Two Caribbean cruise passengers test positive for COVID-19
The two positives arose from the tests required of the passengers at the end of the cruise, and that is done three days before the end of the trip. (EXTERNAL SOURCE)
Two passengers on the Celebrity Millennium, sailing in the Caribbean and has been the first cruise ship with U.S. passengers since the beginning of the pandemic, tested positive for COVID-19, U.S. media reported Friday.
The two passengers share a stateroom, are asymptomatic, and are being isolated and monitored by the ship’s medical staff, the Miami-based Royal Caribbean Group, parent of subsidiary Celebrity Cruises, said in a statement.
“We are conducting contact tracing, expediting tests for all close contacts and closely monitoring the situation,” the firm added.
The cruise ship set sail Saturday from the island of St. Maarten for a seven-day Caribbean voyage with the crew and passengers ‘fully vaccinated,’ according to Royal Caribbean, which in the case of the travelers means at least 95 percent of them are immunized thanks to vaccinations.
Before boarding what has been the first cruise ship with U.S. passengers since the pandemic prompted the suspension of such travel by the country’s health authorities in March 2020, travelers had to show proof of vaccination and a negative test for COVID-19.
The two positives arose from the testing required of passengers at the end of the cruise, which is done three days before the end of the voyage.
“This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols are working to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit,” the company said.
The ship sailed over the weekend with some 500 passengers, who were not required to wear masks on board, and included stops in Barbados, Aruba, and Curacao.
After 15 months of having the ships grounded, the cruise industry is preparing for the reestablishment of operations from U.S. ports as a result of new guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The government agency requires cruise lines to have all crew and 95% of passengers fully vaccinated.
An order signed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican and an ally of former President Donald Trump, may set back the plans by prohibiting companies from requiring proof of vaccination for their customers.
As talks continue, the Celebrity Edge is set to sail from the port of Fort Lauderdale on June 26 for a seven-night Caribbean voyage, which is being billed as the kickoff for the resumption of cruise travel from the United States after the pandemic hiatus.