Two passengers aboard a “fully vaccinated” cruise ship tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus as revealed in the ship’s required end-of-cruise testing, Celebrity Cruises announced on Thursday.
A Celebrity Cruises spokesperson told USA Today the positive tests were discovered at the required end-of-cruise testing, “which is completed 72-hours before returning to the United States.”
“Today, two guests sharing a stateroom onboard Celebrity Millennium tested positive for COVID-19 while conducting the required end-of-cruise testing,” the cruise line said in a statement, explaining that the individuals are asymptomatic and in isolation while being monitored by their medical team.
“We are conducting contact tracing, expediting testing for all close contacts and closely monitoring the situation,” the cruise line continued.
“Celebrity Millennium is sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests and following comprehensive protocols that align with our destination partners and exceed CDC guidelines to protect the health and safety of our guests,” it continued, noting that all guests aboard the ship were required to show not only proof of vaccination but provide a negative coronavirus test “within 72 hours before sailing from St. Maarten this past Saturday.”
“This situation demonstrates that our rigorous health and safety protocols work to protect our crew, guests and the communities we visit,” the cruise line added.
It remains unclear how the “rigorous health and safety protocols” fully worked, however, given the positive tests.
According to USA Today, the ship is docked Curaço and set to return to St. Maarten on Saturday.
The news coincides with the Biden administration’s sprint to convince 70 percent of Americans to get vaccinated by the Fourth of July.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) June 10 data, 51.9 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and the vast majority are opting for the non-traditional mRNA vaccines, which prompts cells to create a “spike protein” to trigger an immune response.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has blasted the CDC for effectively “mandating” vaccine passports for the cruise industry — an industry central to Florida’s economy, as it is home to three of the country’s busiest ports. This is particularly significant, as DeSantis recently signed a bill banning the use of vaccine passports in the Sunshine State.
“Just understand. If the CDC would take their boot off the next of the industry, they would sail from Florida. This is not as much a disagreement between Florida and the cruise lines as it is between [the] CDC,” DeSantis told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview earlier this month.
“So cruise lines are kind of caught in the middle, because [the] CDC has issued all these mandates saying, ‘OK, you can finally sail, but you got to do all this stuff.’ So they’re in the position where they have the feds coming down on them and saying they have to do it one way,” he explained.
DeSantis’s law, banning the use of vaccine passports, goes into effect July 1st.