Jamaica could take action against cruise ship for breaching quarantine law

The MSc Meraviglia.

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton has said that Jamaica could take action against MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia vessel for a breach of local quarantine laws.

He told a press conference on Thursday that the ship’s captain had failed to report ahead of arriving that it had a health related threat on board. 

The vessel which was carrying 4500 passengers and 1600 crew members was refused entry to dock at Ocho Rios, St Ann on Tuesday (Feb 25). Tufton said it was only when port health officials did an inspection of the vessel that they discovered that a crew member was ill and had been isolated.

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton addressing journalists at the ministry’s offices in New Kingston, Thursday (Feb 27).

“The crew member had a cough, fever and associated muscle pains, together with a travel history to a country of interest relating to COVID-19,” Tufton explained. 

MSC Cruises has denied the claims in a statement. It is claiming that it sent a detailed health record to the local health and national authorities ahead of the ship’s arrival. The cruise line also slammed Grand Cayman, the next port of call after Jamaica, for also denying entry to the ship. It said both countries had reacted out of fear.