Norway says it will stop all cruise ships with more than 100 people on board from disembarking at Norwegian ports after a coronavirus outbreak on a vessel left 41 people infected.
Health Minister Bent Hoie announced the ban Monday, saying the new rules will apply for the next 14 days. He said ships that have already departed will be able to offload passengers and crew at Norwegian ports but that no new journeys can take place.
"The pandemic is not over," Hoie told a news conference.
Norway's Hurtigruten cruise line apologized Monday following the outbreak on one of its ships, the MS Roald Amundsen.
"We have failed," CEO Daniel Skjeldam told a news conference. "I apologize strongly on behalf of the company."
He said the company would suspend its cruises until further notice and that it is "now in the process of a full review of all procedures."
The cruise line was one of the first companies to resume sailing during the pandemic.
Four crew members on board the MS Roald Amundsen were hospitalized on Friday when the ship arrived at Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle. They were later diagnosed with the infection along with another 31 crew members. Passengers aboard the ship were allowed to disembark before anyone had been diagnosed, sending local officials scrambling to locate them.
At least five passengers have now tested positive and hundreds more have been told to self-isolate for 10 days.
The cruise ship industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, with ships worldwide shutting down in March after several high-profile outbreaks at sea.