322 passengers were stranded overnight in Birkenhead (a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England) after 6 crew tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) onboard Stena Line's 2020-built ship Stena Edda (cruiseferry).
On Wednesday, December 18, the Belfast-bound cruiseferry docked at Stena Line Liverpool Terminal (on Mersey River) was advised by port health authorities not to allow passenger debarkation or leave Birkenhead after the 6 crew were found to have Coronavirus.
Stena Line confirmed it was helping all the 322 travellers find alternative travel.
A spokesperson for the company said:
“Stena Line can confirm that following full testing of the Stena Edda crew last night, six members tested positive for Covid-19. In line with our safety protocols we alerted the port health authorities, who advised us to hold the vessel in Birkenhead as a precaution.
“Three hundred and twenty-two passengers and 53 crew were onboard. The six crew members who tested positive for Covid-19 are being cared for and are doing well, with only mild symptoms.”
Stena Line confirmed that of the 6 crew who tested positive, "none were in passenger-facing or onboard services roles."
According to port health authorities, there was no risk to passengers, who had left the ferry.
Stena Line said disembarkation had been completed at 11:45 a.m. The positive crew were transferred to Stena Mersey, which was scheduled to set sail for Belfast Wednesday afternoon.
Tests were distributed to the rest of the crew to check for COVID-19, Stena Line said. The company added the vessel would be sanitised afterwards.