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Royal Caribbean Expands COVID-19 Policy After 6 Guests Test Positive on Ship

The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas gets underway through the Government Cut shipping channel at Port Miami during the first U.S. trial cruise testing COVID-19 protocols in Miami, Fla., on June 20, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas gets underway through the Government Cut shipping channel at Port Miami during the first U.S. trial cruise testing COVID-19 protocols in Miami, Fla., on June 20, 2021. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

U.S. cruise liner Royal Caribbean Group said on Friday only passengers with a negative COVID-19 test will be let aboard, after six guests on its Adventure of the Seas cruise ship  tested positive during routine testing.

The rule will apply to all guests departing on cruises that are five nights or longer, irrespective of their vaccine status, the company said.

Of the passengers who tested positive, only one had mild symptoms. Four out of the rest were vaccinated and not traveling together, while two were unvaccinated minors.

The guests were immediately quarantined and their travel parties and all close contacts were traced and tested negative, the company said. The guests and their travel parties will disembark later today and travel home.

The Adventure of the Seas cruise, which set sail from Nassau in the Bahamas on July 24, required all travelers aged 16 or older to be fully vaccinated and test negative before boarding. Those ineligible for the vaccine had to show a negative test result to travel.

Cruise operators, one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic, have been slowly restarting operations after more than a year of being docked at ports.

By Aishwarya Venugopal

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