Tortola in the British Virgin Islands has denied the cruise ship Costa Favolosa from docking due to coronavirus fears with Italian guests onboard.
Costa Favolosa Denied at Tortola
Coronavirus fears are spreading across the cruise industry and following our news of the MSC Meraviglia being denied entry at two Caribbean cruise ports, now another cruise ship has also been blocked.
Costa Favolosa, which is operated by Italian-based Costa Cruises, has been blocked from entering the port at Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in the eastern Caribbean. The ship was scheduled to dock in Tortola this morning, February 26, 2020, during the current 7-day voyage.
The government of the British Virgin Islands decided to deny the vessel after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer and senior health officials. The government has stated “It was reported that a number of passengers had flown directly from Italy and had joined the ship in Guadeloupe within the last six days. This period is within the 14-day incubation period of COVID-19. It was also reported that 5 passengers had fallen ill with 3 testing positive for the Influenza A Virus, and are isolated on board the ship. It was determined that the ship was unable to conduct the test for the presence or absence of COVID-19.”
Authorities of the popular cruise destination decided not to allow the vessel to dock as a precaution to keep its citizens safe. The government is also canceling its own carnival activities in light of health measures being taken in Italy due to COVID-19, which is also known as novel coronavirus.
The Government of the British Virgin Islands has also stated:
Following Cabinet being apprised by the CMO and health officials, the Ministry of Health and Social Development is in continued discussions, and is working with all cruise lines calling on the BVI to ensure enhanced health and safety screening procedures and practices.
The cruise industry is of critical importance to the Territory and all efforts would be jointly made on a case-by-case basis to ensure the health and safety of residents and guests.
The Costa Favolosa has a total of five ports of calls and the Costa ship is scheduled to call in St. Maarten tomorrow, Martinique on February 28, and then finally Guadeloupe on February 29 before returning to its homeport in La Romana, Dominican Republic. We will have to see how this develops regarding the next three calls and if governments there will also deny the vessel to dock.
This development comes as Italy is facing a coronavirus crisis with more than 400 confirmed cases, making it the greatest concentration of confirmed infections in Europe. There are multiple Italian towns closed off and the majority of infections are in the Lombardy regions but also Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Liguria, Piemonte, Lazio, Sicily, Tuscany, Bolzano, and Marche. Sadly, 11 people have died from the virus in Italy so far.
Worldwide there are over 80,000 cases of COVID-19 reported and more than 2,700 deaths, with the majority in mainland China. The virus was first noted in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province in December 2019.