Cruise operations will resume in Jamaica today.
Carnival Sunshine is scheduled to call at the Port of Ocho Rios and is the first cruise ship with international passengers to call at a Jamaican port since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It will mark a major step in the phased reopening of the tourism sector, which has been adversely impacted by the global pandemic.
“I am very pleased to advise that Jamaica will finally see the return of cruise on Monday.
“We welcome this resumption as we know that thousands of Jamaicans depend on the cruise shipping industry for their livelihood, and it will have a positive impact on our economy in general,” said tourism minister, Edmund Bartlett.
“I want to assure the public that this call is being managed in accordance with strict health and safety Covid-19 protocols which are guided by global standards and best practices to ensure the safety and protection of our citizens as well as visitors.”
He added: “Under the strict measures governing the restart of cruise shipping approximately 95 per cent of the crew and passengers are fully vaccinated and all passengers are required to provide evidence of negative results from a Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours of sailing.”
It was also outlined that in the case of unvaccinated passengers, a PCR test is mandated, and all passengers will also be screened and tested (antigen) on disembarkation.
While on board, the crew will also be required to adhere to strict protocols mandated by the official framework for conditional sailing order.
This requires that preventative measures be taken, and surveillance and response mechanisms be present on board at all times.
Passengers will be allowed to disembark the vessel to participate in tours within the Covid-19 Resilient Corridors, which have been in place for stop-over visitors with a demonstrated record of performance for over a year.
The positivity rate within the corridors is at 0.6 per cent.