Basseterre, St. Kitts, April 14th 2021 (ZIZ News) Cruise ships will return to St. Kitts in a phased approach in June.
The announcement was made by Minister of Tourism Hon. Lindsay Grant at a Tourism stakeholders meeting on Wednesday where he said the Ministry has been in discussion with the Ministry of Health and the Tourism Authority.
He said vaccinated tours and attractions are the pathway to full recovery, noting that cruise passengers and persons interacting with them will have to be vaccinated as part of the phased approach.
“The phased approach is going to be that any cruise line that comes to St. Kitts and Nevis, all the crew will have to be vaccinated and all the passengers likewise will have to be vaccinated. Now what does that mean? Obviously it means that likewise, we are going to have to be vaccinated and so the policy going forward for us will be that any purveyors of the industry will have to be vaccinated.”
The Tourism Minister said all requests for cruise ships must come through the St. Kitts Tourism Authority during this phase, and outlined the requirements.
“All crew and passengers over the age of 18 years must be vaccinated; children under 18 must present a negative RT PCR test within 72 hours prior to home port disembarkation and negative RT PCR tests taken 72 hours prior to home port departure for all on board guests and crew. All travel approved tours and attractions, employees and agents interfacing and interacting with the vessels and engaging in tours must be vaccinated.”
Minister Grant noted that while it is necessary to reach 100% immunity in the tourism sector, vaccination is not mandatory.
“We are not making vaccination mandatory, so let me put it quite clearly so that we don’t have any miscommunication in the message,” he said. “We are not saying that the vaccination is mandatory. We are saying to you as a policy, we are asking the employers to make sure employers are vaccinated and that every single employee who will come into contact with the passengers and the crew are likewise vaccinated.”
He said staff who do not take the vaccine will be required to take an RT PCR Test at their own cost every two weeks.
Tour operators on island will be required to agree to random testing or testing requirements decided by the Chief Medical Officer at the employer’s or employee’s expense.