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Nearly 50 passengers test positive for COVID-19 on Royal Caribbean cruise ship

Royal Caribbean has confirmed that some 48 passengers tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Symphony of the Seas.

The mega cruise ship  departed Miami on December 11 for a weeklong trip to St. Thomas, St. Maarten and a private island resort, Perfect Day at Coco Cay. During its return trip to Miami, 44 cases of COVID-19 were identified among the 6000-plus passengers, and the positive individuals were quarantined on board. An additional four close contacts tested positive at the end of the voyage.

“Each person quickly went into quarantine,” Royal Caribbean stated Monday. “Everyone who tested positive were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and we continuously monitored their health.”

Ninety eight percent of the passengers who tested positive were fully vaccinated, Royal Caribbean said.

According to Royal Caribbean, one passenger who embarked on the same ship on an earlier voyage has tested positive for the omicron variant, which has shown a greater propensity for breakthrough cases in vaccinated patients. The variant responsible for the breakthrough infections on the Dec. 11 cruise has not yet been confirmed. 

 “With the recent uptick of COVID-19 in the world and added omicron variant concerns, we feel it prudent to temporarily tighten our onboard health protocols to require masks indoors at all times, unless actively eating or drinking,” Royal Caribbean said. “This new update also applies to vaccinated areas and venues.” (Photo from Royal Caribbean)