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Coronavirus / Cruise ship arrives into Lerwick amid coronavirus concern

The cruise ship Magellan anchoring off The Knab in March. Photo: John Waters

A CRUISE ship arrived in Lerwick from Iceland this morning (Friday) amid concerns in the community regarding the spread of coronavirus.

Lerwick Port Authority stressed it is following all the current rules and guidelines in relation to cruise ship visits during the coronavirus outbreak as the 222-metre Magellan arrived in town.

The port added that screening checks have been carried out on its passengers and that there is “no indication there is any issue on board the ship”.

The Magellan, owned by Cruise & Maritime Voyages, has a capacity for up to 1,250 passengers. She anchors off The Knab due to the forecast wind direction and speed.

Passengers from the cruise ship Magellan disembark at Victoria Pier on Friday morning. Photo: Jim Mullay

Excursions are said to be booked for its guests before they leave for Orkney this evening.

The cruise ship arrived in Shetland the day after the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the isles rose to six.

There has been concern in the community that cruise ships could potentially bring in the virus, or that passengers could pick up something from Shetland.

Lerwick Port Authority’s Melanie Henderson, however, said checks have been carried out on Magellan’s passengers.

The master of any vessel is also required by law to report on the health of crew and passengers prior to a port visit.

Henderson said: “They have done all the screening and pre-arriving boarding checks; there is no indication that there is any issue on board the ship.

“All protocol has been followed and we are continuing to monitor the situation.

“The Port Authority is working very closely to all the guidelines the department for transport, all the health checks have been done on board and the ship is taking all of its own precautions.”

She added that the port authority would be responsive to any changes to the current precautions that might be brought in by the government.

The next cruise ship due to arrive in Shetland is the Astoria on 21 March.