- Norwegian officials are working to contact passengers who travelled on two Arctic cruises after dozens of people – mostly staff – have tested positive.
- At least 36 staff members have tested positive, according to a Reuters report, in addition to at least four passengers from the two separate voyages.
- Officials said “messages have been sent to all the passengers,” though they’re trying to “verify that the information has been received and understood.”
- In June, Hurtigruten, the Norway-based luxury cruise liner, became the first to begin sailings amid the coronavirus pandemic after it paused sailings for three months, according to the report.
- The cruise industry has taken a significant financial hit during the pandemic and has been largely put on pause after outbreaks on ships early on during the pandemic.
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Norweigan officials are scrambling to contact passengers from a luxury cruise ship after dozens of passengers and crew members have tested positive for the coronavirus as part of two Arctic sailings aboard a Hurtigruten cruise line ship, Reuters reported.
According to the report, the Norway-based Hurtigruten cruise line in June became the first cruise line to began sailing again amid the coronavirus pandemic following a three-month pause. On July 31, four crew members on the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalized when the ship docked at the port of Tromsoe in Norway, according to the report.
Later tests found that at least 36 of the 158 crew members on board had contracted the virus, including the four who required hospitalisation. Four passengers between the two July sailings – the first of which set sail on July 17 – have also tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said. In total, there were 387 passengers between the two cruises, according to the report.
“Messages have been sent to all the passengers,” a spokesperson for the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said, according to Reuters. “We’re now seeking to verify that the information has been received and understood.”
Public health officials said they expected to find more people infected as a result of the outbreak, according to the report. The majority of the infected crew came from the Philippines and the others from Norway, France, and Germany, the cruise line said.
The cruising industry has been one of the hardest-hit industries by the coronavirus pandemic. In the US, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has banned sailings from US ports through at least September, which sent cruise industry stocks further downward.
At the outset of the pandemic, multiple cruise ships became stranded at sea – some experiencing coronavirus outbreaks – because the ships were not permitted to dock due to restrictions placed by nations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In February, passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were quarantined after 10 passengers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Eventually, over 700 passengers from the ship tested positive, and more than a dozen died as a result of contracting the virus, according to
Hurtigruten operates the MS Roald Amundsen and 15 other ships, according to Reuters. The MS Roald Amundsen is not scheduled to set sail again until a voyage in September.
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