Around 20 Irish passengers and a number of Irish crew are on board a cruise ship that has been denied entry to Chile, after a passenger on a separate ship tested positive for coronavirus.

Speaking from the Celebrity Eclipse cruise ship, Marc O'Connor told RTÉ News that the cruise operator had informed passengers that the rest of the cruise was to be cancelled.

However, the captain informed passengers this morning that the ship was being denied access to the port of San Antonio in Chile.

Passengers had hoped to disembark there to return home or to continue their travels after two weeks on board the ship.

Mr O’Connor said nobody has been tested for Covid-19, but added that nobody is showing any symptoms of the disease.

Passengers are currently waiting for an update on their situation, but the mood among passengers was described as calm.

Mr O’Connor said "not one person on board is sick", adding that the vessel had been parked beside another cruise ship recently.

Chile announced yesterday that it has quarantined 1,300 people aboard two other cruise ships.

It is after an elderly Briton aboard one of them tested positive for the coronavirus.

Both ships are cruising the Chilean fjords in Patagonia.

The 85-year-old man showed symptoms of the virus after getting off the Silver Explorer ship in the far southern port of Caleta Tortel, 2,400km from Santiago.

The man was later transferred to a hospital in the city of Coyhaique where he tested positive for the virus.

The other ship, the Azmara Pursuit, with 665 passengers and nearly 400 crew, had earlier crossed into Chilean waters from the southern Argentine port of Ushuaia.

The number of coronavirus cases in Chile reached 61 yesterday, 18 more than on Friday.