Claim: Cruise ships are only evacuating Caribbeans who have been vaccinated
The Vincentian Prime Minister gave this evacuation order, following precautions to allow cruise ships to transport Vincentian residents to neighbouring island countries.
On 9 April 2021, a 4000 foot high volcano, La Soufriere, which erupted on the eastern Caribbean island, St Vincent and the Grenadines, necessitated an evacuation order of Carribeans into cruise ships and neighbouring islands from the Vincentian Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves. Following this, a number of reports, including a video on Instagram suggest that cruise ships facilitating the evacuation are only taking COVID-19 vaccinated persons. This claim was flagged to Dubawa by Facebook as part of our third party fact-checking agreement.
Dubawa found a video showing the speech where the Vincentian Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves gave the evacuation order and found the claim to be true.
“The Chief Medical Officer will be identifying persons who are already vaccinated so that we can get them on the ship,” Gonsalves said in a press conference.
Gonsalves added that the cruise ships were volunteering to transport Vincentian residents to neighbouring islands Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Lucia; however, only COVID-19 vaccinated persons would be allowed onto the cruise ships out of caution. He explained that the ships did not have enough personnel to keep people on the ships but the ships had enough personnel to transport passengers.
He also assured that thousands of people who have not yet been vaccinated remained on land on Friday and are staying at local hotels in safe zones.
The claim that cruise ships are only evacuating Caribbeans who have been vaccinated is true. The Vincentian Prime Minister gave this evacuation order out of precaution to allow these cruise ships working voluntarily to transport Vincentian residents to neighbouring island countries.