The Ministry of Health and Human Services through its Port Health arm said it has taken the decision to deny entry to the TCI of the Cruise Ship - Carnival Freedom, which was due to arrive in Grand Turk on 7th January.
A news release stated that the Ministry of Health has been monitoring the ship ahead of its arrival, including reviewing relevant documentation and has taken the decision in the interest of public health to deny free pratique in line with local and regional guidelines.
“The ship will not be permitted to berth or disembark passengers in Grand Turk. It should be noted that this ship was earlier refused entry to other countries,” the ministry said.
The Carnival cruise ship was denied entry to St. Kitts on Wednesday morning due to COVID cases among the crew. The cruise line did not reveal the number of positive crew and if any have the Omicron variant. Even if that is the case, Carnival Cruise Line does have protocols in place to deal with any situation to make sure everyone remains safe. There is no doubt the crew and close contacts are already in isolation.
It’s not the first time the Carnival cruise ship has been denied at a port due to COVID. Toward the end of December 2021, authorities in Kralendijk, Bonaire, decided not to allow passengers to disembark after advice from health officials, resulting in the cruise line heading back out to sea. Carnival Freedom was also forced to cancel its call in Aruba during the same voyage in December.
The Bonaire denial ignited a rumor in the Turks and Caicos Islands that the ship had docked at the Grand Turk Cruise and passengers were allowed to disembark and mingle with the local populace. The rumor forced government to make a public clarification to the contrary.