Jamaica’s tourism minister supports decision to deny docking rights to cruise ship

Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett.

Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett said he’s in full supports of the health ministry’s decision on Tuesday to deny clearance for a cruise ship to dock in Ocho Rios due to concerns over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Barlett said Cabinet had agreed that issues relating to the possible spread of COVID-19 would be handled primarily by Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton and his ministry.

“We have had consultations at Cabinet and health is the lead ministry on the matter of health security. The Ministry of Tourism has had discussions with that ministry and felt that the best possible decision was taken,” Bartlett is quoted by the Jamaica Observer.

Reports are that a member of the ship’s crew had fallen ill and a diagnosis had not been forthcoming.

Health Minister Tufton said he was disappointed with the crew of the vessel, who should have informed the Jamaican authorities of the status of the crew member who had been unwell, as the individual was known to have visited ports where he could have contracted the illness.