Osiani had a brief break on land. She said they spent Thursday being ferried by bus from the Rotterdam to a nearby airport --twice -- and were sent back to the ship after Holland America failed to get authorization from Argentina to fly them home on a charter flight. Two other Argentines and one Uruguayan national with Argentine residency were also blocked from traveling to the country.

“It’s a big mystery, what will happen to us,” Osiani said. “When will we be able to get home?”

Argentina didn’t authorize their return because the government can only process a limited number of people a day returning from Covid-19 hot spots, like the U.S., said a spokesman for the Argentine foreign ministry who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name. The country banned flights to Argentina on March 12, and there wasn’t the capacity to process the passengers on the Rotterdam, the spokesman said.

On Friday, Argentina extended a nationwide lockdown to April 26 amid signs shelter-in-place measures imposed to curb the coronavirus outbreak have succeeded in flattening the rate of infections. President Alberto Fernandez said in a TV interview late Sunday that while the restrictions have slowed the pace of contagion, he couldn’t say when they would end. The country has 2,142 cases of Covid-19 and 90 deaths, according to the health ministry.

Holland America said it’s trying to find another way to get the Argentines on the Rotterdam home. “We are sorry that their travel home is delayed, and we will continue to work on a plan to get them home as soon as possible and when their country permits their entry,” Holland America’s spokesman Erik Elvejord said via email.

The cruise industry is working to get thousands home after the coronavirus pandemic sparked the global shutdown of the cruise industry on March 13. Holland America’s parent company Carnival, the largest cruise line company in the world, has 3,600 passengers on six ships around the world, spokesman Roger Frizzell said.

For now, Osiani spent Easter with her husband in her cabin on the Rotterdam fielding calls from their grandchildren. “We are comfortable, they are giving us everything we need,” she said. “But we don’t have is what every human being wants: freedom.”

--With assistance from Jonathan Levin, Jorgelina do Rosario, Ken Parks and Carolina Millan.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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