CASTRIES, St. Lucia, CMC — St. Lucia on Sunday welcomed home nationals who were stranded overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the ongoing repatriation process, of the 151 St. Lucians standee overseas, some arrived from Canada and Barbados.
Seventeen nationals being repatriated from Canada arrived here shortly after 2pm (local time) on a West Jet chartered service via Barbados.
Subsequently, 59 persons will arrive aboard Disney Fantasy at Port Castries, and 73 nationals will arrive Monday through Port Castries via the Royal Vision of the Seas.
The Department of Health and Wellness has granted permission for the arrival and disembarkation processes, following which all carriers will depart St Lucia.
In accordance with Health and Safety protocols, officials said all frontline personnel at ports of entry will facilitate arrivals wearing the necessary personal protective equipment.
“It is mandatory that all returning nationals arrive wearing face masks. Port Health Authority will spearhead the disembarkation process.
“Returning nationals will be immediately transported to a government-operated quarantine facility where they will be housed for a period of 14 days,” the announcement stated adding that each national will be screened upon arrival and daily while accommodated at a government-operated quarantine facility.
Nationals will be tested for COVID-19 during the quarantine period, should they present as symptomatic.
Speaking on the ongoing repatriation process, Minister responsible for External Affairs, Sarah Flood-Beaubrun noted that the coordination of these efforts have been a success only because of the full engagement of the team managing the repatriation process.
“I wish to express our gratitude to Canada and High Commissioner Marie Legault, for affording Saint Lucia the opportunity to have our nationals join Barbadians on the flight to that country”, commented the Minister.
The WestJet flight was dispatched to Barbados to repatriate Canadians still in the region.
The Minister also thanked the Government of Barbados for facilitating the transfer of nationals, including those at the University of the West Indies who joined the charter, through their borders.
“The Department and the Government continue to look at ways to facilitate the repatriation of other nationals who wish to return home.
“Nationals who are desirous of returning home are reminded to contact the nearest Saint Lucian Embassy and Consulate, along with the office for Diaspora Affairs,” the minister advised.