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Cruise ship with docks for COVID-19 outbreak in northern Mexico | World news

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico on Tuesday allowed a cruise ship to dock and disembark tourists despite an outbreak of COVID-19 on board, as the government pledged to keep the country open to cruise ships to provided that health precautions are observed.

The ship, Ms. Zuiderdam, with some 2,000 passengers and crew, docked in the port of Guaymas in the state of northern Sonora, state and federal authorities said.

In a statement, the Mexican government said it would accept cruise ships that request permission to dock as long as international regulations from the World Health Organization are followed.

People infected with COVID-19 on cruise ships who need medical attention will receive it, and milder or asymptomatic cases will be isolated from others on board, he added.

Holland America Line, which operates the Zuiderdam, said in a statement that a small number of fully vaccinated crew and passengers on Zuiderdam had tested positive for COVID-19.

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All have shown mild symptoms or no symptoms and are in isolation, while their close contacts have been quarantined, he added.

Zuiderdam is on a 10-day cruise and would return to San Diego as scheduled on January 2, the statement said.

Sonora’s Health Minister Jose Luis Alomia told a press conference that 30 people had tested positive for COVID-19 on the Zuiderdam – 28 crew members and two passengers – and were in isolation.

About 400 people disembarked from the ship in the morning after passing through sanitary filters put in place to identify suspected cases of infection, Alomia said.

The minister said there were some 1,200 passengers and nearly 800 crew on board the Zuiderdam.

The government of Mexico, whose economy relies heavily on foreign visitors for foreign exchange earnings, has been determined to keep the country open during the pandemic, imposing relatively few restrictions on tourism.

(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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