CroisiEurope ship in lockdown after passengers, crew test positive for Covid

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The Vasco de Gama was placed in lockdown after passengers fell ill with Covid-19 on the final day of a Douro River sailing.
The Vasco de Gama was placed in lockdown after passengers fell ill with Covid-19 on the final day of a Douro River sailing.

The CroisiEurope river ship Vasco de Gama is on lockdown in Portugal after two guests and five crew members tested positive for Covid-19, the company said.

In a statement Friday, the French-based cruise company said the passengers fell ill Monday, the day passengers were disembarking as scheduled from the Douro cruise.

The company said the two were immediately isolated and taken to a local hospital, where they tested positive the following day.

According to the Portugese newspaper Expresso, the other 65 guests returned home to France and Belgium. CroisiEurope said the other guests have all been contacted and advised to self-isolate and be tested.

"All crew were tested, and the ship has been locked down for 10 days in agreement with the local Portuguese health authorities, who were satisfied with the handling of this matter," the company said in a statement. "The five crew who tested positively are in self-isolation and are currently fit and well."

The company also said that "the strict protocols put in place by the company to allow safe sailing were adhered to at all times" during the sailing.

According to the company website, CroisiEurope ships have a Safeguard Certification from the French company, Bureau Veritas, which the company said "ensures the proper application of preventive, sanitary measures -- which have been subject to a rigorous auditing process -- and confirms that our crew members have been thoroughly trained to implement them."

The website also notes that all passengers are subject to preboarding health screening and temperature checks.
CroisiEurope, which caters mostly to the European market, restarted river cruising on July 13. There have been no other Covid-19 incidences since sailing resumed, the company said.

The only other publicly reported outbreak of Covid-19 on a river ship was in Egypt this spring, at the outset of the global coronavirus outbreak.

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