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48 passengers of a cruise ship that called at St. Maarten tested positive

In spite of rigorous measures taken to minimise outbreaks of Covid on ocean cruises, Royal Caribbean says at least 48 people on one of its ships that called at St. Maarten last week have been tested positive to Covid.


The Symphony of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, was carrying more than 6,000 passengers and crew on a week-long trip to the Caribbean when one cruise passenger tested positive, triggering an expanded search for contact cases, according to Royal Caribbean.
Cruise ships had been touted as one of the “safest” holidays available in the summer of 2021, when the cruise industry restarted in the US with new Covid protocols, after a prolonged shutdown due to the pandemic.
The Symphony of the Seas carried 6,091 passengers and crew.
The company reported that 95% of passengers were fully vaccinated. Of those who have since tested positive, 98% were fully vaccinated. The total number of cases amounts to 0.78% of the population on board.
It is not yet known whether the highly infectious Omicron variant, which is currently spreading rapidly around the world, is responsible for the cases detected. The Symphony of the Seas departed from Miami, Florida, on 11 December and called at St. Maarten on the 14th.
Royal Caribbean says it disembarked six positive cases earlier in the cruise, while the remaining positive passengers disembarked on December 18, when the voyage ended.
The cruise line added that future Symphony of the Seas voyages were not affected.

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