Florida Reaches Agreement With Cruise Ships To Disembark

Florida officials have reached a conditional agreement with two Holland America ships that will allow more than 200 sick people on board to disembark.
Posted at 12:39 PM, Apr 02, 2020

Two Holland America cruise ships anchored off the Florida coast will reportedly be granted permission to allow their passengers to disembark. The Zaandam and the Rotterdam arrived at Port Everglades on Thursday with more than 200 people exhibiting flu-like symptoms, including eight who tested positive for Covid-19.

Until now, it had been unclear whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and state officials would allow the ships to dock. DeSantis had previously said he'd be willing to allow any Floridians on board to disembark. 

The cruise liners had called on Florida officials to show "compassion" for their situation. On Thursday morning, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine announced that a conditional agreement had been reached with Carnival Corporation, which owns Holland America.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Coast Guard issued new guidelines intended to prevent shore-side facilities from being overwhelmed. DeSantis has said hospital bed availability in Florida is currently 30%.

Contains footage from CNN.