Virus-Infected Cruise Ship Finally Allowed to Dock in Cuba

Braemar, the cruise ship that has been stranded at sea for weeks after being turned away by several Caribbean ports due to the COVID-19 outbreak, has finally been allowed to disembark at a Cuban port.

The cruise ship was first denied entry from the Romana cruise port in the Dominican Republic on February 27, as an alleged number of passengers exhibited symptoms that the cruise line, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, insisted were not consistent with those of the coronavirus.

On March 1, Braemar docked in Sint Maarten. Some passengers were allowed to disembark and returned to the United Kingdom. The ship then returned to the Dominican Republic where more passengers had boarded before embarking around the Caribbean.

On March 9, it was confirmed that the passengers who had disembarked in Sint Maarten had tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to the United Kingdom. The company announced that five people aboard Braemar had been exhibiting “influenza-like symptoms” were being kept isolated in the ship’s medical center.

The ship was allowed to dock in Curacao on March 10 so passengers and crew members could be tested. No one was allowed to disembark from the ship. One passenger and five crew members tested positive for the coronavirus.

The infected were kept in isolation as the ship tried to enter its final port in Barbados on March 12, but officials requested that the ship turn back to the Bahamas. While the Bahamas allowed the ship to dock to obtain supplies, nobody was allowed to disembark.

The ship was left stranded for days as the number of people with flu-like symptoms grew to 47. Finally, the ship was welcomed to dock at the Mariel Port in Cuba on Monday, March 16.

Passengers will be allowed to leave the ship upon entering port. According to ABC News, four chartered flights will be able to take the passengers home to the United Kingdom on Wednesday.

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