, because it cost too much .
    So you telling me, you want the people to take their little money the have to come home and pay for a test? And you got 4.5million US$ for the same reason .
    Seriously PM, you’re a wicked man!!!!! Leave me way we deh!!!!!!!

  3. Whats wrong with Ralph is he trying to make sailors second class citizen, is he trying keep sailors out of their own country? A cruise line is not responsible for expense made in their country unless they came home injured. Asking a cruise line to pay for quarantine is like extortion. U said u not stopping sailors from coming home but that is exactly what u are doing, u are the only hold up right now. FLY THE GATE FOR WE SAILORS MAN!!!!!

  4. Will the crew who staying in they appropriate home for quarantine getting the company money for food and bills?
    Can any one asked this question to the PM.

  5. What on earth!!. This Prime Minister is sick. I hope these seafarers realise that PM truly doesn’t care about them. SVG is their homeland and he is treating them like strangers with some of the clauses in this protocol. He is all about getting money to do whatever he wants; not for the country. Some of you have been bewitched so you see the folly of the PM and this government. For heaven’s sake people wake up. See Ralph Gonsalves for the deceitful agent that he is. He is no good.

  6. True colours of the PM coming through. Why are our sailors that provide us with foreign currency treated with so much disdain? We didn’t close our borders to vincentians living overseas but blocking vincentians that live here?

  7. Well they are forgetting the strick medical cruise workers have to go through.They are some of the most medically fit people. Am speaking from experience. And besides they are already in quarantine.hope when this is over these ridiculous leaders dont go begging the cruise lines to come to thier economic rescue.Because the cruise lines are begging for help now to get thoses workers home .its very expensive to feed all these people while they are not cruising.

  8. The old woman has been informed that it appears that certain people do not like black people, their only purpose is to be used.

  9. This is an absolute outrage. The PM pissing and shitting on natural born Vincentians. While he didn’t shut the almighty Airport. Lapse? If you didn’t believe before you do now, for sure.

  10. I notice the returning sailors don’t have an ability to choose a hotel to stay. […] Why doesn’t REMO use this opportunity to get the same information from the sailors before they arrive in SVG? They can also ask for information of the relatives where they intend to reside. Let the sailors also come home in batches, so they can be easily processed.
    On the other hand why don’t the relatives in SVG who have sailors in this COVID loop, get their names and give them to REMO to let them know they are waiting for their family member. Don’t wait on Ralph and his arse-kissers to do this simple plan.

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