Quarantine lifted for Belgians returned from Westerdam cruise
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Quarantine lifted for Belgians returned from Westerdam cruise

The ten Belgians, all from Flanders, were among thousands of passengers put on lockdown onboard a cruise ship after one person onboard tested positive for the new coronavirus. © Belga

Ten Belgians who returned to the country after being allowed to disembark from a cruise ship stranded in Asian waters amid fears of a coronavirus contagion are now allowed to leave their homes.

“We believe that they no longer have to stay at home, they can go back to their normal activities,” Joris Moonens of the Flemish Agency for Health and Care said.

The agency said that the situation had evolved, and cited the fact that none of the other passengers on board the cruise ship had tested positive since.

The ten Belgians, all from Flanders, were among thousands of passengers on the Dutch Westerdam cruise, onboard which an American woman tested positive for new coronavirus.

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Following news of the confirmed case onboard, the Dutch liner remained stranded out in the South China Sea for days, with several countries refusing it permission to dock until authorities in Cambodia allowed it to moor.

While it was initially planned that the ten Belgians would stay quarantined in their homes until Friday, the health agency on Wednesday said that that measure was no longer necessary, La Dernière Heure reports.

The decision to lift the quarantine prematurely was also taken after the agency said that it was unlikely any of them would become sick, adding that the most critical phase in the virus’ life-cycle had already passed.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times