Cruise returns to Miami after denied entry at ports amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 5:16 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 05:16:01-05

MIAMI (CNN/WSVN) — A cruise ship where a crew member fell ill with what turned out to be the flu has returned to PortMiami, days after it was denied entry at two ports over coronavirus concerns.

MSC Cruises USA spokesperson Ken Muskat said passengers were never at risk of contracting the virus.

However, Muskat said, that did not stop two ports on the ship’s itinerary to deny them entry.

“Jamaica, unfortunately, did not allow the ship to come in, just based off of fear, basically,” he said, “so then we went on to Grand Cayman. Unfortunately, Grand Cayman did not allow the ship to come in either, also based on fear. They didn’t even check.”

More than 6,000 passengers and crew members were stuck on the ship for days.

The ship was eventually allowed to dock at the port of Cozumel in Mexico, where health officials boarded the boat to conduct tests.

The sick crew member was diagnosed with the flu, and the rest of the passengers passed health screening tests before their journey back to South Florida.

The spread of a new coronavirus from China is disrupting the cruise industry in the midst of its busiest season for bookings.

Cruise passengers are canceling or postponing their trips, and travel advisers are seeing fewer last-minute bookings. While the final impact on the cruise industry is not yet known, fears already have sent cruise stocks plummeting over the past week.

Courtesy WSVN and CNNewsource.