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Mexico Allowing Cruise Ships to Disembark, Fumigating Passengers

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Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT) announced yesterday that the country will continue to receive cruise ships in Puerto Vallarta, “for humanitarian reasons”.

The SCT reiterated in a statement issued March 25, 2020, that cruises scheduled to arrive in Puerto Vallarta will be allowed to dock and appropriate sanitary measures will be carried out by the proper authorities, in accordance with federal, state and municipal protocols.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s stance is that the disembarkation of cruise passengers can be, “carried out strictly for humanitarian reasons, without putting the population of the port at risk,” said the statement.

The SCT said that a special protocol had been developed between March 19 and 21, which enabled passengers of the German-owned MS Europa to disembark at Puerto Vallarta’s Cruise Terminal this past weekend before transferring directly to the airport for return flights to their respective countries.

Persons arriving on cruise vessels will be individually checked and “fumigated” by the Puerto Vallarta International Health team prior to disembarking, then transferred directly to the local airport, where they’ll bypass the usual check-in counters and waiting areas, proceeding directly to the foot of the plane. They’ll also undergo a final fumigation by International Health prior to boarding their flights home.

The New York Times reported that it remains unclear at this time whether there are any more cruise ships in Mexican waters awaiting authorization to dock.

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Coral Princess Docks in Miami with Two Dead, Others Ill

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Princess Cruises’ Coral Princess has finally docked in Miami after having been denied permission to disembark its passengers at ports in multiple countries, although no one aboard had actually tested positive for COVID-19 until this week. Onboard medical staff noticed a higher-than-usual number of ship’s occupants coming down with flu-like over a week ago and, starting March 30, guests were asked to stay in their rooms.

CNN reported that the ship arrives with two dead and several others sick with the novel coronavirus. While it’s unclear exactly how many of Coral Princess’ 1,000-plus passengers and 878 crew will be cleared to disembark in Miami, Miami Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told CNN that the most seriously ill will be transported off the ship first, bound for local hospitals. Two guests, in particular, who require immediate medical attention were to be taken to Miami’s Larkin Community Hospital, said the mayor.

Gimenez also explained that about fifteen coronavirus-positive passengers who don’t need immediate hospitalization will remain aboard to receive care in the ship’s medical ward until they are cleared the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Reportedly, those passengers who are deemed fit to fly home will begin disembarking tomorrow, although the process, Princess Cruises said, “is expected to take several days, due to limited flight availability,” Mayor Gimenez disclosed that over 990 passengers and 840 crew members have thus far been deemed fit for travel.

The Coral Princess was about halfway through its itinerary when, on March 12, Princess Cruises announced that it would end underway voyages as soon as possible as worldwide concern grew regarding the spread of COVID-19. The cruise, which departed from Chile on March 5 and was scheduled to finish March 19 in Argentina, lasted more than two weeks longer than originally planned.

The vessel tried to disembark on March 19 in Buenos Aires as originally scheduled, as many passengers had air travel booked home from that point. When it did dock, the government would only allow Argentine passport holders and others who had confirmed same-day flights off the ship. The Argentine government warned that, if the Coral Princess did not cast off again that same night, it would be required to remain there indefinitely with no passengers disembarking.

The Coral Princess afterward appealed to authorities in Uruguay, where it was able to resupply, and in Brazil, but was denied disembarkation by both. Heading towards Florida, the ship picked up supplies once more in Barbados before finally finding safe harbor in Miami.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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