27 on board Carnival cruise test positive for COVID-19

A Carnival Cruise Line ship that arrived in Belize on Wednesday after departing from Texas recorded 27 positive COVID-19 tests, all among people who are fully vaccinated. 

The Belize Tourism Board said in a press release that the Carnival Vista ship, which left from Galveston, Texas, arrived in Belize City with a total of 2,895 guests and 1,441 crew members. 

"As per the normal protocol, upon submission of the Maritime Declaration by the ship in anticipation of its call to Belize the ship reported that it had on board 27 positive cases, 26 of which were crew members and 1 passenger,” the statement said. 

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The tourism board added that it, along with Belize’s minister of tourism and diaspora relations, had met virtually with Carnival Vista officials the day before to “discuss the notification that persons aboard the vessel tested positive for COVID-19.” After the meeting, Carnival informed others on the ship that all who tested positive had been isolated and “contact tracing has ended with no additional positive cases found.” 

The Wednesday press release noted that Carnival said 99.8 percent of the ship’s crew members and 96.5 percent of passengers were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Each of the individuals who tested positive are either “asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms,” according to the tourism board.  

Carnival said in a statement to The Hill that the company has "managed the situation utilizing stringent health protocols which included placing those who tested positive in isolation and close contacts in quarantine."

"The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit is our priority," Carnival added. "All activities on the ship are taking place and our guests have been terrific at adapting to our new protocols. Carnival is in daily contact with the CDC about the status of all our ships." 

The company announced new mask and testing requirements last week, including that “all guests will be asked to wear masks in certain indoor areas of Carnival’s ships” from Aug. 7 through Oct. 31. 

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Carnival also said that effective this Saturday, all fully vaccinated guests will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within three days of boarding the ship. 

“Vaccinated guests are required to come with their negative test results and proof of vaccination for boarding,” the cruise line said, adding that unvaccinated guests will continue to be required to submit to “pre-cruise PCR testing, testing prior to boarding, and testing within 24 hours of debarkation on cruises of five days or longer.” 

Other cruise lines have reported COVID-19 outbreaks among passengers and crews as ships attempt to safely return to the seas with coronavirus safety protocols. 

Late last month, Royal Caribbean said that six of its passengers had tested positive after departing from the Bahamas.