The Alan Kurdi, run by the German NGO Sea-Eye, has been seeking a safe port since August 31, after rescuing 13 people stranded in the Mediterranean while attempting the perilous journey from Tunisia.

Eight of them were allowed to disembark in Malta for medical reasons.

The ship requested to dock in Sicily to allow the five remaining passengers to disembark.

But in an email sent on Monday by the Italian coastguard in Rome, authorities refused to allow the landing, citing the hardline security decree drafted by former interior minister, Matteo Salvini.

Salvini’s decree, which has been described by aid groups as a “declaration of war against the NGOs who are saving lives at sea”, aimed to put an end to NGO rescue missions in the Mediterranean and issued fines for vessels that brought asylum seekers to Italy without permission.

The new interior minister, Luciana Lamorgese, a career civil servant and specialist in migration policy, has promised to revise Salvini’s hardline immigration measures.

Italy’s new government, led by Giuseppe Conte, won a vote of confidence on Tuesday in the Senate – the final step before it could exercise its full power.

Time will tell whether the new government will scrap Salvini’s decree and allow the Alan Kurdi to dock.