The Mexican government has announced it will allow non-infected travelers to disembark from cruise ships arriving from the United States even if passengers and crew members have tested positive for COVID-19.
The Ministries of Tourism and Health made the decision Tuesday, a day after American passengers aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Panorama were not allowed to leave the ship in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, because 30 crew members who tested positive for the coronavirus.
The ministries indicated it was basing their resolution on the guidelines set forward by the World Health Organization‘s (WHO’s) International Health Regulations.
‘Should people traveling on cruise ships show symptoms of COVID-19 disease or a positive test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they will be provided with the required medical attention,’ the Ministries of Tourism and Health said in a joint statement.
‘Asymptomatic people or with a mild condition will be kept in preventive quarantine, and those who present serious symptoms will be treated in the hospitals of the cities where they are found.
‘People who do not present symptoms can do their tourist activities with respect to the basic prevention measures: correct use of face masks, frequent hand washing with soap and water or use of 70 percent alcohol-gel and healthy distance.’
Passengers on Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Panorama were not allowed to leave the ship in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, on Monday due to 30 crew members who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The Mexican government relaxed its stance on cruise ships with infected crew and passengers by saying that only visitors who test negative can leave the liners
The MS Koningsdam is one of two cruise ships that have been turned away from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, since last Thursday after crew members tested positive for the coronavirus
Rudy Castanon, who is aboard the Carnival Panorama, shared the upsetting news that he and other passengers could not disembark in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after crew members had tested positive for COVID-19
The Carnival Panorama, which has a capacity of 3,936 passengers and 1,450 crew members, sailed from Long Beach, California, last Friday with stops scheduled in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur and Mazatlán, Sinaloa.
The ship docked in Puerto Vallarta on Monday around 8:30 a.m. local time and notified authorities that members of its crew had drawn positive tests and that 100 other workers were placed in isolation as a requirement.
The ship headed for the sea later in the day and was expected to be allowed to dock in Guaymas, Sonora, on Tuesday.
Rudy Castanon, of Carson, California, shared the upsetting news on his Facebook account.
A travel blogger named Nicole took to Facebook to share scenic photos of the Puerto Vallarta coast, pictured, after her cruise ship was not allowed to disembark its passengers after 30 crew members showed positive COVID-19 tests on Monday
‘We can not get off the ship here in Puerta Vallarta due to a few cases of Covid discovered today on our ship,’ he wrote. ‘We will not be able to get off at any of our ports. This is my first cruise, and it is not working out. I pray not too many people get sick.’
A travel blogger named Nicole, who was on the Carnival Panorama with her mother, said that at least five passengers had also test positive for COVID-19.
‘This is obviously disappointing — we were looking forward to exploring PV (Puerto Vallarta) again — but by no means surprising. This is the nature and risk of cruising right now, so it is what it is — an extra ‘sea day’ for us!’ she wrote.
The Carnival Panorama is the second cruise ship to be turned away from Puerto Vallarta after 1,035 passengers were not permitted to disembark from the Holland America Line MS Koningsdam last Thursday after 21 crew members tested positive for COVID-19.
The ship, which had made previous stops in Los Cabos and Mazatlán, concluded its seven-day trip and returned to San Diego on Sunday.
‘The trip was actually wonderful,’ Marilyn Woodruff told San Diego NBC affiliate KNSD. ‘I felt really safe. I had no concerns at all. The cleanliness standards were really good. I think they responded very quickly to contain it.’
The MS Koningsdam was among four liners who were forced to return to the United States over the past week due to a spike in positive COVID-19 cases.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Freedom docked in Miami on Sunday after several coronavirus cases cases were reported.
Kimberly Kelley blasted the ship’s protocols and was concerned about testing positive.
‘It was disgusting,’ she said. ‘We didn’t touch one pool on that ship because everyone’s in there all over each other – no one’s wearing masks, nobody cared. Now I have to worry I’m going to have COVID?’
The ship, which can carry nearly 3,000 passengers and 1,150 crew members, was not allowed by local governments to make planned stops on the Caribbean islands of Bonaire and Aruba. Instead, the liner made an ‘alternative visit’ to Amber Cove, Curacao and the Dominican Republic, a company spokesman told the Times.
‘They didn’t inform us of hardly anything,’ Leah Murray, another passenger on the Freedom, told GMA. ‘We sat there for a couple of hours, and then we found out they wouldn’t let us on our destination because of so many people on the ship were having COVID.’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it was investigating 68 cruise liners following COVID outbreaks.
The CDC maintains a list of 108 operating cruise liners on its website, categorizing them based on how many cases of COVID-19 have been reported onboard. Passengers on U.S.-based cruise liners must wear masks in public areas and present proof of vaccination.