Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced a short while ago that approval has been given for Royal Caribbean Cruise to dock in Falmouth at noon tomorrow.

The Prime Minister said the Ministry of Health will create a sterile zone around the port to do testing.

He said 200 nationals will be allowed to disembark every 48 hours and transported to the Grand Bahia Principe hotel, where they will be housed.

Earlier today, National Security Minister, Dr. Horace Chang, said the government was ramping up measures to accommodate the over 1-thousand Jamaican ship workers aboard the Royal Caribbean.

The vessel that was reportedly heading to Jamaica has received permission from Haitian authorities to remain in its waters for a few days until it receives permission from Jamaican authorities to proceed.

Dr Chang says the ship may be used as a quarantine facility during the prescribed 14-days. 

Again, there is controversy surrounding the repatriation of Jamaican ship workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Chang says the negotiations with officials from the Royale Caribbean are ongoing. 

The National Security Minister says the government is also exploring the use of home quarantine measures and the use of technology to monitor the movement of those who’ve returned to the country. 

He notes that based on international standards, ships are not considered ideal for use as a quarantine facility. 

But, Dr Chang says the ship’s officials have outlined their quarantine protocols and it appears acceptable. 

He says the operators of the cruise liner will cover the cost to accommodate the Jamaicans aboard the vessel during the quarantine period. 

In the meantime, Dr. Chang says the ship captain would have breached international laws if he proceeded to dock in Jamaica without permission from the government. 

Dr Horace Chang, National Security Minister, speaking earlier on Cliff Hughes Online.