SA crew aboard Queen Mary 2 granted permission to disembark in Durban after testing negative for Covid-19

31 March 2020 - 12:36 By Nivashni Nair
The Queen Mary 2 pictured here in Cape Town, has been granted permission to enter the Durban port.
The Queen Mary 2 pictured here in Cape Town, has been granted permission to enter the Durban port.
Image: Cunard

Six South African crew aboard luxury liner the Queen Mary 2 will disembark when the vessel is allowed to enter the Durban port.

"Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) confirmed that six South African crew members would disembark from the liner once final approval had been granted for the ship to dock in the port of Durban," the ports authority said on Tuesday.

The six were tested for Covid-19 and their results were negative. 

"The vessel has been positioned outside the port since Friday, requesting clearance to berth to receive bunkers and stores. Final approval is awaited from the department of transport and the port health unit of the department of health, for the vessel to dock, refuel and disembark the six crew members before setting sail for Southampton in the United Kingdom."

The ship’s line, Cunard, announced this month that it had ended its three international voyages early in response to the coronavirus pandemic. There are 1,215 crew and 264 passengers on board. 

"The cruise liner was already on its way to South Africa when the South African government announced a ban on cruise ships from March 18, although she was not among the initial six cruise ships which authorities confirmed would be permitted to dock in the country as an interim measure, following new regulations promulgated by the minister of transport on March 18."

"The regulations prohibit any disembarkations apart from returning South African citizens or permanent residents, and prohibit embarkations unless they are departing foreign nationals," TNPA said.

Various travel restrictions in and out of South Africa are in place following the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa of a national lockdown between midnight of March 26 and April 16 2020. Local travel between provinces has also been prohibited. Here's all you need to know about travel in and out of SA.