Two passengers sharing a room on a Caribbean cruise ship tested positive for Covid-19 this week, triggering safety precautions that allowed some 600 other passengers to continue to eat and play on the ship.
Cruise lines are preparing to resume their cruises from the end of the month in the United States, their main market, after more than a year of hiatus in the country. They hope to show that they have protocols in place to handle the Covid cases and allow the cruise to continue, unlike some high-profile outbreaks that occurred last year.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires cruise lines to enter into agreements with ports, so as not to burden local authorities in the event of a positive Covid-19 case, but do not demand a shutdown of the cruise unless there is a major epidemic problem.
Positive cases on the Celebrity Millennium ship, operated by Royal Caribbean Group, were detected after nearly all passengers presented proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before boarding from the island of Saint-Martin last week. The few people who did not show proof of vaccination were children.
Passengers who test positive are asymptomatic and isolated, the cruise line said. The seven-day cruise, which is operating at 30% of its capacity, is the company’s first sailing in North America since coronavirus cases on board interrupted sailings last year.