A total of 55 individuals have tested COVID positive on a Royal Caribbean International cruise vessel that had set sail Saturday from Florida, the company mentioned. The infections on “Odyssey of the Seas” spread among crew members as well as passengers despite 95 per cent of all onboard being vaccinated.
Out of caution, the ship refused to dock at the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao, the last scheduled stops on its voyage, so it will be at sea till it reaches Florida on 26 December.
The Odyssey has onboard 3,587 passengers and 1,599 members of the crew. The shipping enterprise mentioned that 55 of those who got the infection were vaccinated against the coronavirus. They are currently asymptomatic or are suffering mild symptoms.
Close contacts of infected individuals have also been asked to quarantine for at least 24 hours before taking a Covid-19 test. In less than seven days, this is the second reported outbreak on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
Last Saturday, the “Symphony of the Seas” reported at the Port of Miami with 48 new COVID patients after a seven-day Caribbean trip.
Many passenger ships experienced coronavirus outbreaks during early 2020 – phase one of the ongoing pandemics, resulting in suspension of activities for over a year.
The industry restarted operations in June with stringent security measures in place to safeguard against the spread of infection. Royal Caribbean mandates, for instance, that all guests over the age of 12 years and its staff be completely vaccinated. But the highly contagious Omicron variant seems to be posing a new challenge for the maritime industry.