At least 60 percent of passengers on Antarctica bound Australian cruise liner ship have tested positive for COVID-19.
A statement by the Australian company running the ship, Aurora Expedition, said 217 passengers and crew were tested and that 128 of whom were positive for the virus.
Beginning on Thursday, Australian and New Zealand passengers on the ship will be allowed to disembark and fly home, while European and American passengers will remain on the ship.
The statement said: “The company is planning to charter a plane to Melbourne, Australia, which is estimated would cost each passenger over $9,000 a seat. Once in Melbourne, returnees will undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a facility.”
The company said that it was waiting for “further clearance” to announce travel plans for American and European passengers, who for the time being will remain on the ship.
The Greg Mortimer is one of over a dozen cruise ships that in recent weeks that have found themselves pariahs at sea amid worries over onboard cases of coronavirus. Uruguay refused to allow it to dock in early April.