Costa Atlantica Begins Flying Crew Members Home

The Costa Atlantica has begun the process of repatriating crew members who have tested negative for the coronavirus.

The cruise ship, which has no passengers on board, has been docked in Nagasaki, Japan since late-January for maintenance work. Officials have completed testing for all 630-plus crew members on board, with 149 total workers testing positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, USA Today reported.

Crew members have been staying in single-occupancy rooms and self-quarantining to prevent the spread.

The Carnival Corporation & plc subsidiary flew 44 Indonesian employees home on Monday and arranged repatriation for 125 Filipinos, four British, six Malaysian, one Korean and one American on Tuesday.

“We keep working on the transportation arrangements for crews who have completed a 14-day observation period on board in order to bring them home safely by flight as soon as possible,” Costa Group Asia spokesperson Ivy Jin told USA Today.

Citing Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzell, the publication reported that at least one person became seriously ill and had to be medically disembarked from the ship.

The cruise industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with cruise lines suspending operations into the summer on the heels of stiff travel restrictions, stay-at-home orders and expert-backed social distancing guidelines.

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