by Staff Writer
St. Kitts-Nevis (WINN) – With thousands of COVID-19 vaccines in hand, public and private sector officials are appealing for more people to step up and take the jab so that the country can begin to reboot the tourism industry.
Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Viking, Carnival and Norwegian have signaled their intention to resume operations in June and have created homeports in Barbados, Bermuda, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
“In St. Kitts, we neither have the capacity with hotel rooms nor the capacity when it comes to airlift to have been considered for home-porting. However, we continue to try, behind the scenes, to see if we can homeport,” Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said at a Tourism Stakeholder Meeting Wednesday (April 14) while announcing that cruises will resume in June “all things being equal.”
He said a phased approach is planned.
The ability to succeed with the resumption of cruises, that account for 85 percent of visitor arrivals here, hinges on vaccination.
Vaccination on the ships and on land.
“All the crew and all the passengers will have to be vaccinated, likewise, we are going to have to be vaccinated. The policy going forward for us will be [that] any purveyors of the industry will have to be vaccinated.”
That means all service providers – employers and staff – would require vaccination to qualify to do business with the cruise industry.
That’s the policy, Mr. Grant declared.
“We are not saying the vaccination is mandatory, we are saying to you as a policy we are asking the employers to make sure that the employers are vaccinated and that every single employee who will come into contact with the passenger and the crew is likewise vaccinated.”