Norway clears cruise passengers after two tested for virus

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK (AP) – Passengers on a German cruise ship moored in southern Norway received clearance to come out of a 24-hour quarantine after two of them tested negative for the coronavirus, Norwegian officials said on Tuesday.

Officials in the coastal town of Haugesund learnt on Monday that two passengers on the Aida Aura had contact with someone a week ago who did test positive for the virus. The infected individual wasn’t among the cruise ship’s 1,200 passengers.

The two people on the cruise were removed from the ship to be tested for the virus while the other passengers had to remain on board.

“There is no need to keep the passengers in quarantine,” Teis Qvale, a doctor with the Haugesund municipality, said.

The Aida Aura is operated by the German cruise line AIDA Cruises. It was supposed to leave Haugesund on Monday.

In recent weeks, cruise ships have remained docked without permission to disembark their passengers or refused authorisation to enter ports because of concern about the spread of the virus.

The German cruise ship Aida Aura at the quay in Haugesund, Norway. PHOTO: AFP