ST. GEORGE’S, Grenada, – Two individuals quarantined on a yacht in the Grenadine island of Carriacou are among the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) cases here. At the same time, 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 of Health said in a statement.
One of the cases is a 62-year-old male who arrived here from the United States on American Airlines on November 14. He was PCR tested and remains in quarantine while the two males on the yacht, ages 63 and 64 years, are the first known cases in Carriacou.
“They arrived at the Carriacou Marina on November 12th 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,” said the release, adding 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, the region-wide advance notification system for yachts developed and run by Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council.
Once necessary documentation within Sail Clear is complete, it is automatically sent through to Grenada Customs and Immigration. Yachts are not allowed to enter Grenada if they do not register.
On arrival into Grenada territorial waters, a yacht must anchor in the Quarantine Zone.
In Bermuda, 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 seven days before departure.
Wilson said the change was made due to an increase in infections and because pre-testing availability had improved in North America.
Premier David Burt said negotiations were underway with a nationwide testing service in the US to make more pre-tests available to travelers 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. He said residents could not become complacent if the island avoided the new lockdowns forced on other countries.
The rate of positive test results tripled from September to October, climbing from 0.13 percent of passengers to 0.39 percent.
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 the hospital.