Five Cruise Ships Refused Port Entry in Grenada Over COVID-19 Concerns

ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – Health and port authorities here cancelled five cruise ship calls over a nine-day period due to outbreaks of flu-like symptoms onboard vessels.

grsendhipThe ships that were turned away were scheduled to call between December 29 last year and Friday, January 7, disclosed Nikoyan Roberts, nautical development manager for the Grenada Tourism Authority.

Under the Grenada Cruise Ship Protocol, cruise lines are mandated to immediately report outbreaks of acute respiratory illness/flu-like illness among passengers or crew members and any COVID-19 positive cases to the port health authority and local agents.

“This precautionary process is applied to all cruise calls expected into Grenada until May 2022 when the 2021-2022 season ends,” Roberts said.

Grenada’s 2021/2022 cruise ship season began in November and a little more than 200 ships had been scheduled to berth at the island’s harbor. However, since the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, several ships have either cancelled schedules to their ports or were turned away because of outbreaks onboard.

Health Minister Nicholas Steele disclosed on Tuesday during the post-Cabinet briefing that there is a health protocol or an agreement with minimum requirements for cruise ships and all other sailing vessels to fulfill for them to be allowed to berth at any of the harbors on the island.

“There is a protocol for cruise ships whether the cruise ship has any positive cases or not; a protocol for how we deal with cruise ships coming into Grenada,” he said. Among other things, the protocol mandates that permission will only be granted to a sailing vessel if less than one percent of the passengers on board are infected with COVID-19 or other infectious diseases.