Fred Olsen ship Braemar has been given safe haven in The Bahamas after 20 guests and crew were taken ill with flu-like symptoms.

The operator has issued regular updates on the situation after the ship dropped anchor to take on medical supplies off Freeport on Saturday.

Two additional medical personnel will join the ship as the operator said it was working to get guests home as soon as possible.

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As of 5.30pm yesterday the ship was waiting for clearance to have the supplies, which have reached Freetown, delivered to the ship.

On March 12 Fred Olsen confirmed five people on Braemar, including four crew members, had tested positive for COVID-19 at Willemstad, Curaçao, on March 10.

In a statement Fred Olsen said: “Braemar will restock the ship’s own medical centre as well as guests’ own repeat prescriptions.

“The logistics of getting these items on board is a complex operation, and Braemar will remain at anchorage throughout this process.

“Two officials from the UK Foreign Office have flown out to Freeport to offer support to authorities in The Bahamas.”

The FCO has also written to all British nationals on board advising them to follow guidance while work continues to get guests home as soon as possible.

Peter Deer, managing director of Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Captain Jozo Glavic and his crew for working so hard for so long in very challenging circumstances.

“I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to our guests for their patience. We have been working around the clock with the Bahamian authorities to get supplies on to the ship but it is taking longer than we expected to get the necessary clearances.

“We are also liaising with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office who I know are doing everything they can to get people home as soon as possible.”

All bars and restaurants remain open, and guests have been given a complementary drinks package. Yesterday, Braemar’s live band performed on deck for guests.

The operator said it is encouraging guests to practice social distancing and other measures advised by Public Health England.

The evening entertainment venue has been closed but performances are still going ahead and can be watched live in guest cabins.

The operator added: “We know this must be a very worrying time for our guests on board and their families, so have set up a relative support team in our office in Ipswich.

“Fred. Olsen would like to re-iterate that we find ourselves in an unprecedented situation with the global outbreak COVID-19 coronavirus and we are working around the clock to ensure the safety and comfort of our passengers.”

The dedicated Braemar relative support team can be reached on 01473 292350 between the hours of 8am and 8pm.