Cuba has agreed to a UK government request to allow cruise ship passengers who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to disembark on the island so they can be flown back to their country, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Monday.
"We are living in a time of solidarity, of understanding healthcare as a human right, of enhancing international cooperation to tackle our common challenges," the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry assured "all sanitary measures will be adopted" during the procedure "in keeping with WHO and Cuban Ministry of Public Health guidelines."
Cuban and British authorities will jointly coordinate the task to ensure passengers will be immediately and safely flown back to their country via charter flights operated by British airlines, the ministry added.
Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodriguez said via Twitter, "the decision has been taken in response to (a) health emergency that might put the life of sick persons at risk."
According to the ministry, the UK requested authorization to let the MS Braemar dock on Friday, March 13, after The Bahamas denied the vessel entry due to five passengers testing positive for the virus.