Royal Caribbean cruise ship denied access into Aruba, Curaco after 55 people test positive for COVID


FILE – In this March 14, 2020 file photo, Royal Caribbean International cruise ship docked at PortMiami, among other cruise ships, as the world deals with the coronavirus outbreak in Miami. Royal Caribbean is postponing the initial voyages by one of its cruise ships after eight crew members tested positive for COVID-19. The company said Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the Odyssey of the Seas’ first trip is being pushed back from July 3 to July 31. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

TAMPA (WFLA) – More than 55 passengers aboard a Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, USA Today reported

Royal Caribbean announced Wednesday that the cruise will not stop in Curacao or Aruba as planned. 

“The decision was made together with the islands and out of an abundance of caution due to the current trend of cases in the destination communities and having COVID-19 positive cases on board … representing 1.1% of the onboard community,” Lyan Sierra-Caro said Wednesday. 

The ship, which returned briefly to port on Sunday to disembark a passenger with COVID-19, is carrying 3,587 passengers and 1,599 crew. With vaccinations required among all crew members and guests 12 and older, 95% of those on board were fully vaccinated, according to Royal Caribbean.  

All passengers 12 and older were required to be fully vaccinated and to test negative to board the Odyssey of the Seas ship. The ship sailed with 95% of the onboard community fully vaccinated on the Dec. 11 to Dec. 18 cruise, with 98% of those people who tested positive being fully vaccinated, Royal Caribbean told USA Today.

“During routine weekly testing of our fully vaccinated crew members, there were test results that came back positive for COVID-19,” the company said in a statement shared by spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro late Tuesday night. “Close contacts were quickly identified, and they each immediately went into quarantine.”

These infections occurred about a week after 48 passengers and crew members tested positive for COVID-19 while onboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas.

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