ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (CMC) — Two individuals who are quarantined on a yacht in the Grenadine island of Carriacou are among the latest coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases here, while Bermuda has announced new test requirements for entry into the British Overseas Territory.
“Today, Wednesday, November 18, the Ministry of Health confirmed three new cases of COVID-19. This brings the total number of laboratory-diagnosed cases in Grenada to 36. Thirty of those cases have been medically cleared and only six are active,” the ministry said in a statement.
It said that one of the cases is a 62-year old male, who arrived here from the United States on an American Airlines flight on November 14. He was PCR tested and remains in quarantine, while the two males on the yacht, ages 63 and 64, are the first known cases in Carriacou.
“They arrived at the Carriacou Marina on November 12 from Martinique and have been quarantined on their yacht, with two others. They were tested on the 16th and found to be positive. The entire yacht remains in quarantine,” said the release, urging residents of Carriacou to be cautious in their daily activities and practices.
“There is no reason for public panic,” the ministry added, noting that six of the active cases are asymptomatic, and remain in quarantine awaiting further testing and medical clearance.
All yachts entering Grenada must register on Sailclear.com which is the region-wide advance notification system for yachts developed and run by Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council.
Once necessary documentation with Sail Clear is complete, the application is automatically sent through to Grenada Customs and Immigration. Yachts are not allowed to enter into Grenada if they do not register.
On arrival in Grenada territorial waters, a yacht must anchor in the Quarantine Zone.
In Bermuda meanwhile, visitors to the island already facing a battery of COVID-19 tests, will now have to produce a negative result no more than five days before their departure to the island, Health Minister Kim Wilson has announced.
Non-residents were earlier required to have a negative test inside seven days before departure.
Wilson said the change was made as a result of an increase in infections and because pre-testing availability had improved in North America.
Premier David Burt said negotiations were under way with a nationwide testing service in the US to make more pre-tests available to travellers to Bermuda.
Wilson said the government was “in the final stages of discussion” with “a chain everybody knows,” adding “it is a chain that’s widely accessible within the United States”.
Burt confirmed that infection rates for people arriving in Bermuda had increased in recent weeks, and said residents could not become complacent if the island was to avoid the new lockdowns forced on other countries.
The rate of positive test results tripled from September to October, climbing from 0.13 per cent of passengers to 0.39 per cent.
Burt said 24,000 people had come in through the airport since it reopened on July 1 after closing on March 20 because of the pandemic.
The latest batch of more than 1,000 tests — among 98,500 carried out so far — all came back negative, health officials said. Returning residents are not required to have a pre-test but, like tourists, have to have a test on arrival and further tests on days four, eight and 14.
Bermuda has so far recorded 223 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with nine deaths. There are 20 active cases but no victims are in hospital.