Royal Caribbean crew members test positive for coronavirus, disembark in Spain as passengerless ship sails to US
Royal Caribbean's newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, disembarked several crew members who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Spain as the ship makes its way to the United States after canceling cruises in Israel amid unrest this month.
The ship is carrying 1,400 crew members, Lyan Sierra-Caro, spokesperson for the cruise line, told USA TODAY. There are no passengers on board.
"Earlier this week, four crew members were identified after a positive test; they were immediately quarantined," Royal Caribbean said in a statement provided by Sierra-Caro.
Another crew member had inconclusive test results. All five were asymptomatic.
"We are working with local health authorities to safely disembark these crew members and oversee any medical care they need," the cruise line said earlier Monday and later confirmed that the crew members had indeed disembarked at the Port of Palma in Mallorca, Spain.
No other positive cases of coronavirus were identified on board by midday Monday.
As part of the cruise line's COVID-19 protocol, all crew must receive a negative PCR test prior to boarding. On board, everyone participates in ongoing testing.
Most crew members currently on board Odyssey of the Seas have not been vaccinated yet. The crew members who have not been vaccinated will be vaccinated once they arrive in the U.S., according to Sierra-Caro.
The cruise line has said that 100% of crew will be required to be fully vaccinated, Sierra-Caro told USA TODAY.