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Boat carrying Norfolk couple refused entry into US port

PUBLISHED: 11:35 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 30 March 2020

Norfolk couple Heather and David Haycox. Pic: Courtesy Samantha Haycox.

Norfolk couple Heather and David Haycox. Pic: Courtesy Samantha Haycox.

Samantha Haycox

A boat carrying a Norfolk couple has been refused entry into a US port.

The Haycox's cabin on the Zaandam. Pic: David Haycox.The Haycox's cabin on the Zaandam. Pic: David Haycox.

David and Heather Haycox, from Brooke, were transferred off the cruise ship Zaandam, where more than a hundred fellow passengers have reporter flu-like symptoms.

The pair, both 62, have now been transferred on to another boat, the Rotterdam, to head towards America.

But on Monday the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said the boat would not be allowed to disembark there.

The couple’s daughter Samantha Haycox, says she hopes the country could be lobbied to allow the boat to dock.

The Haycox's cabin on the Zaandam. Pic: David Haycox.The Haycox's cabin on the Zaandam. Pic: David Haycox.

Speaing on BBC Radio Norfolk, she said: “No-one on that boat has had any symptoms as of yet. However they are still confined to their cabin, they are not allowed to use balconies or go outside, that’s not great. But they have also started moving towards America, so the next big thing is to lobby America to let the boat dock so they can come home from there. I do not know if that will happen.”

While aboard the Zaandam, two people have tested positive for coronavirus and operator Holland America Line said four passengers had died.

The ship had been due to dock in Chile, but got turned away because of concerns over coronavirus and has been refused entry from Argentina, Peru and Ecuador and Panama.

On Saturday, Panama’s government announced they would grant those on board “humanitarian aid” and allow the ships to pass through the waterway.

The couple left the UK the night Norwich City triumphed over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup.

Speaking to this paper on Saturday before they were moved onto the second ship, Mr Haycox said: “We are fortunate in that we have a large cabin, which has a balcony, but some of those on the inside cabins only have portholes.

“We are getting food delivered to the cabin and talking on the phone to other passengers. We are trying to be philosophical about it and we have to say the captain and crew have been exemplary - they have gone above and beyond.”

An FCO spokesperson said: “We are doing all we can to help British people on board the Zaandam cruise ship. Our staff are in close contact with the cruise operator and the authorities in the region to ensure British people can get home safely.”


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