UPDATED - It Begins: Only COVID Vaccinated People Can Be Evacuated from Volcano Stricken Caribbean Island of St. Vincent

UPDATED - It Begins: Only COVID Vaccinated People Can Be Evacuated from Volcano Stricken Caribbean Island of St. Vincent

The La Soufrière volcano erupted Friday morning on the island of St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean, prompting evacuations–but only for those who can prove they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 China virus, CBS News and other outlets reported.


Eruption of La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent, April 9, image via UWI Seismic Research/Twitter.

“Nearly 20,000 people have been forced out of their homes on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent after a volcano erupted there for the first time in more than 40 years. Cruise ships are now evacuating people from the island — but only those vaccinated against COVID-19.”

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The New York Times reported the vaccine mandate for evacuations was announced by St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves:

Prime Minister Gonsalves said on Thursday that in order to board the cruise ships sent to evacuate people from the island, evacuees must be vaccinated, while the nearby island nations that are planning to accept refugees will also require vaccinations. He also recommended that those who arrive in shelters on St. Vincent be vaccinated.

Islands that have said they would accept evacuees include Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada and Barbados.

A poster on Twitter noted the vaccine mandate excludes just about the entire population, given that only about ten thousand have been administered a first dose but not a second out of a total population of about 110,000 for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Imagery of the eruption:

Meanwhile at the U.S. border with Mexico, Joe Biden is letting in tens of thousands of migrants with no COVID testing and no proof of vaccination.

UPDATE: Cruise line Royal Caribbean responded to TGP about the vaccine mandate, saying the policy was set by the St. Vincent government, and clarified that evacuees would be tested and offered vaccines on board ship so they can be resettled in neighboring island nations, indicating that proof of vaccination is not required for evacuees to board ship.

“1/2Hi, there. Royal Caribbean hasn’t made vaccinations a requirement for St. Vincent evacuees. Government officials of St. Vincent have offered to do their best to make sure all who board will be tested and vaccinated in order to receive refuge in neighboring countries…2/2 This is their initiative. So far, we have evacuated 137 residents to St. Lucia today. We stand ready to provide any additional assistance as the relief efforts continue.”

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