Great Britain

Royal Caribbean delays one of its first post-pandemic cruises after eight crew members test positive for Covid

Royal Caribbean International has been forced to postpone what was meant to be one of the first cruises to depart the US since the coronavirus pandemic began after eight crew members tested positive for Covid-19.

The new Odyssey of the Seas was meant to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 3 July.

Mr Bayley said the decision had been made “out of an abundance of caution”.

He also said that the company would reschedule a simulation cruise that had been scheduled for late June.

“While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and guests,” he said.

Mr Bayley said that all 1,400 crew members aboard the Odyssey of the Seas had been vaccinated on 4 June.

However, two weeks – the time expected for the immune system to build up adequate immunity to Covid-19 – had not passed.

Six of the crew members who tested positive for Covid-19 have so far been asymptomatic, while another two members are mildly sick, he said.

All crew members are undergoing a quarantine period and will receive routine testing.

The news will come as a blow to the cruise industry, which has sought to make a comeback after more than 15 months of being unable to sail from the US during the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Caribbean International has “strongly recommended” that passengers get vaccinated before joining a cruise.

Celebrity Edge, which is also part of the Royal Caribbean Group, is expected to be the first post-pandemic ship to sail from the US on 26 June.

A Celebrity Cruises’ spokesperson told the Associated Press that Celebrity Edge would be able to set sail without a test run because it is following CDC guidelines by having 98% vaccinated crew and 95% vaccinated guests on board.

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