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Royal Caribbean cruise ship sails despite coronavirus patients on Celebrity ship

Explorer of the Seas aerial view (front) Royal Caribbean Cruises and other cruise ships Docked in Port Miami as the shipping industry waits to resume operations on May 26, 2021.

Joe Radle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Royal Caribbean Cruises said on Friday it would not change sailing plans this summer despite two positive Covid-1

9 cases aboard its Celebrity Millennium cruise ship on Thursday.

Two of the guests who tested positive during testing at the end of the cruise were asymptomatic and were isolated. On Friday, Royal Caribbean announced that all close contacts with the two guests had tested negative for the virus.

Royal Caribbean Group representatives said celebrities would pay for two passengers to be brought home by private jet.

The discovery of the case was an early test of whether the cruise operator’s safety protocol was effective in detecting the virus on board.

The Celebrity Millennium, departing from St. Maarten on Saturday. It was one of the first cruise ships in North America to begin sailing again after more than a year of docking. The company will depart from a port in the United States. The first will be at Celebrity Edge, which departs June 26 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Celebrity Millennium has a fully vaccinated crew. And all guests over the age of 16 must provide proof of vaccination and negative Covid-19 testing within 72 hours of departure. There are also regular tests throughout the week’s cruise at every port.

The ship will dock at the port in St Maarten on Saturday.

The company’s stock fell less than 1% on Friday, up 20 percent this year, giving it a market cap of nearly $23 billion.

A passenger on the ship told CNBC that the mood on the ship had not changed and normal activities continued.

The cruise industry is one of the last sectors to resume operations since the pandemic. There were several pandemics on cruise ships last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed ships to sail again this year. After putting in place very strict security measures and requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.

— of CNBC Sima Modi Contribute to this report

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