Royal Caribbean says no change to sailing plans despite Covid cases on Celebrity ship

In an aerial view, the Explorer of the Seas (front), a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, is docked with other cruise lines in Port Miami as the cruise industry waits to launch on Aug.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Royal Caribbean Cruises said on Friday that it will not change its sailing plans this summer, despite the fact that the cruise operator reported two positive Covid-19 cases on Thursday on board its cruise ship Celebrity Millennium.

The two guests who tested positive during the tests at the end of the cruise were asymptomatic and were isolated. On Friday, Royal Caribbean announced that everyone in close contact with the two guests had tested negative for the virus.

The discovery of the cases is an early test of whether the cruise company’s security protocols are effective in detecting the virus on board the ship.

The Celebrity Millennium was one of the first North American cruises to begin sailing last week after being on the dock for more than a year. The company’s first departure from a port in the United States will be the Celebrity Edge, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 26th.

The ship has a fully vaccinated crew and all guests over 16 are required to provide proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of departure. There were also routine tests in each port during the week-long cruise.

The ship will dock in a port in St. Martins on Saturday.

The company’s stock lost less than 1% on Friday. It’s up 20% this year for a market cap of nearly $ 23 billion.

A passenger on board the ship told CNBC that the mood on board the ship had not changed and normal activities continued.

The cruise industry is among the last sectors to resume operations since the pandemic. There had been several high-profile outbreaks on board cruise ships in the past year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have allowed ships to sail again this year after putting very strict safety protocols and requirements in place to prevent the virus from spreading.

– CNBC’s Seema Mody contributed to this report.

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