Norway stops cruise ships with more than 100 people from disembarking at ports

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Norway stops cruise ships with more than 100 people from disembarking at ports

Norway has banned all cruise ships with more than 100 passengers from disembarking at all ports following a coronavirus outbreak.

Officials made the decision on August 3rd after an outbreak on a Hurtigruten cruise ship last week.

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

But it will not apply to regular ferries traffic, both domestic and international.

It follows at least 41 passengers and crew from the MS Roald Amundsen testing positive for the coronavirus.

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

The cruise line Hurtigruten has now said that it is halting all its expedition cruises until further notice

Chief Executive Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement: “A preliminary evaluation shows a breakdown in several of our internal procedures,”

“Our own failure, as well as the recent rise in infections internationally, has led us to halt all expedition cruises in Norwegian and international waters.”

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

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

Norway stops cruise ships with more than 100 people from disembarking at ports 1

But tests showed a further 32 of the 158 staff were also infected.

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

The company said that the foreign crew had been tested before leaving their home countries but not self-isolated before starting work on the ship.

Now hundreds of passengers have been traced after they were allowed to disembark before anyone was diagnosed.

So far, just five of the combined 387 guests abroad the ship on two separate cruises since July 17 have tested positive, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and the Tromsoe municipality said.

The cruise line was the first operator to return an oceangoing cruise ship to service – and advertised that it would be running at reduced capacity with social distancing measures in place.

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

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

Advice published on March 21 previously only advised Brits aged over 70 or those with underlying health conditions to not travel.

In a statement, the FCO said it “advises against cruise ship travel at this time.”

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

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