The positive tests come as major cruise lines finally begin to set sail for the first time since the pandemic interrupted their movements.
The eight positive cases were identified during routine testing, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement posted on Facebook.
“The 1,400 crew aboard the Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4 and will be considered fully vaccinated on June 18. Positive cases were identified after vaccination and before they were fully effective, ”Bayley said.
The company postponed the inaugural navigation of the Odyssey from July 3 to July 31. He was to depart from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and make several stops in the Caribbean. A simulation cruise initially scheduled for the end of June will also be rescheduled.
“While disappointing, it is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and our guests,” said Bayley.
Six of the eight crew members who tested positive had no symptoms, while two had mild symptoms. All eight have been quarantined and are being closely watched by the company’s medical team, Bayley said.
“To protect the remaining crew and avoid any further cases, we will quarantine the entire crew for 14 days and continue with our routine testing,” Bayley added.
Fully vaccinated people are over 90% protected against infection, with partially vaccinated people 81% less likely to be infected than those who have not been vaccinated, according to the ongoing study of essential workers with received the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. .
Royal Caribbean’s vaccination policy requires all passengers 16 years of age or older leaving US ports to be fully vaccinated, with the exception of ships departing from Florida.
As of August 1, all guests 12 years of age or older must be fully immunized. Young travelers who are not yet eligible for the vaccine may sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols, the company said.