Uruguay has evacuated Australians and New Zealanders from a cruise ship that was hit by Covid-19, and repatriated the passengers to the respective countries.
According to a Reuters report, more than 112 people from the two countries were evacuated from the Greg Mortimer ship when it was docked at a port near the capital of Montevideo.
The move comes when most of the passengers in the Aurora Expeditions-operated Antarctic cruise ship tested positive for Covid-19.
Currently, Uruguay is working with respective governments to facilitate the transfer of passengers of other nationalities.
All the passengers, who were evacuated, went to a special airport terminal by a bus under strict controls. Subsequently, they boarded a flight to Melbourne.
However, two Australian passengers, who are under intensive care, could not be repatriated, Uruguay’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Talvi told the news agency.
Overall, the move enabled 96 Australians and 16 New Zealanders to return home.
Commenting on the move, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said: “A considerable amount of work has been put in to assist all 16 New Zealanders, who were in a dangerous situation with very limited options.
“We are deeply appreciative of the assistance we have received from Aurora Expeditions, and the Governments of Uruguay and Australia, in making this repatriation flight possible.”
“Consular officials are navigating extremely complex circumstances every day, to find solutions that work, though government chartered flights cannot be relied upon in a great many locations.”