A Carnival Cruise Line ship arrived in Belize this week reporting 27 cases of COVID-19, almost all among vaccinated crew members, Belize officials have said.
The Carnival Vista called in Belize on Wednesday during a 7-day round-trip voyage to the Western Caribbean from Galveston, Texas, with 2,895 guests and 1,441 crew. Upon its arrival, the ship reported 27 positive cases on board to the Belize authorities as per disclosure protocols, of which 26 were crew members and only one passenger, according to a statement from the Belize Tourism Board. “Most” were asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms.
Nearly all crew members on the ship are vaccinated as well as over 96% of guests on board, the Tourism Board reported.
The statement said that Carnival ensured all positive cases had been isolated and contact tracing has ended with no additional positive cases found. Further, the infected crew and passenger did not pose a threat to guests, crew or frontline workers in Belize. It added that the U.S. CDC was aware of the situation and concluded that the situation is contained.
After confirming satisfactory health and safety protocols on board, Belize health officials determined that passengers could disembark the vessel for shore excursions provided they supply either a negative COVID-19 test or agree to random testing.
The CDC’s website shows the Carnival Vista had met the COVID-19 threshold for investigation and the ship remains under observation at this time.
A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line told The Washington Post that the company had already disclosed that there were positive cases last week, including to passengers on board, and it had implemented new mask rules for certain indoor areas of the ship. However, the company did not disclose the number of cases, and has stuck with its statement that it was “managing a small number of positive cases on board.”
The ship departed Belize Wednesday night, headed to Cozumel, Mexico. AIS shows the ship is now headed back to Galveston with arrival anticipated on Saturday.
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