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Five test positive aboard Ipswich cruise line ship

PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 13 March 2020

Five people have tested positive for coronavirus aboard the Braemar. Picture: FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES

Five people have tested positive for coronavirus aboard the Braemar. Picture: FRED. OLSEN CRUISE LINES

© Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Five people have tested positive for coronavirus aboard a Fred Olsen ship in the Caribbean as authorities in the Bahamas will not let it dock.

The Ipswich based cruise line said that four members of crew and one customer on board the Braemar tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday in Curacao.

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On Thursday passengers and crew on board the Braemar were due to disembark in Barbados at the end of a cruise around the Carribean.

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Due to the virus the ship is headed to the Bahamas instead, where it will be able to take on supplies and medication but passengers and crew will not be able to get off the ship.

Currently guests on board the ship do not have to be in isolation.

A statement on the company website says: 'This in an ongoing situation and a dedicated team at our HQ in Ipswich are working around the clock to find a solution. They are speaking to The Bahamas, the UK government, UK Chamber of Shipping and Public Heath England.

'Our top priority remains getting the guests on board Braemar home as soon as possible whilst ensuring the safety of all those on board.

'The Captain and crew are doing everything they can to communicate the situation with the guests- and to ensure their time on board is as comfortable as possible.

'On the advice of Public Health England, there is currently no requirement for guests to stay in their cabins but we are making it possible for those who wish to do so. We are adhering to strict guidelines to maintain hygiene. We are asking guests to keep a reasonable distance from each other and crew members, as much as possible.

'There are many ports around the world who are making a decision as to whether to stay open for cruise ships. Some cruise companies have suspended their operations. We are monitoring these announcements carefully and will revise any affected itineraries accordingly. All guests booked onto any cruises which are required to change as a result will be made aware as soon as we have alternative plans confirmed.'

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