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June 19, 2021
Singapore's Royal Caribbean cruise turns back after passenger tests positive for Covid-19

Singapore’s Royal Caribbean cruise turns back after passenger tests positive for Covid-19

(CNN) — A Royal Caribbean cruise ship has returned to port in Singapore after a passenger tested positive for Covid-19.
The Quantum of the Seas ship was hosting a three-night, four-day “cruise to nowhere” itinerary around Singapore. The cruise was part of a much-vaunted program to reinvigorate domestic travel in Singapore amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Caribbean has confirmed to CNN that a passenger on board the ship tested positive for the virus after checking in with a member of the ship’s medical staff.

Upon the confirmed positive test, the Quantum of the Seas informed Singaporean officials of the news and returned to port. Guests will not be permitted to disembark from the ship until full contact tracing measures have been carried out.

“We worked closely with the government to develop a thorough system that tests and monitors all guests and crew and follows public health best practices,” a Royal Caribbean representative said. “That we were able to quickly identify this single case and take immediate action is a sign that the system is working as it was designed to do.”

Annie Chang, director of cruise at the Singapore Tourism Board, told The Straits Times that all of the infected passenger’s close contacts have tested negative for the coronavirus but will be isolated as a precautionary measure.

“The well-being and safety of our local community, as well as passengers and crew remain a top priority. All passengers undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test prior to boarding, with stringent hygiene and safety measures implemented throughout their passenger journey,” she added.

The ship was operating at 50% capacity. All passengers had to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test in order to board and wear masks at all times when outside their staterooms. Only Singaporean citizens were allowed to buy tickets for the cruise, and crew members from around the world spent 14 days quarantining in the city-state in order to be cleared for working.

As an extra hygiene measure, fresh air was regularly cycled throughout the ship, Royal Caribbean said.

The Quantum of the Seas debuted in 2015 to much fanfare. On-board amenities include bumper cars, a bionic bar with iPad ordering, a skydiving simulator and 19 restaurants, including one with an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. It cost $1 billion to build and outfit.