The French cruise company stated that the two passengers tested positive for coronavirus on the same day that passengers were allowed to disembark along Portugal’s Duoro River. CroisiEurope said these guests have all been contacted and advised to self-isolate and get tested.
All 20 crew members are currently quarantined onboard the ship after the five crew members tested positive. “All crew were tested, and the ship has been locked down for 10 days in agreement with the local Portuguese health authorities, who were satisfied with the handling of this matter," CroisiEurope said in a statement. "The five crew who tested positively are in self-isolation and are currently fit and well.”
Cruises to prioritise their health and safety measures as Covid hangs around
Back in August, two cruise ships were forced to suspend their sailings due to Covid-19 outbreaks onboard. And, while cruise sailings are generally dead on the water at the moment, some companies such as Fred Olsen are beginning to make plans to restart sailings and, in line with this, have announced new, improved health and safety protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of guests.
While CriosiEurope insists that ‘strict protocols’ put in place onboard Vasco da Gama to allow safe sailing were ‘adhered to at all times’ during the sailing, and that all CroisiEurope passengers are subject to preboarding health screening and temperature checks, it seems an oversight that so many passengers were able to disembark on the same day that two passengers and five staff members tested positive. Perhaps cruise liners will need to begin carrying out rapid Covid-19 tests ahead of the day of departure to achieve the least disruption to passengers and ensure that no knock-on outbreaks occur after passengers disembark.