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COVID-19 Nightmare Returns for Global Cruise Industry

COVID-19 Nightmare Returns for Global Cruise Industry

As cruises resume globally, new COVID-19 cases appear on cruise ships around the world.

Two passengers sharing a room on a Caribbean cruise ship tested positive in June for Covid-19. The positive cases on the Celebrity Millennium ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Group, were detected after nearly all passengers showed proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before embarking from the island of St. Maarten. The passengers who tested positive are asymptomatic and are in isolation, the cruise line said. All passengers took a rapid antigen test on the ship, and when the two tests came back positive, the cruise line retested the two people and their close contacts with a polymerase chain reaction test, according to Royal Caribbean spokesman Jonathon Fishman. He said the two passengers’ close contacts all tested negative, and that the detection of the cases doesn’t affect the company’s future sailings. Passengers resumed their cruise as planned, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Two vaccinated passengers and one unvaccinated crew member tested positive for COVID-19 aboard an American Cruise Lines Alaska cruise. The 162-guest, 62-crew American Constellation — which was one of the first ships to resume cruising in the Alaska — initially departed on a 10-night sailing from Juneau, Alaska on July 4. The positive COVID-19 cases were recorded five days later while the cruise was in Petersburg, Alaska. The three COVID-19-positive passengers and their "close contacts" stayed in Petersburg to quarantine. All guests and the majority of the crew aboard the ship were vaccinated. Unvaccinated crew must stay quarantined on the ship as it continues to stay in Juneau until July 20, reported Business Insider. American Cruise Lines requires all passengers sailing on Alaska cruises to be fully vaccinated, the company policy said.

A 40-year-old passenger tested positive onboard the "cruise to nowhere" and the result was confirmed after the person was taken to hospital once the ship docked early on July 14 in Singapore. Guests began leaving the World Dream cruise liner that had 1,646 passengers and 1,249 crew members on board. Only essential service crew had been required to remain in their staterooms with contactless meals sent to them. The passengers will be required to monitor their health for 14 days after disembarking the ship and then be required to take a nasal swab test at a designated government facility at the end of that period. The cruises to nowhere, restricted to Singapore residents, have become popular during the pandemic with other travel opportunities very limited because of coronavirus restrictions. Except for the cancellation of World Dream's two-night voyage for Wednesday, all upcoming sailings were unaffected, reported Reuters.

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