By Dana Malcolm
In a sharp turn from the reopening of cruising in December when ships were mandated to track their COVID cases and update the CDC, now the opposite is true after the end of the Conditional Sailing Order for ships.
Earlier this year the CDC announced that ships would be graded based on how many of their passengers were vaccinated. That is no more.
It is once again up to the cruise lines to determine what their requirements are for guests; whether that will look like free reign or strict vaccine mandates is yet to be seen in some companies.
Carnival Cruise Line has already dropped its pre-cruising test requirement for stays five nights and less for vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated guests will have no barriers to joining cruises as long as they provide a test. Previously they had to wait to see if they would be accommodated on a cruise.
Despite Carnival loosening up, unvaccinated guests will not be allowed on shore in the Turks and Caicos. Additionally the CDC is recommending that cruise liners create strict guidelines for the health of residents on shore.
“Cruise ships should develop and maintain shore-side response plans to prevent and mitigate the introduction of COVID-19 to port communities.” It said.
Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean and others have promised that in the coming weeks more changes will be made to their protocol.
JAMAICA: PM Announces New State of Public Emergency
#Kingston, December 7, 2022 – States of Public Emergency (SOEs) have been declared in several parishes and police divisions islandwide to address an increase in criminal activities and ensure public order.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning (December 6).
Mr. Holness said that the Government, after careful consideration of the recommendations of the security chiefs, decided to advise the Governor General that it was necessary and appropriate to declare the SOEs.
“Since the end of the last SOE, we have seen, unfortunately, an increase in criminal activities in these areas and, indeed, a threat to property and in some instances public disorder,” he said.
He noted that the security measure is also aimed at protecting lives and property during the Christmas period.
“This will be the first Christmas season since the ending of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) [which imposed COVID-19 restrictions] and already we are seeing and projecting an increase in activities, including entertainment and commercial [events].
“We are already seeing a demand, a stretch on the resources, and we have to guarantee our citizens that they will be able to go about their business in a safe and secure manner,” he said.
SOEs were previously imposed in several of the areas on November 15 but ended on November 29 after the resolutions to facilitate the extensions failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
Contact: Chris Patterson
Detained Canadian airline Crew Back in Canada
#Canada, December 7, 2022 – After being detained in the Dominican Republic for eight months and ‘living a nightmare,’ the crew of a Canadian airline, Pivot Airlines has finally returned home to Canada.
The announcement was made by Pivot Airlines in a statement, which revealed that the five-person crew landed in Toronto on Thursday, December 1.
“The crew has demonstrated incredible courage and resilience throughout the harrowing ordeal which saw them wrongly detained in the Dominican Republic for nearly eight months. Their steadfast commitment to public safety and the rule of law is a testament to the professionalism of all Canadian air crew,” the company’s statement read.
The airline also noted that it was grateful to everyone who advocated for its crew.
“Pivot Airlines is tremendously grateful to all those who advocated on our crew’s behalf, including CUPE, ALPA, Unifor, Senator David Wells, as well as our government partners,” Pivot Airlines said.
The crew was detained in April of this year after a strange bag was found aboard the aircraft they were on, and they reported it to authorities. Local police said they eventually found more than 200 kilograms of cocaine aboard the jet.
According to Canadian authorities, the five individuals, two pilots, two flight attendants and one part-time maintenance engineer “were arbitrarily detained, threatened and prosecuted” by Dominican authorities “despite following Transport Canada protocols and international laws.”
COP 15 begins; Turks & Caicos delegation and objectives unknown…
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2022 – Will the Turks and Caicos be in the room when the ‘massive moment for nature’ unfurls in Montreal, Canada? There is expected to be, in the end, a deal to protect animals and their habitats.
COP15 on Biodiversity begins today, Wednesday December 7th and while it was confirmed a TCI Delegation will be attending the event there’s no word yet who is making up that delegation or the objectives for the country, at this edition of the Conference of the Parties.
The Biodiversity Conference is the third UN Conference this year pulling together a Conference of the Parties (a gathering of the supreme governing body of any international convention) the first two being COP 15 on Desertification in May and COP 27 in November.
The Biodiversity Conference is has three main objectives it is aiming to fulfil:
- the conservation of biodiversity;
- the sustainable use of its components and
- the fair sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.
The Turks and Caicos islands have taken significant initiative this year to protect its Biodiversity, becoming the first Caribbean country to join the United Kingdom’s Blue Belt Program and hosting the Turks and Caicos’ first ever Climate Change Summit and continued partnerships with the Royal Botanical Gardens in the UK.
The Conference which will run until December 19th will also look at the implementation of the protocols of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that deal with the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of nature, and the safe transport, handling and labelling of Living Modified Organisms.
It is to be carried live: https://www.youtube.com/@cbd-live9013/streams.
COP15, like COP27 will open an avenue for funding to further biodiversity protection initiatives through negotiating with larger nations.
Photo Caption: The United Nations Biodiversity Conference’s Ceremonial Opening Day press conference. At the head table, Andersen Inger from UN Environment Programme, Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema, Huang Runqiu — COP15 chair, Steven Guilbeault — H.E Canadian Minister of Environment, and David Ainsworth, our Head of Comms. https://www.youtube.com/@cbd-live9013/streams
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