This was one of the first cruise ships to set sail in North America since the start of the pandemic. On Thursday 10 June, Royal Caribbean announced that two people have tested positive for COVID-19 on board the Celebrity Millennium, despite 'vaccinated crew and passengers.'
Just over a year after the huge outbreak on the infamous Diamond Princess, Royal Caribbean has issued a statement:
The individuals are asymptomatic, currently in isolation and being monitored by our medical team.
The company says it is conducting a contact tracing operation. The ship left Sint Maarten, the Dutch part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, on 5 June.
More than 1,200 people on board
Both individuals tested positive for the coronavirus during the 'end of cruise test round' organised by the company. The company claims to have followed comprehensive protocols in line with its partner destinations, even 'going beyond' the guidelines of the main US public health agency, 'to protect the health and safety of (its) passengers.'
Before boarding the ship, passengers were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative test less than 72 hours old. There were 600 passengers on board, accompanied by 650 crew members, according to the New York Times.
According to the rules issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the start of May, cruising aficionados were allowed to tread the decks once more under very strict conditions. Indeed, at least 95% of the people on the ship had to be vaccinated, both passengers and employees.