In 2020, a cruise ship made the headlines: the Princess Diamond, a real textbook case concerning the Covid-19 pandemic with 712 cases on board as of March 21, 2020, including 14 deaths. And as cruises resume around the world, we are talking about Covid again on a boat …
Celebrity Millenium: first cruise ship with Covid-19 cases
The announcement is significant: the Celebrity Millennium of the Royal Caribbean cruise line, has confirmed having detected two cases of Covid-19 among its passengers at the end of the journey. Started on June 5, 2021, it ended on June 11, 2021: It was then that the passengers had to undergo the mandatory screening test which made it possible to identify two cases of Covid-19.
The two passengers, according to the cruise line, are in isolation and monitored by the ship’s medical staff. They would be asymptomatic, which would explain why only a test at the end of the cruise could lead to their identification.
Strict rules… but insufficient?
Royal Caribbean emphasizes that the sanitary rules and protocols in force in North America are respected, in particular the obligation for all boats to accommodate a minimum of 95% of people on board vaccinated, passengers as well as staff. All people also had to present a negative Covid-19 test less than 72 hours before boarding, in addition to proof of their vaccination.
Now remains to be defined if the contamination took place before the cruise or during the stay which has taken cruise lines to the Caribbean islands including Aruba, Curacao and Barbados.
The news could, however, be a brake on the revival of maritime tourism, especially among those most worried about the virus.