Coronavirus has seen many Britons go into self-isolation – which not everyone is happy about. It can be tough to be stuck in close quarters in your own house or flat. However, spare a thought for those who have been made to stay in an even smaller space – a cruise ship cabin.
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Passengers on Holland America Line ship MS Zaandam have been asked to remain in their cabins amid coronavirus fears.
This comes after several passengers and crew members began showing “flu-like symptoms.”
“This morning aboard Zaandam, 13 guests and 29 crew reported to the ship’s medical centre with influenza-like symptoms,” said Holland America in a statement yesterday.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we have now asked all guests to remain in their staterooms until we have more information.”
There a total of 1,243 passengers onboard the Holland America vessel and 586 crew members.
The cruise was scheduled to last 14 days, starting from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on March 7. It was due to end in San Antonio, Chile, this past Saturday, however, Chile blocked the ship was docking.
This left the cruise ship uncertain about the route, leaving one passenger dubbing it a “mystery cruise.”
“Our intention is to proceed to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for arrival on March 30, however we are still working on securing a reservation to transit the Panama Canal,” said Holland America. “Alternative options are also being developed.”
The outbreak of sickness was reported a day after the Zaandam tried to dock in San Antonio, resulting in the tough crackdown on movement around the ship.
“Zaandam is following the response protocols that have been developed in coordination with the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Holland America.
“Since it is flu season, and COVID-19 testing is not available onboard, it is difficult to determine the cause of these elevated cases at this time.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is one of our highest priorities.”
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The cruise line added: “The entire ship is operating at maximum sanitation levels, including rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of public and crew areas.
“Crew who are not required for the safe operation of the ship are being quarantined.
“Those that are needed to maintain the ship’s operation are being asked to self-isolate when not performing essential functions, practice social distancing, self-monitor and report any illness to the Medical Centre.
“Both internet and guest stateroom telephone services remain complimentary so that guests may stay in touch with their families.”
Two other Holland America ships are currently affected by coronavirus.
The Amsterdam ship is “alongside at Fremantle, Australia, where disembarkation began March 21, local time. 206 guests are remaining on board for disembarkation March 23, at which point all guests will be on their way home,” said the cruise line.
“Carnival Australia Care Team members are assisting in Australian air hubs. Additionally, select ship staff trained as Care Team members are accompanying those guests most in need of help on their flights.”
Meanwhile, the Maasdam ship “departed Honolulu on March 20 at 6:14pm and is en route to San Diego, California, with a planned arrival on March 27 for guest debarkation. Maasdam took on fuel and provisions at Honolulu prior to departure.”
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