By Alex Trelinski • 02 April 2020 • 10:41
US President Donald Trump has said that the UK government has made arrangements to get British passengers on two cruise ships home, after they dock in Florida.
Four people have died of Covid-19 aboard the cruise ship Zaandam, including 75-year-old British man John Carter.
His widow has been quarantined on board the ship since his death.
The Carters were among 200 British people on the ship, which has recorded nine confirmed cases of Covid-19 and has an estimated 200 people on board who have reported flu-like symptoms.
The Zaandam offloaded its healthy passengers onto sister-ship, the Rotterdam earlier this week, with both ships having been denied entry to ports in a number of countries.
The cruise liners are seeking to dock in Florida but have become embroiled in a dispute, with local authorities reluctant to take more patients into an American healthcare system that is struggling to cope with the Covid-19 outbreak.
Trump said that there was no choice but to allow the ships to dock and for those aboard to disembark.
Reports suggest that the President had confirmed arrangements had been made with the UK to repatriate British passengers.
UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said this week that the government was “determined to help Britons stranded abroad” and that it would “work with British Airways to keep flights running, so travelling Brits can get back to the UK.”
The latest development regarding the two Florida-bound ships come as authorities in Mexico allowed 46 British citizens to disembark from another cruise ship off its Caribbean coast and fly home yesterday(April 1).
It also came after Mr Carter’s family pleaded for Mr Trump and Florida officials to allow the two ships to dock so that passengers and crew can receive “the urgent assistance that they so desperately need.”
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