Malaysia and Thailand have blocked a cruise ship carrying around 2,000 passengers, including hundreds of Italians, from docking despite the lack of coronavirus cases on board.
The Costa Fortuna is now on its way to Singapore, operator Costa Crociere of the cruise line, or Costa Cruises, said in a statement on Saturday.
The ship was first turned away from Phuket's iconic Thai holiday island on Friday, with no reported virus cases being found aboard. Costa Cruises said on Twitter that the Thai authorities had imposed restrictions on "Italians who have transited in Italy in the last 14 days.
On Saturday, the vessel attempted to dock in the northern Malaysian state of Penang, but also denied entry, Penang politician Phee Boon Poh told AFP. The decision was taken as Malaysia decided to limit the entry of all cruise ships to the ports of the country.
When The New Paper contacted the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore for comment, they were unable to reply by press time. Singaporeans will be watching this closely to see if the PAP government allows a twice rejected cruise ship to dock in Singapore and potentially put further strain on Singapore's COVID-19 diagnostic and medical facilities.
We hope the government will do their best to protect Singaporeans and do the right thing.