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Royal Caribbean cruises to sail despite Covid cases on Celebrity ship

In an aerial photo, the Explorer of the Seas (front), a Royal Caribbean cruise ship along with other cruise ships, is docked in Port Miami as the cruise industry waits to start operations again on May 26, 2021

Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Royal Caribbean Cruises said Friday it will not change its sailing plans this summer, despite the cruise operator reporting two positive Covid-1

9 cases aboard its Celebrity Millennium cruise ship on Thursday.

The two guests who tested positive during test completion on cruise were asymptomatic and were placed in isolation. On Friday, Royal Caribbean announced that all those who were in close contact with the two guests tested negative for the virus.

The discovery of the cases is an early test of whether the cruise operator’s security protocols are effective in detecting the virus on board the ship.

Celebrity Millennium was one of the first cruises in North America to begin sailing last week after being docked for over a year. The company’s first sailing out of a U.S. port will be Celebrity Edge, which departs June 26 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ship has a fully vaccinated crew and all guests over the age of 16 must show proof of vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before sailing. There were also routine tests during the week-long cruise in each port.

The ship docks in a harbor in St. Martin’s Saturday.

The company’s share was less than 1% on Friday. It has increased by 20% this year, giving it a market value of almost $ 23 billion.

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

The cruise industry has been among the last sectors to resume operations since the pandemic. There had been several high-profile eruptions aboard cruise ships last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed ships to resume navigation this year after imposing very strict safety protocols and requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.

—CNBCs Seema Mody contributed to this report.

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