Norway clears cruise passengers after 2 tested for virus (Update)

Norway clears cruise passengers after 2 tested for virus
Cruiser Aida Aura is moored in Haugesund harbour, south-western Norway, Monday March 2, 2020. Two passengers aboard the ship are reported to have symptoms of a viral infection and the ship has postponed its departure from Haugesund while waiting for the results of medical tests. (Tor Andre Johannessen / NTB scanpix via AP)

Passengers on a German cruise ship moored in southern Norway received clearance to come out of a 24-hour quarantine after two of them tested negative for the coronavirus, Norwegian officials said Tuesday,.

Officials in the coastal town of Haugesund learned Monday that two passengers on the Aida Aura had contact with someone a week ago who did test positive for the virus. The infected individual wasn't among the cruise ship's 1,200 passengers.

The two people on the cruise were removed from the ship to be tested for the virus while the other passengers had to remain on board.

"There is no need to keep the passengers in quarantine," Teis Qvale, a doctor with the Haugesund municipality, said.

The Aida Aura is operated by the German cruise line AIDA Cruises. It was supposed to leave Haugesund on Monday.

In recent weeks, cruise ships have remained docked without permission to disembark their passengers or refused authorization to enter ports because of concern about the spread of the virus.

Some 3,700 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship remained in their cabins during a long quarantine period in Japan. Hundreds of passengers from the ship subsequently tested positive for virus.

Cruise ships have also been turned away from Caribbean ports due to virus concerns, though no passengers from those ships are known to be infected so far.

Norway's coastline is a popular destination for cruise ships because of its breath-taking landscapes and fjords.

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