Norway blocks all cruise ships over 100 passengers from disembarking at ports – world news


Norway has banned all cruise ships with more than 100 passengers from disembarking at all ports following an outbreak of the coronavirus.Officials made the decision on August 3 after an outbreak on a Hurtigruten cruise ship last week.

The new ban will initially last for fourteen days, Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie said.

But this will not apply to regular ferry traffic, both domestic and international.

It follows at least 41 passengers and crew of the MS Roald Amundsen who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hundreds of people have now been ordered to self-isolate for 10 days, public health officials said.

The huge ship was named after the famous polar explorer Roald Amundsen

Hurtigruten cruise line has now said it is suspending all of its expedition cruises until further notice.

Managing Director Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement: “A preliminary assessment shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures”,

“Our own failure, along with the recent increase in infections internationally, has led us to halt all expedition cruises in Norwegian and international waters.

Norwegian police said they will now investigate whether any laws have been broken.

Initially, four crew members tested positive aboard the 535 passenger Norwegian vessel and were hospitalized on July 31 after the vessel arrived at the port of Tromsoe.

But tests showed that another 32 of 158 staff were also infected.

Most of the infected crews are from the Philippines while the rest are of Norwegian, French and German nationality.

The company said the foreign crew were tested before leaving their home country but did not isolate themselves before starting work on the ship.

Today, hundreds of passengers have been found after being cleared to disembark before anyone was diagnosed.

So far, only five of the ship’s 387 combined overseas passengers on two separate cruises since July 17 have tested positive, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the municipality of Tromsoe said.

The cruise line was the first operator to return an ocean-going cruise ship to service – and announced it would operate at reduced capacity with social distancing measures in place.

The ship was also scheduled to sail around the British Isles in September.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice in July to warn all vacationers not to travel on a cruise ship.

Advice released on March 21 previously only recommended that Britons over the age of 70 or those with underlying health conditions not travel.

In a statement, the FCO said it “does not recommend cruise ship travel at this time.”

He continued: “This is due to the ongoing pandemic and is based on medical advice from Public Health England.”


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