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Montevideo, October 3rd 2023 - 17:10 UTC



COVID-19 forces cruise ship back to port

Monday, March 28th 2022 - 21:28 UTC
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The Ruby Princess is now on her way to Hawaii The Ruby Princess is now on her way to Hawaii

A Princess Cruise vessel that had left San Francisco on a 15-day voyage to the Panama Canal and back has been gripped by COVID-19. According to the shipping company, 100% of passengers and crew were vaccinated. The Port of San Francisco also requires that at least 95% of both passengers and crew members onboard are vaccinated.

Princess Cruises said that some passengers and crew members aboard the Ruby Princess had tested positive for COVID-19 while the ship was ordered back to San Francisco Sunday.

The company said in a statement that “during the cruise, we identified some positive COVID-19 cases amongst our guests and crew members” aboard the Ruby Princess ship, though all had been vaccinated.”

“They were all asymptomatic or only mildly symptomatic and were isolated and quarantined while monitored and cared for by our shipboard medical team,” the cruise line’s statement went on. The incident brought back memories of when the line’s Grand Princess was idled off San Francisco in March 2020 with thousands of passengers forced to quarantine in their cabins.

Since then, most cruise lines since have required passengers and crew to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

However, in January this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention detected that 22 cruises that had docked in San Francisco had reported COVID-19 positive passengers or crew. Cruise ships are required to notify the CDC of suspected or confirmed positive cases on board. Any vessel with 0.1% of passenger cases meets the criteria for investigation.

The number of passengers aboard the Ruby Princess who had tested positive was not disclosed, but in all likelihood, it exceeds the CDC threshold. Princess Cruises said that “those guests who tested positive and have not completed the isolation period will either return home via private transportation or were provided with accommodations ashore to hotels coordinated in advance for isolation and quarantine.”

After the situation of the passengers was handled, the 951-foot Ruby Princess, departed Sunday afternoon from San Francisco on a 15-day cruise to Hawaii, where she is due April 1. She can carry 3,080 guests and 1,200 crew.

The cruise line requires guests to show a negative COVID-19 test and proof that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days before the start of the trip. Vaccination rates for guests and crew members on the Ruby Princess were at 100%, Princess Cruises said.

Princess Cruises suspended voyages for more than a year after COVID-19 outbreaks in 2020. Coronavirus cases remain relatively flat nationwide, but health experts are concerned about a potential rise linked to the new BA.2 COVID-19 variant.

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