Hawaii to block 2 cruise ships from releasing passengers
Hawaiian officials said late Wednesday that two cruise ships carrying passengers who have yet to test positive for coronavirus would be turned away.
The Associated Press reported that officials reversed a decision to allow the two ships, the Maasdam and the Norwegian Jewel, to dock at Honolulu’s port while passengers disembarked. The two ships, operated by Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line, respectively, were still allowed to refuel and resupply.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), a 2020 presidential candidate, said that officials had made “the difficult, but correct, decision to only allow the Maasdam and Norwegian Jewel cruise vessels … to come into port solely to take on fuel and resupply, in Honolulu Harbor,” according to the AP.
Hundreds of passengers, including some U.S. citizens, remained on board the two ships, which have yet to report a positive case of the coronavirus behind the global outbreak, though it was unclear if any passengers or crew had exhibited symptoms.
“[W]e have been told so many times we can disembark, only to be told the day before we couldn’t,” passenger Edmund Pinto told the AP.
Governments have refused to allow multiple cruise ships to dock, citing fears of spreading coronavirus.
The U.S. recently followed numerous other countries in implementing travel restrictions on foreign nationals attempting to enter the country, further complicating efforts to deal with the dozens of ships that were at sea when President Trump implemented the order.