Breaking News Update: The passenger who tested positive onboard the ship has now tested negative twice in a Singapore hospital.
Original Story Now Continues…
It just wasn't meant to be.
The very first Royal Caribbean cruise to resume operations since the global shutdown of cruising back in March has been halted due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 onboard.
The Quantum of the Seas had departed from Singapore for a residents only cruise that featured no port stops. On day 3 of the 4 day itinerary, the cruise had to be halted when a passenger reported to medical staff for testing. The passenger was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19.
The ship immediately returned to Singapore while it tested immediate contacts of the positive passenger.
“We identified and isolated all guests and crew who had close contact with this guest, and each of those individuals have subsequently tested negative for the virus,” Royal Caribbean said in a statement.
All passengers will be allowed to disembark the ship once a thorough contact tracing has been completed along with relevant testing of passengers.
The ‘cruise to nowhere' was cut short on Wednesday after an 83-year-old passenger tested positive.
“One guest aboard Quantum of the Seas tested positive for coronavirus after checking in with our medical team,” Royal Caribbean confirmed.
The ship was reportedly operating at 50% of capacity with 1680 passengers and 1148 crew onboard.
“We were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do,” said Royal Caribbean.
Choosing Singapore was supposed to be a safe bet for Royal Caribbean as the country has done an excellent job of controlling the virus within its own borders. Since the beginning of October, Singapore has been confirming less than 10 confirmed cases per day on average.
Royal Caribbean had also implemented new safety measures including passengers requiring a negative COVID-19 test before boarding along with social distancing and mandatory face masks being enforced on board.
Local media has reported that this one case will not stop Royal Caribbean from operating in Singapore and another cruise scheduled for Thursday will go ahead as planned.
The confirmed case will likely be a blow to the cruise industry as it tries to prove that it can create a safe experience onboard.
The very first cruise ship to sail in the Caribbean, the SeaDream 1 experienced an outbreak onboard the small ship when 7 of the 53 people onboard tested positive. Again all passengers tested negative before boarding the ship.
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