On Monday September 13th a Carnival Cruise Ship docked in Jamaica carrying 1,700 passengers. Despite the government of Jamaica declaring the day A "no movement day", basically meaning no one is to leave their homes unless it is an emergency or they are special workers. Yes, a complete lockdown. Here is the announcement from the PM himself.
Now, many Jamaicans are disgruntled and are being very vocal that these 1,700 tourists were able to move on this "no movement day", granted they could only go to specified spots which a tour would take them such as; Dunn's River Falls, Green Grotto Caves , Mystic Mountain, the Island Village shopping Mall in Ocho Rios, as well as the beach near the Ship's dock. Here is a video of some of the tourists enjoying the beach while Jamaicans were on "No Movement Day".
Tourism Minister Ed Bartlett, amid the controversy, said the ship was allowed on local shores because Government was fulfilling a contract with Carnival Cruise Lines signed prior to the decision to the no-movement day declaration.
Discussion Session: What are your thoughts on this situation? Do you think it was fair to the Jamaican citizens and tourists not on the cruise ship? Do you think that Jamaica had to uphold their promise to the tourists and the cruise ship operators? Do you think it is a situation that couldn't be helped? Share in the comments below.
Please leave your opinion in the comments below or make a video on 3Speak.
I personally feel it was a situation that could not be helped as tourism is the major income earner for Jamaica and any negative publicity would go a far way on an already stagnant industry. ( But maybe the vocal Jamaicans were negative publicity?)
Imagine the government deciding to cancel the cruise at the last minute or telling the tourists they can only stay on the boat? The fact that the tourist could only visit designated areas within the package also means they were not free to roam all about Jamaica. The government was trying to be accommodative and jump start the industry the island leans on.(Instead of investing in emerging technologies)
The fact that contractual arrangements were in place before the realization that there would be these so called "no movement days" means the agreement has to be upheld. But the truth is that these no movements days should never exist in the first place, especially in a developing nation like Jamaica where there is no form support for citizens affected by the economic fall out caused by the pandemic. Many Jamaicans live hand to mouth day in and day out.