National News

No concern for passengers on cruise ship


The Norwegian Jewel cruise ship is seen at Circular Quay in Sydney, Friday, February 14, 2020. The cruise ship arrived in Sydney this morning with a passenger now being tested for possible coronavirus. (AAP Image/James Gourley) 

The operators of a Norwegian cruise ship docked in Sydney say there's no truth to reports of a potential coronavirus case among passengers, but admitted some had suffered stomach illnesses.

NSW health authorities, meanwhile, say there's no risk to the public while one person is being tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.

Norwegian Cruise Line says the Norwegian Jewel - which arrived in Sydney on Friday and is scheduled to depart on Saturday for a 14-day cruise of Australia and New Zealand - is not in lockdown.

The company initially said all inbound passengers were healthy but later revised its statement to make clear some passengers had come down with a stomach illness while sailing from Auckland to Sydney.

However, no passengers had any respiratory-related illnesses, it said.

"There are various false inflammatory media reports regarding the ship," Norwegian Cruise Line said on Friday.

"There is absolutely no truth to those stories."

NSW Health says no passengers arriving into Sydney on the Norwegian Jewel had visited mainland China in the past 14 days "and there was no outbreak of any disease on board".

Three "routine" medical transfers from the ship occurred on Friday unrelated to respiratory illness.

"One person has been tested for respiratory illness on board with results expected this afternoon," the department said in a statement.

"Testing was done as a precaution as there is no indication the person is at particular risk of COVID-19 and, at this point, there is no concern for other passengers or people in and around Circular Quay."

Norwegian Cruise Line has currently barred all Chinese, Hong Kong and Macau passport holders from its ships regardless of residency.

© AAP 2020