Royal Caribbean International was forced to delay its inaugural trip on Tuesday after 8 vaccinated crew members tested positive for COVID-19, CEO Michael Bayley said in a Facebook post.
“The eight crew members, six of whom are asymptomatic and two with mild symptoms, were quarantined and are being closely monitored by our medical team,” Bayley said. The positive tests came back after routine testing, the post said.
The 1,400 staff on board were vaccinated on June 4 and considered fully vaccinated on June 18, he said
Royal Caribbean delays cruise ship after 8 crew members test positive for Covid-19, officials say. https://t.co/syCRt3LlKh
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 16, 2021
The cruise planned to leave from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and travel the Caribbean Sea, according to the company website.
The scheduled June 3rd departure was delayed until June 31 due to the positive COVID-19 tests, the post said.
The crew members will be quarantined for 14 days and undergo routine testing, Bayley said.
“While disappointing, this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our crew,” Bayley said.
Royal Caribbean International changed their vaccine policy this month, making them optional, the company said in a press release.
“Guests are strongly recommended to set sail fully vaccinated if they are eligible. Those who are unvaccinated or unable to verify vaccination will be required to undergo testing and follow other protocols,” the press release said.