After spending two days under quarantine in St. Lucia because of a confirmed case of measles, a cruise ship is heading to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao.
The Freewinds ship left St. Lucia late Thursday after spending two days under quarantine and is scheduled to arrive in Curacao early Saturday with 300 people aboard.
Authorities in Curacao are debating how to respond, according to the Associated Press.
In St. Lucia, authorities said the ship’s doctor requested 100 vaccines, which St. Lucia provided for free, after a female crew member was diagnosed with measles. It is unclear whether she remains in St. Lucia.
Health officials did not immediately respond to AP’s request for comment on Friday, but the island nation’s chief medical officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks-James explained in a YouTube video Wednesday why they didn’t allow the passengers to disembark earlier this week.
The Freewinds cruise ship owned by the Church of Scientology is seen docked in quarantine at the Point Seraphine terminal in Castries, Saint Lucia, May 2, after a measles case was confirmed onboard. (Photo: KIRK ELLIOTT, AFP/Getty Images)
“Because of the risk of the potential infection, not just from the confirmed measles case, but from other persons who may be on the boat at the time, we thought it prudent to make a decision not to let anyone disembark,” Fredericks-James said.
The quarantine comes amid a surge of cases, largely among unvaccinated people in New York City, suburban Rockland County, New York and Washington state.
The 440-foot ship is reportedly owned by the Church of Scientology.
USA TODAY has reached out to Curacao’s Ministry of Health for comment.
Contributing: The Associated Press, Kristin Lam
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