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First Caribbean cruise forced to return because of a Covid-19 outbreak

First Caribbean cruise forced to return because of a Covid-19 outbreak Monday, November 16th 2020 – 09:10 UTC Full article By the fifth day of the cruise, it was forced to halt what could have been a ‘watershed moment for the cruise industry’ after a passenger tested positive

SeaDream 1, one of the world’s smallest cruise ships, departed Barbados on Nov. 7 with 53 passengers and 66 crew — the first cruise ship to venture back to sea in an industry docked since March by the global coronavirus outbreak.

But by the fifth day of the cruise, the ship was forced to halt what could have been a ‘watershed moment for the cruise industry’ after a passenger onboard tested positive for COVID-19.

“People are shocked,” Gene Sloan, a passenger on the SeaDream Yacht Club cruise said. Sloan has been writing about cruise and travel for the past 20 years, boarded the ship on Saturday to see what it’s like to go on the first Caribbean cruise since the shutdown in March.

“The Caribbean is the world’s biggest cruise destination,” he wrote in an article for the Points Guy, “accounting for at least a third of all cruises taken in a normal year, and a resumption of sailings in the region is critical to the cruise industry’s long-term health.”

Standing in line to board the ship on Saturday had been a “strange” experience, Sloan said. Each passenger had to undergo a COVID-19 test, a body temperature check, a pulse test; sanitize their hands, have their luggage sprayed with disinfectant as well as show several medical-related forms.

All passengers had been required by the SeaDream cruise line and the Barbados government to test negative for COVID-19 via a PCR test three days prior to boarding.

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