Bermuda Maritime Operations confirmed early this morning that a local pilot and the Minister of Tourism and Transport boarded the Anthem of the Seas just before 7am as the cruise line makes its way to the Royal Naval Dockyard.

A spokesman for Bermuda Maritime Operations said the ship was expected to arrive at the west end port around 8:30am for a one-day stopover in Bermuda.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health hit back at criticism levelled by One Bermuda Alliance MP Patricia Gordon-Pamplin who said the Government is not listening to the people’s cry over the Anthem of the Seas.

Earlier this week the Shadow Minister of Health warned that the incubation period for the coronavirus “could be as long as 14 days”.

“So not presenting symptoms certainly does not equate to being virus free,” said Ms Gordon-Pamplin.

“What continues to be of concern to the general public is the fact that this Government continues to make decisions that have the potential to detrimentally affect our entire population (think health care reform), without giving any care or thought as to impact or, more importantly, how the people feel of Bermuda feel about this.

“The Bermuda Government’s “reactionary” statement to Royal Caribbean’s announcement that they would be coming to Bermuda is becoming all too typical of this Government,” she added.

Responding to the criticism, a Ministry spokesperson said: “As the Ministry of Health has already advised, this ship does not pose any risk different from any vessel arriving to Bermuda at any other time. To further ensure the safety of Bermuda, as is always the case, health and port authorities will continue to apply careful control protocols at all of Bermuda’s points of entry.

“The Ministry of Health is working closely with stakeholders from different disciplines and sectors of society to plan and prepare for the global risk presented by coronavirus. This work includes very close collaboration with the Department of Customs, Department of Immigration, Skyport and Cedar Aviation to enhance screening of arriving travellers and direct those with a travel history risk for further monitoring and assessment.

“The Ministry response is not “reactionary”, as the Opposition Minister claims, but, rather, evidence-based and appropriate for the level of risk known at this time.  As the Opposition Minister says, this situation can change at any moment and so our usual protocols for ongoing risk assessment are being employed diligently.”

In any case, the controversial ship is here and was en route to Dockyard when this article was published at 7:30am.