A total of six cruise passengers aboard the Crystal Symphony tested positive for COVID-19, according to an article published today in Bermuda’s leading newspaper, the Royal Gazette. A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Department of Transport added that passengers on the Crystal Symphony underwent PCR tests “while crossing from New York to Bermuda”.
The newspaper reports that infected passengers remain on the island after testing positive for the coronavirus. The cruise ship is now returning to New York. “A spokeswoman for the Department of Transport (initially) said that five people on the Crystal Symphony were infected and stayed in a hotel with their immediate close contacts. A Crystal Cruises representative added that “another guest tested positive after further testing,” bringing the total to six infected guests.
The Bermuda Department of Transport spokesperson said: “All guests undergo a pre-departure PCR test as part of the Bermuda travel authorization process and only passengers with a negative PCR test result can board the ferry. the vessel after a negative antigen test result performed in the terminal by Crystal. Cruises before boarding in New York.
The spokeswoman said all crew members and guests on the Crystal Symphony were fully vaccinated.
The cruise ship, which arrived on Sunday, remained in quarantine until the results were known early Monday afternoon.
The guests who tested positive, along with their close contacts, disembarked and transferred to a local quarantine hotel designated by Bermuda health authorities where they are currently staying.
The newspaper article does not address the question of who will pay the hotel and expenses during quarantine ashore or return flights to New York.
The six positive cases of COVID-19 on this ship appear to be the “new standard” of navigation on cruise ships at this point in the pandemic. In addition to the large outbreaks that occur more frequently, most cruise ships sailing today have at least a small number (2-10) of positive guests on each cruise.
The only problem is whether the public will learn of the positive cases or whether the cruise line will be able to keep this basic information secret.
Most cruise lines continue to refuse to disclose information on the number of positive cases of their guests and crew. The public relies heavily on local newspapers reporting cases on board ships or the rare occasions when affected crew members provide information on ships.
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Image credits: Top – Bahnfrend – CC BY-SA 4.0 commons / wikimedia; below – Royal Gazette / Blaire Simmons.