Thailand denies Italian cruise ship passengers to enter Phuket, anchors 2 miles away


PHUKET – Thai authorities in Phuket, a major tourist destination on the Andaman coast in the south of Thailand, this week declined to allow passengers and crew members of an Italian cruise ship to land in Phuket, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Italian cruise liner, Costa Fortuna, has been at anchor in Phuket since Friday (March 6th), carrying 1,631 passengers and 984 crew members.

The original schedule showed the passengers would be allowed to enter and visit tourist attractions on the island. However, relevant state agencies conducted a risk assessment, and decided not to grant them permission to land, as some of the passengers may pose a risk of spreading the virus.

The cruise ship was permitted to anchor two miles offshore, and to leave Thai waters on Saturday (March 7th) as previously scheduled.