08/01/2021 04:45:00

Sicily: Open Arms crew in quarantine, rescue missions stopped

 After the Open Arms ship brought 265 rescued migrants to Italy, the crew was isolated and placed in mandatory quarantine. The Spanish NGO vessel will remain in the harbor of Port Empedocle in the province of Agrigento, Sicily.

The mandatory quarantine of the Open Arms crew was ordered by the Sicily maritime health department in Palermo.

The coast guard commander in Porto Empedocle, Frigate Captain Fabio Serafino, signed the order requiring the Open Arms to remain at anchor with precise coordinates.

The measure was necessary to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Serafino said.

Monday arrival of rescued minors
The Spanish flagged humantiarian ship Open Arms on Monday entered the harbor of Porto Empedocle with 265 migrants on board. The migrants had been brought to safety in two separate rescue operations last week in the central Mediterranean.

56 unaccompanied minors were transferred from the Open Arms to a shelter on land and the remaining migrants were placed onto the quarantine ship Rhapsody.

The Open Arms ship was forbidden by the harbormasters from leaving the port following the transfer of the migrants, and also prohibited are any underwater or surface activity for a distance of 300 meters from the same ship which is required to maintain the "Q" flag of the International Code of Signals hoisted ashore for the entire period it is stopped.