MONDAY 6pm UPDATE: The MS Braemar, that was turned away from several Caribbean ports after passengers fell ill with novel coronavirus, is scheduled to dock in Cuba Tuesday after the island agreed to help transfer those aboard to planes bound for the United Kingdom. The Cuban government said it had decided to allow the Braemar to dock in the port of Mariel, about 35 miles (56 kilometres) west of the capital, “due to the urgency of the situation and the risk to the lives of sick people." Fred. Olsen Cruises said that the ship had 22 passengers and 21 crew members in isolation after displaying flu-like symptoms and five aboard who tested positive for the new coronavirus. (AP)
By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines ship MS Braemar has began to leave the Bahamas.
The ship captain announced on board on Monday morning that he is sailing to Cuba where all guests will be repatriated by air to the United Kingdom.
Officials said they are working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to confirm travel arrangement details.
Currently, 22 guests and 21 crew are in isolation after displaying flu-like symptoms.
Last week, the Bahamian government denied the ship permission to dock and disembark its passengers in this country. Since the ship’s arrival in Bahamian waters on Saturday, it was allowed to anchor 25 miles south west of Freeport.
In his national address on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis said the ship should have called on a port that has the capacity to deal with it.
“Our maritime authorities were in regular contact with the ship owners and my government was in touch with governments who enquired about the status of their nationals,” he said.
The Braemar ship sails under the Bahamas flag.