The Community of Murcia is “considering” preventing passengers from an Italian cruise liner, the MSC Opera, which is scheduled to dock in Cartagena on Wednesday 18th, from coming ashore.

The uneasiness created by the coronavirus, and the possibility of several thousand Italian tourists landing on local shores, is leading those responsible from the different administrations to consider the possibility of refusing entry to the ship.

At a coordination meeting on Monday the representatives of the Community as well as members of the Central Administration and the Port Authority all said that they were concerned about the consequences of 3000 Italian tourists disembarking in Cartagena.

It was agreed that the fear is apparent even among shopkeepers who have concerns that there may be some passengers infected with coronavirus.

But, rather bizarrely, it seems that a simple certificate from the ships doctor would be enough for the passengers to gain entry.

The Cartagena Port Authority says that it is applying the External Health protocol to the crew and to passengers on board arriving ships, explaining that in the case of cruise ships, a certificate from the on-board doctor is all that is required to corroborate the state of health of the passengers, so the authorities can guarantee that passengers will not be allowed to disembark if they show any symptoms of the virus.

At the time of writing the liner is docked in Genoa, Italy, having spent the last two days in the cities of Messina and Civitavecchia.

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