200131 Smeralda
The Costa Smeralda cruise ship is docked in the Civitavecchia port 70km north of Rome on the evening of January 30, 2020, with more than 6,000 tourists on borad. Italy's health ministry said on January 30, 2020 that the two Chinese cruise ship passengers had tested negative for the coronavirus. Image Credit: AFP

Civitavecchia, Italy: Italy’s health ministry said Thursday two Chinese cruise ship passengers had tested negative for the coronavirus, meaning thousands of stranded passengers could disembark.

Costa Cruises was offering to pay for food and hotels for some 1,140 people who had been due to disembark at the Civitavecchia port near Rome early Thursday, and the Costa Smeralda was to set sail again Friday, Italian media said.

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