Passengers Aboard Grand Princess Face Varying Quarantine Plans
The quarantined cruise ship Grand Princess finally has been disembarking passengers at a secure area within the Port of Oakland, California. All of the 2,422 passengers aboard are headed for quarantine, self-quarantine or medical care, depending upon each passenger’s nationality and health status. Of those aboard, 21 individuals tested positive before the Grand Princess berthed in Oakland, including 19 crew members. Government health authorities have made arrangements for all passengers to disembark, avoiding a chaotic on-board quarantine scenario like that aboard one of Princess’ other cruise ships, Diamond Princess. Once passengers have fully disembarked, the Grand Princess is expected to head back out to sea, with all 1,111 crewmembers still on board. About 400 passengers have disembarked as of last Tuesday.
In comments repeated by local media, the captain expressed frustration about a lack of coordination throughout the process. Rather than addressing Princess’ errors and its ongoing responsibility to its passengers and crew, the captain criticized governmental authorities; “We have not been receiving timely nor accurate information from the government agencies who have developed and are now managing the disembarkment plan. It has been literally impossible for me to guide you on their processes. Thus far, they have shared information about a plan, procedures and protocol only to see it change without notice,” the captain said in an announcement quoted by local ABC7 News.
The return arrangements vary widely. Early last Tuesday, about 230 Canadian passengers arrived by government-chartered airplane at Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario, where they will be quarantined for two weeks. However, a number of Canadian nationals are still on board Grand Princess, including a “very limited number of [Canadian] crewmembers” who tested positive, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told the Globe and Mail.
Most American nationals are being transported to a number of locations for quarantine, including Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego, Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Lackland Air Force Base here in Texas, or Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia. However, 49 qualifying passengers who are residents of Nevada will be returning to their homes for self-isolation, thanks to an agreement with Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak. In order to qualify, the Nevadan passengers must be tested for COVID-19, must be asymptomatic, and must return home in a manner that limits their exposure to the general public.
Meanwhile, 140 passengers from the UK are also expected to be allowed to self-quarantine at home, according to UK media, and were scheduled to be flown back to Britain aboard a government-chartered aircraft on Wednesday.
The above is a summary of one or more news stories reviewed by the author of this article. It may contain comments or views of the author only.
This article is intended for general interest and does not constitute legal advice.
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With over 35 years of litigation and management experience, Charles Herd concentrates on Jones Act and maritime-related claims, maritime products liability cases and maritime-related commercial matters.