Cruises: Expert hopeful for 'July' return of holidays
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Cruise holidays are largely on hold for the moment amid ongoing travel restrictions around the world. However many are gearing up to return to sailing once they are given the go-ahead.
Yet, it seems cruise firms aren’t out of the woods yet, following the news Royal Caribbean’s new ship Odyssey of the Seas was forced to remain docked in Germany after six workers tested positive for the virus.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, the cruise line explained the cases were detected during “daily testing”.
Initially, the 500 staff were asked to remain onboard the ship as a precautionary measure.
However, local health authorities have since lifted the quarantine, according to a Royal Caribbean spokesperson.
The spokesperson explained: “Odyssey of the Seas is currently under construction by the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany.
“The team is currently preparing the ship for sea trials.
“As part of the stringent protocols put in place by the shipyard, all shipyard workers and crew members must receive a negative PCR test result before boarding.
“Once onboard, the ship conducts daily testing.
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“This process allowed Meyer Werft to detect any possible COVID-19 cases and take the necessary measures to contain the spread of the virus.
“Earlier this week, six shipyard workers were identified after a positive test and they were immediately quarantined land side.
“At this time, there are no positive cases onboard.”
According to Cruise Industry News an initial two cases had been detected.
As a safety precaution, the 500 crew and workers onboard the ship were asked not to leave the vessel.
However, since then the ship has been cleared for loading activities and people are allowed on and off the ship according to Royal Caribbean.
The Odyssey of the Seas remains in Bremerhaven, Germany, according to German news broadcaster NDR.
There is no confirmation as to when the ship will embark on planned sea trials.
The German news broadcaster also stated infected employees were self-isolating in a local hotel.
A local health authority spokesperson told NDR: “We do not expect any more cases.”
It is not clear when cruises will be given the go-ahead to resume sailing from UK ports.
Travel bans also remain in place in the US and Canada.
However, Royal Caribbean has extended its suspension on sailings until May at the earliest.
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