There is outrage among some social media users over the decision to open two attractions in St Ann on Monday, which is designated a no-movement day, to tourists travelling on a cruise ship.
The Carnival Sunrise cruise ship is set to dock in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Monday.
A letter dated September 10 from the St Ann Development Company confirmed that “there will be a cruise ship visit to the port of Ocho Rios” on Monday.
As a result, Dunn’s River Falls and Park, as well as Green Grotto Caves, are to be opened from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on the day, said the company that has responsibility for the two attractions.
“We will revert to closure on the other no-movement’ days as mandated by the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA),” the company said.
“We appreciate your continued support as we navigate through this unprecedented environment,” the letter that was addressed to ‘clients’ (seemingly subsidiary property managements) of the company, added. It was signed by Farrah Blake, the Director of Subsidiary Management at St Ann Development Company.
The letter has since gone viral across social media platforms, with numerous persons arguing that the decision to open the attractions to tourists presents a double standard in governance nationally.
“On a no-movement day a cruise ship will dock in Jamaica and visitors (will be) taken to Dunn’s River Falls. The double standard continues. When will this stop? Revolution needed,” tweeted a social media user.
File photo of inside the Green Grotto Caves in Discovery Bay, St Ann.
Added another: “Unuh deven (don’t even) realise seh foreigners getting privileges over unuh. Unuh only have strength for citizens.
“Dunn’s River about to open on a lockdown day and no citizen cannot go there unless they coming from a resort or the ship, but unuh on here (Twitter) attacking ppl (people),” she tweeted.
Others chanted much the same.
Jamaicans are restricted from moving on lockdown days, with exemptions given to certain individuals to move in relation to their specific work agendas on each day.
Among the selected groups who are exempted on no-movement days are essential service workers and persons visiting vaccination sites to get vaccinated.
The Government introduced a series of no-movement days to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus that has resulted in a spike in the rate of infections, hospitalisations and deaths from the virus locally.
In responding to a Twitter user’s query on whether the tourist attractions would be open on Monday, Delano Seiveright, Senior Advisor and Strategist at the Tourism Ministry, tweeted:
“Arriving fully vaccinated cruise visitors are permitted to visit only establishments within resilient corridor certified by TPDCo (Tourism Product Development Company), & permitted to travel on trained/licensed transport. HUGE COVID-19 safety BUBBLE – workers trained, masked, sanitised, social distanced, vaxxed etc.”