The U.S.-flagged cruise ship Pride of America has reported seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 among her crew, according to the Hawaii COVID-19 Joint Information Center. Two of those sick crewmembers have disembarked and have been taken to a hospital for treatment, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. The remaining 500 crewmembers are still aboard the ship, but held in isolation, utilizing social-distancing measures to reduce the risk of spread. No passengers have been on the vessel since March 14.
Almost all large U.S.-based cruise ships are foreign-built, foreign-flagged, foreign-owned and foreign-crewed, for tax and regulatory reasons, as determined by their owners. The US-flagged Pride of America is the rare exception. Most of the ship’s crewmembers are U.S. citizens as well, so authorities in Hawaii are to be setting up procedures to return them to their home states when they depart the ship. About 300 American crewmembers are set to disembark shortly; they will be required to head directly to the Honolulu airport for a flight home. Once they reach their final destinations, they must self-quarantine for at least 14 days.
After those 300 crewmembers leave, the remaining 200 crewmembers then aboard Pride of America will be sailing the ship back to the U.S. mainland, where she will enter drydock.
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