48 People on Symphony of the Seas Test Positive for COVID-19

Royal Caribbean International said this past weekend that 48 of the 6,091 guests and crew aboard Symphony of the Seas' December 11 sailing tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. That cruise ended in South Florida on Saturday, December 18.

In a press statement, the line said the total number of positive cases was ".78 percent of the total "onboard community." That's less than 1 percent of everyone aboard the ship during that voyage. 

The line also said that "additional voyages have not been impacted." The ship is sailing as normal on its next voyage, which began over the weekend.

Most Fully Vaccinated

Guests testing positive were identified as a result of immediate contact tracing after a guest tested positive. "The cruise sailed with 95 percent of the onboard community fully vaccinated and 98 percent of those that tested positive were fully vaccinated," the statement said. 

Royal Caribbean also said that each person identified as positive "quickly went into quarantine." Everyone who tested positive was asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and the line continuously monitored their health. Six guests were disembarked earlier in the cruise and were transported home. Several other guests received assistance upon arrival back in the U.S. on December 18.

To sail aboard this ship, travelers who are 12 and older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and test negative before boarding. Children not yet vaccinated must provide a negative PCR test prior to sailing and also test negative at the terminal prior to boarding.  

As for crew members, the line confirmed that all are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and tested weekly.  

In a later update, Royal Caribbean said the total number of cases also includes "four additional close contacts" identified as COVID-19 positive at the voyage's conclusion. Those guests were quarantined on board and assisted upon the ship’s arrival" in South Florida.   

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