Passengers leave COVID-hit cruise ship after 5 days stuck in Lisbon

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Disconsolate passengers stuck on a cruise ship moored in Lisbon’s port for five days due to a COVID-19 outbreak began disembarking early on Monday, focused on clearing the final hurdle of a negative test before boarding homebound flights, Trend reports citing Reuters.

The AIDAnova, carrying 2,844 passengers and 1,353 crew, had docked in Portugal’s capital on Wednesday.

The ship was en route to the island of Madeira for New Year’s Eve celebrations, but the cruise was cut short after COVID-19 was detected among the crew, 52 of whom tested positive between Wednesday and Friday.

By Monday 68 positive cases, including a handful among the passengers, had been detected, port captain Diogo Vieira Branco told the Lusa news agency.

The ship’s German operator, Carnival Corp (CCL.N) subsidiary AIDA Cruises, said all those infected had mild symptoms or none at all. All crew and guests over 12 had been fully vaccinated and been required to show a negative rapid antigen test before departure, it added.