by Kevon Browne
Physical Blockade to be set up at Port Zante for Cruise Return
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Less than a week to the restart of cruise tourism at Port Zante on Sept 14 and the inclusion of Port Zante in the “bubble” to isolate tourists from the general public.
As the CEO of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Raquel Brown, announced earlier this week, there will be a physical blockade at Port Zante stipulating where tourists can venture.
The Chair of the COVID-19 Taskforce, Abdias Samuel, explained how the blockade is expected to work.
“The proposed barricade would begin on the western side basically from the Chop Shop area will run north towards the King’s Pavilion, the restaurant in that area, and then it would encircle where we know a Roc restaurant is, and it will come again against the steps there by these buildings… and then this fencing basically will also see that behind by the Pelican Mall, there will be a barricade where the tourists will not be able to come down into that area. So the Amina Market and the Pelican Mall area [are up for discussions still.] Then the barricade will continue on the eastern side, from… First Class Jewelry area, and will go south, towards the pier. There will be a number of checkpoints that are still being looked at by the security forces, and these checkpoints will also be manned by a… joint security forces team.”
Samuel made those remarks during the last COVID-19 press briefing hosted by the National Emergency Operations Center.
What about the staff of private businesses that have nothing to do with cruise tourism or the bubble?
“Questions have been asked about individuals who do have workspaces there. We have created particular corridors for those individuals to be able to access your workspaces, without having to interact with any international tourists or limit the interaction with any international tourists.”
The first ship to dock at Port Zante is the Celebrity Equinox and is expected to arrive with over 1,400 passengers, a well-needed boost to the cruise sector in the Federation.
However, all will not benefit as this return is only for the vaccinated and those that have acquired the travel approved seal.
“It is expected that persons who are going to be operating within this bubble should be fully vaccinated individuals, and they would have clung to the Travel Approved Seal training, which was conducted by the St. Kitts Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.”
What other excursions are included in the bubble?
“The incoming international tourists on that day will be provided with tours, such as a Scenic tour of St Kitts. There will also be a number of catamaran cruises to areas such as Shitin Bay on Frigate Bay, as well as a catamaran cruise that will also go to Nevis. Equally so, there will be a number of other tours to areas like [Fairview Great House and Botanical Gardens], [Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park], and also Caribelle Batik, amongst many others. This is important information for you, the general public. What we are trying to do is have… that equilibrium of economic activity, as well as safeguarding your health,” shared Samuel.