COVID outbreak ends cruise for thousands on German ship in Lisbon


LISBON (Reuters) – The German operator of a cruise ship that has been caught in Lisbon’s port as a result of an outbreak of the coronavirus amongst its crew pulled the plug on the voyage on Sunday after some passengers examined constructive, port authorities stated.

The AIDAnova, with 2,844 passengers and 1,353 crew onboard docked in Lisbon on Dec. 29 whereas en path to the island of Madeira for New Year’s Eve celebrations, however was unable to proceed the journey after 52 instances of COVID-19 have been detected among the many fully-vaccinated crew.

It had been allowed to depart port and head to the Spanish island of Lanzarote on Sunday, however now one other 12 individuals have examined constructive, together with 4 passengers, captain of the port Diogo Vieira Branco advised TSF radio.

“The firm’s protocol was instantly actioned, with these contaminated, who’re asymptomatic or displaying mild signs, instantly remoted on the ship … and the corporate determined to finish the cruise and disembark the passengers,” he stated.

The passengers can be transported house by air, he added, with out specifying when.

The firm, AIDA Cruises, which is a subsidiary of Carnival Corp, didn’t reply to a Reuters request for remark.

Reuters footage confirmed passengers nonetheless having fun with afternoon solar on decks with their drinks, and native media stated the disembarking would start after 6 a.m. on Monday.

The crew who had examined constructive between Wednesday and Friday have been transferred to Lisbon motels and have been in isolation there.

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested individuals to keep away from travelling on cruise ships no matter their vaccination standing.

The transfer delivered one other blow to the trade that solely returned to the seas in June after a months-long suspension of voyages brought on by the pandemic.

(Reporting by Andrei Khalip and Miguel Pereira; Editing by Alison Williams)

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