Coronavirus: First cruise to Caribbean forced to return early after positive tests

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The first cruise to sail the Caribbean since the pandemic shuttered the industry has returned early to Barbados after passengers got preliminary positive test results for Covid-19.

In a statement Thursday, SeaDream Yacht Club didn’t say exactly how many passengers had received positive tests.

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On Wednesday, a reporter for the Points Guy website who was on the SeaDream 1 ship, Gene Sloan, broke news that one person had tested positive, citing an intercom announcement from Captain Torbjorn Lund.

All guests and nonessential crew are quarantining in staterooms as the ship awaits authorization to disembark in Barbados, according to the company. Crew tests all came back negative, SeaDream said.

According to the Points Guy report, there are 53 passengers and 66 crew on the vessel.

The company didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

The episode comes as larger cruise companies, including Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises, are seeking to prove the safety of the industry so they can sail again from the US.

For months starting in March, the capital-intensive industry has been essentially on hold, with companies hemorrhaging cash just to maintain vessels until they can take paying customers again.

Cruise companies’ shares fell in New York trading Thursday afternoon, with Carnival down 7.5 percent, Royal Caribbean off 3.7 percent and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings slipping 3.5 percent.

SeaDream 1 passengers were subjected to two Covid-19 tests before embarking, and they’re all being retested, according to the company.

Read more: Coronavirus: US cruises may restart this year, ‘lot of pent-up demand,’ says Carnival

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