At the request of British government, Cuba has authorized the docking in the country of MS Braemar cruise ship with small number of passengers testing positive for COVID-19.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla made the announcement on Twitter this Monday.
The minister added that the decision responds to a health emergency, in which the lives of sick people may be at risk.
He added that sanitary measures established in WHO and Cuban Public Health Ministry protocols will be implemented to receive passengers and crew.
As the pandemic expands, multiple cruise ships are being left stranded at sea.
Rodriguez added that once travelers arrive on the Island, they will be treated by health care authorities and safely flown back to the U.K.
The ship has been stranded for several days with 5 people with coronavirus on board, among 682 passengers and 381 crew.
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
Last March 13, the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland requested from the Cuban authorities that MS Braemar, a member of the Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, be authorized to dock in a Cuban port and that its passengers, a small number of which have been affected by the novel coronavirus (SARS CoV 2/Covid-19), be cleared for repatriation by air.
In view of the urgency posed by this situation and the risks for the lives of these affected individuals, the Cuban government has decided to allow this vessel to dock. Its existing sanitary measures will be implemented, so that everyone on board is received in compliance with the protocols set by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Cuban Ministry of Public Health.
In coordination with the British authorities, arrangements have been made for the safe and immediate return of these cruise passengers to the United Kingdom on UK chartered airliners, once they arrive in Cuba.
These times call for solidarity, understanding health as a human right and strengthening international cooperation in order to address our common challenges; i.e., values that are inherent to the humanist practice of the Cuban Revolution and people.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
Havana, March 16, 2020