DOZENS of crew members on a cruise ship scheduled to leave Greenock on an expedition voyage next month have tested positive for Covid-19.
All 158 staff on Norwegian operator Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen were checked for possible infection after four employees became unwell and were found to have the virus.
A total of 36 have now tested positive for Covid-19.
MS Roald Amundsen, which is currently docked in Tromsø, Norway with no guests on board, was scheduled to sail to Svalbard on Friday afternoon. That voyage has been cancelled.
The ship’s next scheduled cruise is an 11-day trip starting on 2 September from Portsmouth, finishing at Greenock Ocean Terminal on 12 September.
The 21,000-tonne ship, which can carry up to 530 passengers, is then due to start another cruise, from Greenock, leaving the same day.
Hurtigruten vice president of global communications Rune Thomas Ege said: “None of the 154 crew members still on board the ship -– including the 32 new confirmed positive tests -– has shown any signs of disease or symptoms of Covid-19.
“We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues. We work closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”
He added: “The initial four crew members that were infected were isolated several days ago because of other disease symptoms, showing no symptoms of Covid-19. They were routinely tested before being admitted to hospital in Tromsø, Norway Friday morning.
“Hurtigruten is in contact with all guests that were on board MS Roald Amundsen’s July 17 and 24 departures — 209 guests from the first voyage and 178 guests from the July 24 departure will self-quarantine in line with Norwegian health authority regulations. Hurtigruten also assists guests with transport, accommodation, food and other needs.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority. All crew members are closely monitored and screened daily. Non-Norwegian crew members are quarantined before boarding the ship, and non-European crew need to undergo two negative Covid-19 tests before even leaving their home country.”