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Royal Caribbean says 6 COVID-19 cases on ship; share fall

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In an air show, the Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas (L) prepares to set sail from the Port of Miami during the first pilot testing of COVID-19 protocols in the United States on June 20, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Riddell | Getty Images

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises fell about 4% Friday following six passengers on the Adventure of the Seas cruise ship tested positive for Covid-19.

Four of these guests were fully vaccinated and did not travel together. The cases were discovered during a routine examination.

Royal Caribbean said in a statement that three of the four fully vaccinated passengers had no symptoms and the fourth passenger had mild symptoms. The two unvaccinated guests are minors traveling at the alike party and are asymptomatic.

The six guests were immediately placed in quarantine and their contacts were identified and tested. Royal Caribbean said the test results were negative.

“Each guest and their direct travel members disembark in Freeport, Bahamas today, and travel separately back home via private transportation,” the cruise company said.

When the cruise departed Saturday from Nassau in the Bahamas, guests were asked to show evidence of a negative PCR test. Unvaccinated minors were also required to take another test upon check-in. Everyone tested negative prior going up, according to a company spokesperson.

Due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus in the Delta, the cruise line will expand its testing procedures for cruises departing from the United States that take five nights or more. CEO Michael Bailey said in a Facebook post that passengers will be required to test negative prior they board the ships. He added that tests can be taken within 3 days of departure. The unused policy will be in effect from July 31 to August 3. 31.

“Even with the vast majority of residents on board highly vaccinated, we are seeing more positive cases of the virus with vaccinated guests,” Bailey said in the post. “The delta variant is now spreading rapidly with more than 92,000 unused infections yesterday alone in the United States and in Florida, one of the key markets for the industry, there were more than 17,000 cases yesterday.”

“We realize that this will not make many guests happy as it will comfort many guests. We are doing everything we can to provide a safe, healthy and enjoyable vacation for all our guests, our crew and the communities we visit during these challenging times,” said Bailey.

The stock closed 3.9% lower at $76.87. Shares are up about 3% since the start of the year, bringing the company’s market capitalization to $19.57 billion.


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