(St. Lucia News Online) — Busloads of Saint Lucians coming in from Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe were immediately taken to government-sanctioned quarantines as part of efforts to combat the deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic now sweeping the globe.
Many Saint Lucians were left stranded earlier this week when the Express des Iles cancelled all services due to the closure of French borders by President Emmanuel Macron.
However, arrangements were made to have those stranded taken home.
The first Express des Iles boat arrived on Friday and was met by armed policemen, some wearing gas masks.
It originated in Guadeloupe and then stopped in Dominica and Martinique to pick up Saint Lucian nationals before terminating in Saint Lucia.
The Department of External Affairs warned that in keeping with the protocol guidelines established for COVID-19, all passengers, upon arrival in Saint Lucia, will be either quarantined, isolated or asked to self-quarantine, depending on the symptoms exhibited by each passenger.
Busloads of arriving passengers left the port, escorted by police cars with blaring sirens, to be quarantined at the Starfish Hotel in Rodney Bay.
The Consulate of Saint Lucia in Martinique said 92 residents arrived on the island on Friday.
Another boat was expected on Sunday but the consulate announced on Saturday it has been canceled.
The Department of Health and Wellness warned residents that they should not visit the port to meet passengers arriving.