A “cruise to nowhere” off the coast of Singapore was interrupted after a passenger tested positive for the coronavirus, its operator announced on Wednesday, dampening the hopes of a sector badly affected by the pandemic.
“Cruises to Nowhere” departing and arriving in the Southeast Asian city-state began last month after months of shutdown of liners.
But Wednesday morning, the operator Royal Caribbean announced that “a passenger of the Quantum of the Seas had tested positive for the coronavirus after verification by the medical team”.
“We have identified and isolated all passengers and crew members who have been in close contact with this passenger,” the 83-year-old, and they have all tested negative, the operator said in a statement.
The boat carrying 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew members, had to return to the port of Singapore on the third day of this cruise which included four, according to the daily Strait Times.
Passengers have been asked to stay in their cabins and must undergo tests before they can leave the terminal, the Singapore tourism authority said.
These cruises had met with great success with Singaporeans frustrated at not being able to travel abroad after the closure of many borders due to the pandemic.
Cruise passengers had planned very strict health measures, with mandatory tests before letting passengers or crew members board and frequent disinfection to avoid any new outbreaks of the virus.
This incident is a further blow to the tourism sector in Singapore after the postponement of the air “transport bubble” project with Hong Kong due to a rebound in contamination in the Chinese city.