Monday, April 22, 2024

Cruise passenger tests positive for COVID

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A passenger aboard a luxury cruise ship which left Barbados on Saturday and will be homeporting here, reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Gene Sloan, a reporter for The Point Guy who is on the SeaDream 1, captain Torbjorn Lund made the announcement via intercom just before noon on Wednesday. He said the person returned a preliminary positive test and all passengers were told to quarantine in their cabins.

Later that day, a release from the Barbados Tourism & Marketing Inc. stated: “On Wednesday November 11, the Government of Barbados received a request for assistance from a cruise ship that suspected positive cases of COVID-19 on board. The vessel, carrying 53 passengers and 68 crew is set to arrive in Barbados on Wednesday night, where they will be met by Ministry of Health and Wellness officials who will evaluate the situation and respond to requests for assistance.”

The cruise industry has been hard hit by COVID-19 and Sloan said how it fared would depend on how this incident unfolded.

He told CNN the operators of SeaDream 1 instituted a multilayered system of COVID-19 testing for the first vessel which resumed sailing in the Caribbean since the pandemic.

Passengers were tested before travelling – as required by Barbados’ travel protocols – and before boarding. They were reportedly being tested four days into the cruise.

“We were scheduled to be tested again today. That’s a more rigorous testing plan than most lines had been discussing for the restarts,” Sloan is quoted as saying.

The vessel had a successful summer season sailing from Oslo, Norway, without a single positive COVID-test.

The winter programme comprises weekly cruises from Barbados, with stops in St Vincent, The Grenadines, Grenada and the Tobago Cays. (SAT)

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