Cruise ship with COVID-19 patients docks in Cuba

Cruise ship with COVID-19 patients docks in Cuba

The ship operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines and carrying 682 passengers and 381 crew docked at 7:00 am (1100 GMT) in the Mariel industrial port 45 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital Havana, AFP reporters at the scene said.

The Fred Olsen cruise liner the Braemar, which is heading for Cuba from where passengers hope to be flown home.

People with relatives on board Braemar can call the Fred Olsen support team on 01473 292350 between 8am and 8pm. The ship can also accommodate 371 crew members, according to the cruise line.

An FCO spokesperson said: "We are working around the clock to arrange evacuation flights from Cuba to the United Kingdom as soon as possible for passengers on the Braemar cruise ship".

Dominic Raab, Britiain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, thanked the Cuban Government for their assistance with a British cruise ship which has five suspected cases of coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

The port which is located in Florida around 50 miles east of Orlando now has six docked cruise ships.

"Am I anxious? No more than I would be at home in France, where we have coronavirus in our village", she said.

On arrival they will be obliged to "self-isolate for 14 days".

A SC lawmaker wants answers after more than 2,400 cruise passengers weren't properly screened for COVID-19 symptoms before they were released into the Port of Charleston Monday morning.

Instead, he made an unexpected stopover in St. Martin on March 2 to allow passengers to disembark and resume charter flights from the cruise to the United Kingdom.

All five are now in isolation on board the ship.

As of today, a total of 20 passengers and 20 crew members remain in isolation on the vessel, having shown influenza-like symptoms, including a doctor.

Passengers on the Braemar, a cruise ship run by Ipswich-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines with more than 600 passengers onboard is still searching for a port where it could dock after being turned away by a number of Caribbean ports over coronavirus fears. "This must be a very worrying time for our passengers on board and their families", the company said, adding that "we are in an unprecedented situation".

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