An Italian cruise ship was turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand even though it has no cases of coronavirus on board
- The Costa Fortuna cruise ship was barred from docking in Phuket, Thailand, and then Penang, Malaysia.
- Costa, the cruise company, says there are no suspected cases on of the coronavirus on board.
- Thailand blocked the cruise anyway for fear that Italians on board could be incubating the virus.
- Malaysia has an even blunter policy, blocking all cruise ships from docking in the country.
- Cruise travel has suffered greatly from the coronavirus: more than 600 people on the Diamond Princess got sick off Japan, while the Grand Princess off San Francisco has at least 21 cases on board.
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An Italian cruise ship has been denied permission to dock in both Thailand and Malaysia, despite there being no evidence of coronavirus on board the ship.
The Costa Fortuna tried to stop at Phuket in Thailand on Friday, but was turned back, representatives Costa, the cruise line, said on Twitter.
On Saturday it attempted to stop in Penang, northern Malaysia, only to be turned away a second time, according ANSA, an Italian news wire.
Nobody on board the ship has tested positive for the virus, or is suspected to be carrying it, according to Costa.
The cruise ship ended up on the wrong side of new rules in Thailand and Malaysia put into place shortly before it was due to arrive.
Thai officials turned the ship away because it was carrying passengers who left Italy less than two weeks ago.
Even though none have symptoms, they blocked them in case they were still incubating the virus without symptoms, a process which health experts believe can last up to 14 days.
In Malaysia, officials took a harsher stance and blocked all cruise ships from docking, regardless of who was on board.
Cruise travel has become a nightmare for many, as their narrow confines have proved in some cases an ideal breeding ground for the coronavirus.
Off the coast of Japan, the Diamond Princess was ravaged by the disease, recording at least 600 cases among its passengers and crew, six of whom died.
A second ship operated by the same company, the Grand Princess, was as of early Saturday stuck in limbo off the coast of California, with 21 confirmed cases of the virus on board.
President Donald Trump said he doesn't want to bring them to land to be treated because then they would be added to the official tally of US infections.
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