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Minister Bartlett: Strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols key to successful return of cruise

Minister Bartlett: Strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols key to successful return of cruise
Jamaica Tourism Minister Hon. Edmund Bartlett
Written by Harry Johnson

Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett says safeguarding the health and safety of the citizens of Jamaica, as well as visitors, remains the top priority as the island welcomed the successful return of cruise operations.

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  • Jamaica’s Tourism Edmund Minister Bartlett calls for strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Due to risks presented by COVID-19, steps were taken to manage the movement of cruise passengers.
  • The controlled dispatch system was implemented on Monday.

Tourism Minister, Hon Edmund Bartlett says safeguarding the health and safety of the citizens of Jamaica, as well as visitors, remains the top priority as the island welcomed the successful return of cruise operations yesterday (August 16).

HM GIFT – Minister of Tourism, Hon Edmund Bartlett (right), receives from Captain Isidoro Renda, a miniature version of the Carnival Sunrise, which docked in Ocho Rios on Monday, August 16, 2021 with over 3,000 passengers and crew, signaling the restart of cruise operations in Jamaica, after a 17-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking following the visit of the Carnival Sunrise to the Ocho Rios Cruise Shipping Port, Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Bartlett said he notes the concerns shared in the media about the restricted movement of the visitors who disembarked the vessel. However, Mr. Bartlett underscores that “this decision was taken after consultation with various stakeholders and most importantly, was done to ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols instituted by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other international partners for the safe return to cruise operations.”  

He highlighted that due to the risks posed by COVID-19, steps were taken to manage the movement of cruise passengers, which means changes had to be made to the customary routine operations, in order to reduce risk. He noted that these changes were communicated to tourism stakeholders.

Scheduled visits were available for passengers to attractions certified by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) as being COVID-19 compliant and visitors were taken to these attractions by local contract carriage operators from Ocho Rios.

“In accordance with the Ministry of Health’s guidelines and international protocols for the safe return to cruise operations, a decision was made to include only attractions that were certified to be sold by Carnival Cruise lines with the exception that each contract carriage operator had to stop at one of the three craft markets namely: Ocho Rios, Pineapple and Old Market,” Minister Bartlett explained.

He noted that because of their size members of the Coconut Grove Market were allowed to participate in the port market to showcase their products at the Ocho Rios cruise port­. The decision to stop at the craft markets, before going to the certified attractions, was approved by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, as well as the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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