According to the Belize Tourism Board, more than two dozen cases of Covid-19 have been discovered among crew and passengers aboard a Carnival cruise ship.
According to a news release from the Belize Tourism Board, one passenger and 26 staff members tested positive before arriving at the port in Belize City. According to the press release, all 27 afflicted people have been vaccinated, and the majority of them are asymptomatic.
On Tuesday, before passengers disembarked in Belize City, Belize tourism officials met electronically with Carnival Vista management to discuss the situation.
During that meeting, “the team at Carnival noted that all positive cases have been isolated and contact tracing has ended with no additional positive cases found and that the infected crew and passenger do not pose a threat to guests, crew or frontline workers in Belize,” according to the tourism board’s news release.
Passengers were allowed to disembark in Belize for typical shore excursions with one exception: all visitors with a negative Covid-19 test were forced to produce proof to Belize officials, with those who did not provide proof subjected to random testing.
Carnival said in a statement that a “small number” of Covid cases have been managed on the current Carnival Vista cruise, but declined to say how many.
The cruise line also reported a “limited number of positive cases” on the previous Carnival Vista sailing out of Galveston, Texas. As a result, the firm implemented a new fleet-wide mask regulation for all guests in select internal locations a few days before the Carnival Vista sailed.
“Guests onboard the July 31 and August 7 sailings were notified and kept updated, and the CDC and destination officials have been apprised,” the company said of the recent Covid cases.
Carnival said that all unvaccinated passengers on the current cruise would be tested on Friday before disembarking on Saturday. According to the company’s statement, it also randomly examines a huge part of its vaccinated crew on a rotational basis and has tested over 900 crew members since last Saturday.
Improving rules in the course of the pandemic
The Tourism Board of Belize noted that the current trip was followed by further protocols, including the usage of N95 masks by the crew and the closure of crew areas.
“The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew and the destinations we visit is our priority. All activities on the ship are taking place and our guests have been terrific at adapting to our new protocols,” Carnival said, noting that its safety protocols go beyond the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines.
According to the Belize Tourism Board, the ship’s crew is vaccinated to the amount of 99.98%, while guests are vaccinated to the amount of 96.5%. These results satisfy the CDC’s requirement that 95% of the crew and passengers be vaccinated before a ship can sail without first completing a trial cruise to test Covid safety measures.
Carnival is tightening its testing requirements, requiring all guests to submit a negative Covid-19 test result before to embarkation, in addition to the policy established last week mandating all guests, even those who are vaccinated, to wear masks in specified interior locations. On August 14, the policy will take effect.