Gov’t ‘studying’ procedure to repatriate residents on cruise ships

Passengers of the Westerdam disembark at the port of Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The government does not have a concrete plan as yet on how to repatriate the local residents currently stranded on two cruise ships affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The acknowledgment was made yesterday by the representative of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Inês Chan during the daily press conference of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center.
Questioned on the topic by the media, Chan admitted that the government is still considering the best solution to address this situation, as there is no final decision, as yet, on how the repatriation of the seven passengers on the two cruise ships will be handled.
“In relation to the situation of the Diamond Princess [cruise ship] which is stranded in Japan, we are following up the case closely and trying to help the Macau residents to return to Macau,” replied Chan. “We need to consider several factors such as their health condition as well as the people that are companying them. In this way, the services are still evaluating the best way to bring them back but for the time being, I have no information on this matter.”
According to Chan, the five passengers from Macau on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be allowed to disembark on Wednesday and the government will find a solution to repatriate them to Macau.
Chan assured that for the time being, the only certainty is that they will need to be subjected to a quarantine period to assure their health.
Chan said that the Tourism Crisis Management Office has already contacted the two residents on board of the Westerdam cruise ship that has finally docked in Cambodia after several countries refused to receive the vessel. However, the Office has been advised that the residents cannot leave the ship yet.
The Hong Kong government has recently expressed its intention to freight an airplane to repatriate all of its residents stranded on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Categories Macau