Cruise ship docks in Sydney after 800 people on board infected by COVID outbreak


A cruise ship with hundreds of Covid-positive passengers has docked in Sydney, Australia, after being hit by a wave of infections.

In a media briefing on Saturday, Carnival Australia president Marguerite Fitzgerald told reporters that the Majestic Princess cruise ship was about halfway through a 12-day voyage when an outbreak of cases was noticed.

In a later statement, Fitzgerald said Carnival Australia have made over 50 international and domestic voyages “with a vast majority of more than 100,000 guests unimpacted by Covid.”

“However, the emergence of Covid in the community has meant we have seen a rise in positive cases on the last three voyages,” she said.

Fitzgerald said the company has been implementing “the most rigorous and strict measures which go well above current guidelines”, including requiring 95% of guests over the age of 12 to be vaccinated and testing staff and passengers for Covid before they board.

“We take our responsibility to keep everyone safe very seriously. This extends to not only caring for our guests, but also for the wider community in which we operate and visit,” Fitzgerald said.

After mass testing of 3,300 passengers, around 800 tested positive for Covid 19 as did a small number of crew.

Cruise operators escorted those infected off the ship and advised them to complete a five-day isolation period

The New South Wales Ministry of Health has recorded 19,800 new cases of Covid-19 and 22 deaths in the past week.

The Majestic Princess cruise ship has since departed Sydney on her next voyage to Melbourne and Tasmania.

The Majestic Princess isn’t the first Carnival cruise to be hit by a Covid outbreak.

At least three other ships within the company’s Princess fleet – the Ruby Princess, Diamond Princess  and Grand Princess – experienced outbreaks earlier in the pandemic.

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