(CNN) – More than two dozen cases of Covid-19 have been detected among the crew and passengers on a Carnival cruise ship, according to the Belize Tourism Commission.
Belize tourism officials met virtually with Carnival Vista officials on Tuesday to discuss the situation before passengers disembark in Belize City.
During that meeting, “the team at Carnival noted that all positive cases were isolated and contact tracing ended without finding any more positive cases, and the crew and infected passengers pose no threat to guests, crew or frontline staff in Belize,” according to the tourism board bulletin.
Passengers are allowed to disembark in Belize for a normal coastal cruise with an extra precaution: All passengers with negative Covid-19 test results must provide evidence to Belize officials, with randomized testing for those with no evidence.
Carnival said in a statement that it was managing a “small number” of Covid cases on its current Carnival Vista cruise but declined to say exactly how many.
The company said of the recent cases of Covid: “Guests on board for the 31 July and 7 August voyages have been informed and updated.
Carnival said all unvaccinated guests on board the current boat will be screened on Friday, before disembarking on Saturday. The company also randomly tests a large proportion of its vaccinated crew on a rotational basis, and has tested more than 900 crew members since last Saturday, according to their statement.
Strengthen rules as the pandemic progresses
The Belize Tourism Commission noted that additional protocols, including crew use of N95 masks and closure of crew social areas, were implemented on the current cruise.
“The health, safety and well-being of our guests, crew, and the destinations we visit is our priority. All onboard operations are ongoing and our guests have been doing great. in adapting to our new protocols,” Carnival said, noting that its safety protocols go beyond guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Belize Tourism Board reports that the crew on board are 99.98% vaccinated and passengers 96.5% vaccinated. These numbers meet the CDC’s requirement that 95% of both crew and passengers be vaccinated in order for ships to be able to set sail without having to make a pre-test cruise to check safety measures. of Covid.
In addition to a policy put in place last week that requires all guests, even those who have been vaccinated, to wear masks in certain areas of the home, Carnival is stepping up screening regulations, requiring all guests must present a negative Covid-19 test result before commencing. That policy went into effect on August 14.
The rapid spread of the Delta variant has seen an increase in “breakthrough” infections reported in vaccinated individuals. Vaccination is highly effective in preventing serious illness, but it is not 100%.
Belize and shipping officials point out that their safety protocols predict Covid-19 cases and are working as designed to reduce risk when cases are detected.
Carnival says Carnival Vista’s August 14 ride will go ahead as planned.
Top image: The Carnival Vista cruise ship is seen moored at a jetty in the port of Miami on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)