Covid outbreaks were almost inevitably going to occur on cruise ships. The issue is whether the Omicron variant will make the problem pervasive onboard.
Royal Caribbean Group said on Monday 48 people on its Symphony of the Seas cruise ship tested positive for COVID-19, fueling concerns that the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus could put a damper on a recovery in the cruise industry.
The cruise operator said it had 6,091 guests and crew members on board the ship, which ended a week-long cruise in Miami on Saturday after setting sail on Dec. 11.
The passengers who tested positive were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, Royal Caribbean said in a statement, adding that six guests were disembarked earlier in the cruise and transported home.
Royal Caribbean said 95% of the community on board were fully vaccinated, while 98% of those who tested positive were also fully vaccinated.
Symphony’s future itineraries are not impacted, it added.
(Reporting by Deborah Sophia in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Anil D’Silva)