Two cruise ship passengers catch Covid in first North America sail since 2020

Two people aboard the first cruise that set sail in North America since the start of the pandemic last year tested positive for coronavirus at the end of the sail.

Both passengers on the Celebrity Millennium shared a stateroom and were found to have the virus during the required end-of-cruise testing, the ship’s parent company Royal Caribbean Group said in a statement on Thursday.

The guests were asymptomatic and were put in isolation with monitoring by the cruise’s medical team. The company stated it is conduction contact tracing and expedited testing for people who were in close contact with the two individuals.

‘All guests on Celebrity Millennium were required to show proof of vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before sailing from St Maarten this past Saturday,’ Royal Caribbean Group stated. ‘This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit.’

The Celebrity Millennium was the first cruise ship to embark since the industry was shuttered in 2020 amid the Covid-19 outbreak. It set sail on Saturday from St Maarten and stopped in Aruba, Curacao and Barbados. Passengers were required to show proof they were fully vaccinated or provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours.

It was not immediately known whether the two passengers were fully vaccinated. They will stay in St Maarten until they come out with negative coronavirus tests and the cruise line will assist in planning their departure home at that time, a spokesperson told ABC News.

The two guests represented a small number of the nearly 600 people who were on board the ship, according to Cruzely.

Although the Celebrity Millennium has a capacity of more than 2,000 people, it was operating at 30% capacity.

‘There will be no masks or social distancing required because our occupancy is low,’ Celebrity CEO and President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo told ABC News before the ship sailed. ‘The guests are going to have plenty of space, with plenty of dining options and activities.’

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