At least four cruise ships were turned away from destination ports or prohibited from letting passengers disembark this week due to Covid-19 cases aboard
While are fewer infections now than in March 2020, when it took weeks for ships to disembark as Covid-19 first began to spread, the measures in place to prevent the virus from spreading aboard have not been entirely effective.
Several ships have had coronavirus cases since the industry started making its comeback during the summer, having been shut down due to the pandemic. Despite US ships requiring proof of vaccination, the rate of infections appears to have increased.
This week’s disruptions come as global concern about the highly transmissible Omicron variant grows daily, and as Covid-19 cases in the US continue to rise.
A Royal Caribbean cruise ship was turned away by officials in Curacao and Aruba after 55 fully vaccinated crew members and passengers contracted Covid-19, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.
On Thursday, Mexican officials prevented the Holland America Line Koningsdam from letting its passengers disembark in Puerto Vallarta after 21 crew members tested positive for Covid-19.
A spokesperson for Holland America Line told CNN those who tested positive were a ‘small number of fully vaccinated crew’ and all showed either mild or no symptoms.
The Seven Seas Mariner was also prohibited from allowing anyone to disembark in Cartagena on Wednesday by Colombian officials after six crew members and one passenger tested positive for Covid-19.
Earlier this month, at least 48 people aboard the Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas tested positive for Covid-19. The ship carried over 6,000 passengers and crew members did not report any itinerary disruption, and stopped and three islands.
The disrupted cruises are a small fraction of the total number of cruise ships successfully sailing without major incident. Cases aboard ships are also not unique to this month, and have happened other times since cruises resumed departures from US shores this summer.
Cruise companies generally require their passengers to test negative for Covid-19 before starting the trip, and require frequent testing of their crews.
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