The 158 crew of the MS Roald Amundsen were tested after four members of staff fell ill and were diagnosed on Friday, according to a statement released on Saturday by Hurtigruten, the ship’s owner.
“None of the 154 crew members still on the ship – including the 32 new positive tests confirmed on Saturday – showed signs of illness or symptoms of Covid-19,” he said. “Four guests have tested positive. The ship is currently moored in Tromso, Norway, with no guests on board. ”
The four crew members tested positive on Friday after being isolated for several days for showing “other symptoms of illness” but none associated with Covid-19, the statement said. They are in a hospital in Tromso.
The ship was due to sail to Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago north of Norway, on Friday afternoon. This trip has been canceled.
Hurtigruten VP of Global Communications Rune Thomas Ege said the company “is making every effort to take care of our guests and colleagues” and will work closely with Norwegian national and local health authorities for monitoring, information, testing supplementation and infection monitoring. ”
MS Roald Amundsen carried out two Arctic expeditions, one on July 17 with 209 guests and another on July 24 with 178 guests on board.
On July 27, the European Maritime Safety Agency published guidelines for the recovery of cruise ships in the European Union and in countries of the European Economic Area. He states that “cruise operators must ensure that cruises do not present unacceptable health risks to passengers, staff and the general public, especially compared to other types of package holidays.”
He recommends enhanced cleaning, a physical distance of at least 1.5 meters, and the use of face masks if the physical distance cannot be maintained.
Hurtigruten said its non-Norwegian crew members are quarantined before boarding and non-European crews must undergo two negative Covid-19 tests before leaving their home country.
According to John Hopkins, Norway has reported more than 9,200 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 255 deaths.
The country first confirmed cases in February and introduced lockdown measures the following month, including closing its borders to most foreign nationals and closing schools and universities.
In mid-July, he eased some entry restrictions to the country for travelers from the EEA as well as for family members and romantic partners of citizens.