Dominica preparing for return of cruise ships
ROSEAU, Dominica – The chief executive officer of the Dominica Port Authority (DPA), Benoit Bardouille, says several stringent measures are being put in place to ensure that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic does not severely affect the island’s cruise ship season that opens in June.
He said that the (DPA) is working to limit the contact cruise ship visitors will have with the local population. Dominica on Friday reported that it had no cases or deaths linked to the virus and that the 175 cases registered since the first case was detected in March last year, have all recovered.
“During the summer when we will be getting ships from June…we will have to do a couple of things. We will have a new health screening area on the pier, so when the people come off the vessels they will be screened.
“Only persons who are going on pre-sold tours will be allowed out. In the past people could walk off the ship and go into the city and move on their own journeys. Now you will not be able to do that,” Bardouille said.
He said that until “the all clear” is given by the health authorities here, people will be allowed to come off the vessels “but they will have to be screened…and if the persons don’t meet with those requirements they will have to go back on board the ship.
‘Only persons with pre-sold tours, organised tours as some people here call it … will go on the COVID certified areas in terms of the tours they have to go to,” he said adding that the DPA will also be establishing a safe zone.
‘People who come off the ship and are not able to go on the pre-sold tours will be allowed to come off the ship and stay within the safe zone. So on the Bayfront we are going to establish a safe zone so that vendors, traders will be allowed to operate their businesses within those areas with certain guidelines.
“The whole setting is going to be different, but I want to say importantly to the taxi drivers especially. In the past they could probably come to the Port, hang around and hopefully somebody will wander off and they will get a tour. That is going to be a thing of the past,” Bardouille said, adding the “only persons that will be taking people on tours are pre-sold tours”. (CMC)