Covid ferry outbreak: Over 320 passengers bound for Ireland stranded overnight
Six of the 53 crew on board the Stena Line ship tested positive for coronavirus
The port health authorities at Liverpool instructed that the Stena Line’s Irish sea ferry Stena Edda must be held at Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, as a precaution. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
More than 300 passengers were stranded overnight on a ferry bound for Belfast from Liverpool due to some crew members coming down with Covid-19.
The port health authorities at Liverpool instructed that the Stena ferry, the Edda, must be held at Birkenhead, across the River Mersey from Liverpool, as a precaution.
There were 322 passengers and 53 crew on board.
Stena said that the six crew members who tested positive for coronavirus were “being cared for and are doing well, with only mild symptoms”.
Fifteen close contacts also were identified and were self-isolating.
“Stena Line is liaising closely with public health authorities on this matter who have advised us that we should disembark the vessel in Birkenhead,” Stena said in a statement.
“The welfare of our passengers and crew is paramount at this time. The passengers are being catered for and we will assist them with alternative travel arrangements,” the company added.
Later on Wednesday morning Stena said that it had got the all-clear to transfer the passengers to another vessel, the Mersey for a crossing later in the day to Belfast.
A spokesman said the passengers should not face any danger of contracting Covid-19 from crew members as the six who were tested positive were not “customer-facing” and had no direct dealings with passengers.