Referring to an incident this week, when a cruise ship, the Star Princess, was refused permission to land passengers following an outbreak of novovirus, the Ministry issued a statement; “.. the authorities of the illegitimate and self-proclaimed government of the Falkland Islands banned tourists, including Argentine citizens, from getting off the cruise due to alleged health concerns … The Foreign Ministry hopes that this measure was taken based on strictly objective reasons and is not a hostile act aimed at tourists from various nationalities, including Argentine citizens who have the simple desire of getting to know the Falkland Islands”
Star Princess, carrying 3,600 passengers, had departed Valparaiso, in Chile, on January 7th and was scheduled to make a stop on the islands during the weekend.
The decision to ban the vessel was made by the Falkland Islands’ King Edward VII Memorial Hospital following consultation with the cruiser’s medical staff. Novovirus is highly infectious and could cause havoc amongst a small community such as that found at Stanley, the Islands’ capital.
Argentina’s Foreign Ministry made no comment regarding the loss of revenue for the Islanders caused by this decision.
The accusations were made by Argentine psychologist Luis Hauser, who was aboard the Star Princess when the incident took place.