Suspected Covid case forces 'cruise to nowhere' sailing back to Singapore


Royal Caribbean crew prepare with Personal Protective Equipment before setting sail.


A cruise liner involved in Singapore’s ‘cruise to nowhere’ pilot scheme has reported a suspected Covid-19 case on board.


Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas is on its way back to Singapore after one passenger tested positive when checking in with medical staff.


According to a statement issued by Royal Caribbean, the passenger has been isolated, along with all crew and other passengers with whom they have been in close contact.


The ship’s captain made an announcement to turn around at 1.50am (GMT+8) with an estimated time of arrival back at Marina Bay Cruise Centre at 8am on December 9.


The ship had departed from Singapore on December 7 and was on its second day of a four-day cruise.


Singapore had been enjoying a successful restart of its cruise industry following the launch of the first ‘no port of call’ cruise on December 1 as part of its safe cruising pilot programme.


Dream Cruises officially kicked-off the pilot scheme when World Dream set sail from Marina Bay Cruise Centre on December 1. Royal Caribbean and Dream Cruises have since been running a series of two-, three- and four-day ‘no port of call’ cruises for Singapore residents.


Stringent health and safety measures had been put into place, including the ships operating at half capacity, ventilation system upgrades, mandatory PCR testing before boarding and mandatory face coverings and social distancing. Passengers were also required to carry contact tracing devices. Quantum of the Seas also has a hospital with PCR testing laboratory and ventilators on board.


Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean had announced extensions to the suspension of its global cruising to spring 2021 following guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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