More than 400 Jamaican crew members aboard the Disney Cruise Line vessel are tentatively scheduled to arrive in the island on Friday (May 29.)
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, provided details at a digital press conference on Tuesday (May 26), at the Office of the Prime Minister Media Centre in Kingston.
“Two more cruise ships from the Norwegian Cruise Line with 174 crew members and the Carnival Cruise Line with 240 Jamaicans are currently docked in Falmouth,” Mr. Holness told the press conference.
Those Jamaicans will be processed over coming days.
Mr. Holness further indicated that 180 Colombian nationals who will be transported by a secure corridor to the Donald Sangster International Airport to await their flight home, are in the island aboard the Carnival Cruise Line vessel.
“It should be noted that this is not the first time that Jamaica has facilitated the airlift of crew members or passengers. I believe we did it early at the start of the (COVID-19) pandemic, and it is part of our international duty,” the Prime Minister explained.
The Norwegian Cruise Line docked on Monday (May 25), while the Carnival Cruise Line docked yesterday (May 26).
In the meantime, Mr. Holness informed the nation that the disembarkation of more than 1,024 ship workers from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Adventure of the Seas, was successfully completed on Monday evening (May 25) at the Falmouth Pier.
“This brings to just under 1,500 Jamaicans being returned, to date, using the controlled re-entry [protocols],” he added.
According to the Prime Minister, the Government has increased the rate at which Jamaicans overseas are being repatriated and hopes to complete the ship repatriation process by the first week of June.
“Even with the best will in the world, even with the best organisation, even when we put in the best public health measures, the possibility is not just for Jamaica alone – we have seen it in other countries right across the globe – that when the repatriation of nationals takes place, there is the likelihood of our (COVID-19) numbers increasing,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that already, 19 Jamaicans from the Royal Caribbean vessel have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been placed in isolation.