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Rising COVID numbers aboard ships prompt cruise cancellations

Rising COVID numbers aboard ships prompt cruise cancellations

Health officials have announced the cancellation of three cruise ships to the territory after reports of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases aboard those vessels.
In a release issued by the Ministry Health, officials said the Queen Mary, Queen Victoria, and Wind Surf, all scheduled to arrive yesterday December 26, had cancelled their berths.

According to the release, once the COVID-19 cases onboard reach certain thresholds, cruise lines often make voluntary decisions not to call at ports until the situation is under control.

The statement further noted that countries also have the option to deny pratique or landing in such instances.

Cruise ships are part of a mandatory reporting system which include the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), and regional ministries of health, the release explained.

This occurrence of cancelled cruise calls because of COVID-19 is the first in several months. It was previously reported that a cruise liner cancelled its berth in June this year just as the BVI was preparing to jumpstart its cruise tourism operations after a lengthy pandemic-induced hiatus.

Meanwhile, other cruise vessel s such as the Amsterdam Windstar and Star Legend Windstar were cleared and granted “free pratique” allowing them to call in the Virgin Islands, the release stated.

The news of the cancellations comes amid rising case numbers in the BVI; with the latest reports putting total active COVID-19 cases at 143 persons as of December 24, while the total COVID-related deaths currently stand at 39 persons.
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