Royal Caribbean is officially delaying the opening voyage of its Odyssey of the Seas cruise ship, as eight vaccinated crew members tested positive for COVID-19, according to CNN.
The positive test results were discovered during routine testing, Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley said in a statement on Facebook.
“All 1,400 crew members aboard the Odyssey of the Seas were vaccinated on June 4th and are considered fully vaccinated on June 18th. The positive cases were identified after vaccination and before they were fully effective, ”said Bayley.
The company has postponed the Odyssey’s opening voyage from July 3rd to July 31st.
The ship would have sailed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and made several stops in the Caribbean. Royal Caribbean has confirmed that: a Simulation cruise originally planned for the end of June, will also be postponed.
“This is disappointing, but it is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew and our guests,” said Bayley.
Six of the eight crew members who tested positive showed no symptoms, while two showed mild symptoms. All eight have been quarantined and are being closely monitored by the company’s medical team, Bayley said.
“To protect the remaining crew and prevent further incidents, we will quarantine the entire crew for 14 days and continue our routine testing,” added Bayley.
CNN reports that Royal Caribbean’s vaccination policy requires all guests 16 years of age and older departing from US ports to be fully vaccinated, with the exception of ships departing from Florida.
From August 1st, all guests aged 12 and over must be fully vaccinated. Younger travelers who are not yet eligible for the vaccine are allowed to sail with a negative test result and must follow certain protocols, the company said.