Royal Caribbean suffers second Covid cruise outbreak as over 50 passengers test positive

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The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Odyssey of the Seas has reported a Covid outbreak, with 55 passengers onboard testing constructive mid-voyage.

It follows a similar-sized outbreak on sister ship Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest passenger cruise liner, which reported 48 passengers testing constructive on its return to Miami final week.

Because of this, Odyssey didn’t dock at two of its deliberate stops, the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson advised USA At this time.

On 22 December, the Curacao Chronicle reported that the island’s Well being Division had barred the cruise liner from docking on the island, for the reason that share of passengers on board testing constructive was too excessive.

“The day earlier than yesterday, 18 crew members had been constructive, yesterday 36 and this morning there have been 51. As well as, a number of crew members haven’t been quarantined, so there’s a good likelihood that passengers have additionally been contaminated,” Dr Izzy Gerstenbluth, Curacao’s nationwide epidemiologist, advised reporters.

“With these numbers of infections, that share has been exceeded and we’re subsequently not wanting to obtain these individuals on the island, particularly not with the present figures on the island.”

Odyssey of the Seas has capability for greater than 7,000 company and crew, although the variety of individuals presently onboard the ship will not be recognized.

It comes after 48 passengers examined constructive on the 9,000-capacity Symphony of the Seas when it returned to its Miami base on Saturday.

In a press release, Royal Caribbean stated that every one that had examined constructive on the Symphony instantly went into quarantine, whereas six individuals who had examined constructive onboard had already disembarked the ship mid-voyage.

Those that examined constructive had been both asymptomatic or had delicate signs, stated the assertion.

The cruise line requires that each one passengers over 12 be double vaccinated, and in the previous few days tightened its mask-wearing guidelines for all passengers over two years previous.

Cruises have been permitted since July, with many leaving from totally different areas this summer time and autumn.

Nevertheless, many worry the vessels are nonetheless excessive danger for outbreaks of the virus.

In August, 27 individuals – 26 of them crew – examined constructive for Covid aboard a Carnival cruise ship docked in Belize.

In the meantime, two passengers aboard the Movie star Millennium examined constructive partway by way of a cruise in June.

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson stated: “All of whom examined constructive are totally vaccinated and mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic. We proceed to watch their well being. Shut contacts had been additionally recognized and positioned in quarantine to be monitored for twenty-four hours previous to testing.

“We’re crusing with a layered set of well being and security measures in place to make our cruises the most secure holidays potential.

“Examples of those are pre-cruise testing for all company and weekly testing of all crew members, required vaccinations for all crew and all company age 12 and older, enhanced cleansing and sanitization requirements, expanded skilled medical care, 100 per cent recent, filtered air, and our enhanced face masks coverage.”

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