The majority of evacuees from the red volcano hazard zone have indicated that they would prefer to stay in St Vincent, and therefore the cruise ships that had been on standby have left our waters.

“We have to take a decision sometime this afternoon, maybe early tomorrow as to whether we just tell the cruise vessels, the cruise companies, thanks for their help…because people want to stay home,” rather than be evacuated to another jurisdiction, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves indicated yesterday morning, April 12, while speaking on the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

“People seem to want to stay home. But they had that option, but if they don’t want to take up that option fine,” he continued.

Speaking later that day on ‘Beyond the Headlines’ broadcast by the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN), the Prime Minister informed that a relatively small number of persons indicated they wanted to leave.

Some countries who agreed to accommodate evacuees had apparently noted they would want evacuees to be vaccinated against Covid-19, while one country said PCR testing, rapid testing and quarantining would suffice.

On the other hand, there is no requirement for persons in shelters to be vaccinated or even tested on entry; but it is encouraged, he said. Only mask wearing and other protocols are being insisted upon.

The Government took the decision to express gratitude to the cruise ships, he said, because the numbers are not large enough. He said smaller groups will be facilitated with chartered vessels from Bequia or Canouan.