Barbados Today:– The COVID-19 outbreak confirmed on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas docked in Barbados is no threat to the island and is being fully handled by cruise and local authorities.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Senator Lisa Cummins confirmed the development while speaking on the state-owned Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation(CBC).
Some 48 passengers onboard the vessel have tested positive for the viral illness.
Cummins said: “You have a full medical hospital on board the ship, you have ICU capacity, you have ventilator capacity and so the ship is perfectly capable … especially since most persons are not terribly ill, since most persons are vaccinated, to deal with cases on board the ship.”
This is Royal Caribbean’s third cruise ship to face a COVID-19 outbreak over the last few weeks.
Last Wednesday, Odyssey of the Seas was barred from entering Curacao and Aruba after 51 positive cases were discovered onboard.
Days earlier, Royal Caribbean said that at least 48 passengers and staff on its Symphony of the Seas ship had tested positive.
Royal Caribbean said it has implemented strong protocols to protect its passengers.
According to the company, all travelers aged 12 and above must be fully vaccinated and test negative before departure.
Crew members are also required to be fully vaccinated and must test “at least once a week.”
In response to the Omicron variant, passengers have been asked to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking, in an empty open-aired section aboard the cruise ship, or in their stateroom.