Cruise ships face disruption again due to Covid-19
(CNN) – At least four ocean-going cruise ships have been turned away from ports of call or have been banned from letting passengers disembark in the Americas this week due to cases of Covid-19 on board.
Recent disruptions to cruise ships include:
A “small number of fully vaccinated crews” tested positive and all exhibited mild or no symptoms, Holland America Line told CNN.
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Jalisco health authorities were initially going to allow people who tested negative to disembark. However, they changed their minds, citing an “exponential growth in confirmed cases in the crew” by Thursday, the department said. Only one crew member had tested positive less than a week earlier, the department said.
The ship, which left San Diego on December 19 with more than 1,000 passengers and more than 870 crew, visited Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán before arriving in Puerto Vallarta. He is due to return to San Diego as scheduled on Sunday.
Holland America Line, like other cruise lines in this history, requires passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, with a few exceptions for children.
However, the company has scheduled a replacement stopover in the Dominican Republic on Friday.
The ship will return to Miami as scheduled on Sunday, the cruise line said.
The royal odyssey of the Caribbean of the seas.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Curacao health officials have decided the percentage of people on board who have tested positive is too high for the country to allow the ship to dock, the Curacao Chronicle reported.
The ship is due to return to Fort Lauderdale, Florida as scheduled on Sunday.
According to Royal Caribbean, the ship can accommodate up to 5,550 guests and 1,600 crew members. It was not clear if the ship was fully occupied.
The sailor of the seven seas.
Manfred Segerer / ullstein bild / Getty Images
The disruptions so far have affected a small fraction of operating cruise ships
Positive Covid-19 tests on cruise ships are not unique to this month – they have occurred at other times since cruises resumed departures from U.S. shores this summer.
In August, for example, 27 people tested positive aboard a Carnival cruise ship before it called at a port in Belize City.
Now, the spread of the Omicron variant “may shape how some destination authorities view even a small number of cases, even when handled with our rigorous protocols,” the Carnival spokesperson told CNN on Friday, AnneMarie Mathews, in a prepared statement.
“Some destinations have limited medical resources and are focused on managing their own local response to the variant,” Mathews added.
“If there is a need to cancel a port, we will do our best to find an alternative destination,” said Mathews.
Health and safety protocols
The companies recommend booster shots for their passengers. Holland America Line claims its crew members receive boosters as soon as they are eligible.
Cruise lines generally require their passengers to test negative for Covid-19 before starting travel, and require frequent testing from their crews.
Passengers who test positive during the trip should generally self-isolate
CNN’s Francesca Street, Melissa Alonso, Aya Elamroussi, Carma Hassan, Hira Humayun, Stefano Pozzebon, Valentina DiDonato and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.