Barbados moved 21,000+ stranded cruise ship crew members and some passengers over the past 3-4 months of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The repatriations were conducted through Port Bridgetown and Grantley Adams Airport.
According to Mia Mottley (Barbados' Prime Minister), the humanitarian effort represented the nature of Barbadians to support those in need. Speaking on July 22 as she led the debate on the Remote Employment Bill 2020 in the House of Assembly, she said “Barbados could not turn its back on those people who were desperately trying to get back home.”
“When asked in March what would be our stance to people who were helpless and voiceless, this country made a determination . . . We said to the people who were stranded on cruise ships and when they had nowhere to turn to and no one to turn to, and when they showed up and showed us all the ports that said ‘no entry’, we said ‘come’.”
The Prime Minister, praised by cruise operators for the bold move, said that they put arrangements in place to guarantee the crew members’ safety but to guarantee the safety equally of Bridgetown’s citizens.
“And over the course of the last few months, I am happy to lead a nation that has been responsible for the repatriation of more than 21,000 human beings from cruise ships.”