By Demion McTair. Updated 1:41 p.m., Wednesday April 29, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).
A Vincentian crew-worker currently stuck on a cruise ship has threatened to call relatives and other beneficiaries of sailors to the streets of St. Vincent, if the government does not “stop the nonsense” regarding their position on who should fund quarantine for returning sailors.
In a video posted on his facebook page on April 27, the sailor – Travis Harry has accused the government of “begging for money” and “forcing sailors to break a legal binding contract”.
Negotiations have been ongoing between the Government of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Royal Caribbean Cruise lines.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves had said on WEFM on April 26 that hoteliers have negotiated a fee of EC$150 per night, inclusive of three meals and that cruise lines should pay this fee for a quarantine period of 14 days.
The Prime Minister said that over 1,000 workers from Royal Caribbean alone are set to return. This means that it could cost millions to quarantine the sailors.
But, Harry, who said he was speaking on behalf of sailors, said that the ship workers have signed a Gateway-to-Gateway contract which stipulates that once the crew workers have been repatriated to their home country, the ships are no longer responsible for them. (VIDEO BELOW)
Harry said the decision by Saint Vincent’s government could have repercussions.
The sailors were scheduled to arrive in St. Vincent on April 30, but the US-based Royal Caribbean said it has not been granted clearance by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to repatriate the sailors.
The matter remains the subject of much national discussion and one maritime law expert has so far weighed in on it.