ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada – The Grenada government Tuesday said that cruise lines and all other sailing vessels must adhere to the health protocol or an agreement with minimum requirements in order to be allowed to dock 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,” Health Minister Nicholas Steele, told reporters at the first post Cabinet news conference for the year.
He said the protocol, among other measures, mandates that permission will only be granted to a sailing vessel if less than one percent of the passengers on board are infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) or other infectious diseases.
“Yes, it’s one percent…any infection above allows us through the Chief Medical Officer and the environmental health officers to do the inspection from the declaration that the ship gives.
“This is not just for the cruise lines but cargo vessels as well,” Steele said while explaining that once there is more than one percent outbreak of COVID-19 or any other infection on board a ship pratique is denied.”
Pratique is the permission given to a ship to enter the port on the assurance that is free of contagious diseases or at least meets the minimum standard. It provides for individuals on board to be denied the ability to either come into port or to disembark from the ship.
According to the protocol the minimum requirements recommended for all ships for safe cruise sailing to protect the local population and its visitors are proof of a negative PCR, or Antigen test result taken three days, or no more than 72 hours, before boarding a ship for all vaccinated passengers, except children under five years old, and full vaccination of all crew members.
In addition, there should be full vaccination of all passengers, who must also provide proof of vaccination upon disembarkation in Grenada to local authorities.
This is an entry requirement for all non-nationals visiting Grenada and that there should be an immediate reporting of any positive cases of COVID-19.
Steele said that the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is also assisting with respect to additional protocols for testing.
“On the level of testing or frequency of testing for persons coming on board the vessels as well as for persons disembarking the vessel at any of the ports, there are variations throughout the CARICOM on the level of testing and that does bother us significantly, but we hold hard and fast to that one percent as well and those declarations,” he said.
Last week, the US-based Centers for Disease Control (CDC)said people should avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of their vaccination status, as daily COVID-19 cases in the United states rose to record highs due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant.