Passengers of the Silver Whisper cruise ship were not allowed to go ashore by themselves in Guayaquil after 11 of the 228 travelers tested positive for COVID-19, it was announced. The first cruise ship of the 2021-2022 season moored in Guayaquil Tuesday.
Nevertheless, Ecuadorian authorities did allow healthy travelers to visit the city from eight tourist buses, while those who were sick were forced to remain in isolation onboard the ship.
Three travelers who were not infected but who ended their trip at the Ecuadorian port and were due to catch flights back home were escorted to the airport, as instructed by the Health Ministry and other local authorities.
All travelers were subjected to PCR tests by the shipping company Silversea. Those who had a negative result were then checked by the Health Ministry to verify their compliance with sanitary protocols and the Guayaquil City Council deployed two medical brigades to attend to travelers.
The Silver Whisper carries 228 tourists from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Canada, Greece, Barbados, Sweden, Norway, Chile, Ireland and Australia - and 283 crew members.
The boat was due to leave Tuesday at 11 pm local time for the Chilean Port of Arica.
Guayaquil is to welcome its second cruise ship Wednesday, Jan. 19. On Monday, January 17, the Silver Moon had arrived in Manta, where doctors hired by the shipping company performed PCR tests on all 228 passengers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United States and the United Kingdom as well as on the 427 crew members.
Those with a negative result will be allowed to tour Guayaquil in a fashion similar to that of the Silver Whisper passengers.
These two ships mark the return of the cruise season to Ecuador after almost two years of being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Manta alone used to welcome received 20 boats each year, on average, with about 23,000 tourists.