Nearly 50 Passengers Aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Test Positive for COVID-19 in Miami

Of the 6,091 passengers and crew members on board, they said 95% were fully vaccinated, and that of those who tested positive, 98% were fully vaccinated

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas
Photo: DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty

Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas cruise ship docked in Miami on Saturday with 48 passengers with COVID-19 on board.

Royal Caribbean confirmed that a positive COVID test from one of the guests triggered contact tracing protocol on board, and it was found that four dozen travelers were infected on the world's biggest cruise ship.

"Each person quickly went into quarantine," the cruise company said in statement to PEOPLE on Monday. "Everyone who tested positive were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and we continuously monitored their health."

Earlier in the trip, six COVID positive individuals were also disembarked from the cruise line which set sail on Dec. 11 from Miami. The Symphony of the Seas had also docked in St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Royal Caribbean's CocoCay.

Of the 6,091 passengers and crew members on board, they said 95% were fully vaccinated, and that of those who tested positive, 98% were fully vaccinated. It wasn't clear if the cases were linked to the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.

In order to set sail aboard one of their ships, Royal Caribbean requires that all guests 12 and older be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and booster shots are "strongly recommended," per their website. Guests younger than 12 are required to undergo testing before boarding.

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All crew members are required to be fully vaccinated and receive their booster shots. They also undergo testing "at least once a week."

The vessels reportedly undergo enhanced cleaning procedures and masks must be worn at all times, except when eating and drinking or "participating in strenuous activities."

The cruise line said future itineraries would not be impacted.

Earlier this year, the virus threw a wrench in another Royal Caribbean cruise, when six passengers on the Adventure of the Seas ship tested positive for COVID-19 in July.

Four of the guests, who were not part of the same party, had been vaccinated against the virus, according to a statement from Royal Caribbean, while two other guests, who were in the same party, were unvaccinated minors.

Last spring, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a "no-sail order," causing cruise companies to halt all sailings in the Caribbean.

In 2020, several cruise ships across the world were sources of major COVID-19 outbreaks including numerous deaths.

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