Health authorities have become aware of several cases where a passenger traveling with a cruise ferry has afterwards been diagnosed with a Covid-19 infection.

Tallink Silja Europa cruise ferry is able to accomodate 3,123 passengers. Photograph: Puclib domain
Tallink Silja Europa cruise ferry is able to accomodate 3,123 passengers. Photograph: Puclib domain

A passenger with mild symptoms of Covid-19 infection has spent time in the public premises of Tallink Silja Europa cruise ferry traveling from Helsinki to Tallinn between June 30 and July 1. “Because of this, other passengers might have been exposed to the disease,” the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) noted in a news release on Monday.

Health authorities are now, according to THL, aware of several cases where a passenger traveling with a cruise ferry has afterwards been diagnosed with a coronavirus infection.

In most cases, these people have avoided moving around the ferry and have been avoiding crowds, so their contacts have been minimized or the ones exposed have been possible to recognize, contact and put in quarantine. “In these situations,” according to THL, “there is a small risk of infection for those who have not been in close contact.”

THL did not disclose information on the names or companies of the ferries in question.

Communications Director Marik Nöjd at Tallink Silja Oy said to MTV News that as far as Silja Europa is concerned, the ferry company is only aware of that one particular case of the passenger traveling with the coronavirus infection.

However, the ferry company is now also aware of another coronavirus case on another of their cruise ferries but, according to Nöjd, “apparently there has not been a similar chance that the person would have been transmitting the disease.”

Nöjd will not reveal publicly when and where did this infected person travel.

“If THL doesn’t consider relevant to disclose this information publicly, then I will not give it out at this point,” Nöjd said.

The incident at Silja Europa, according to Nöjd, has not required any special measures because they found out about the infection afterwards.

The ferries have already stepped up their cleaning procedures, but should the crew become aware of a passenger traveling with a coronavirus infection then the cabin, according to Nöjd, would be taken out of circulation and the passenger would be isolated from the other travelers.

At the time of the coronavirus case at Silja Europa, the ferry was traveling with about 30 percent of its maximum passenger capacity of over 3,000.