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“One of the safest places on the planet”: Royal Caribbean CEO gives a COVID safety update

As the cruise industry has resumed, there have been a number of sailings which have had COVID cases onboard. But Michael Bayley, the CEO of Royal Caribbean has addressed passengers carrying the virus onboard Royal Caribbean ships, in a bid to put aside worries and speculation.

Mr Bayley wrote a Facebook post, stating that while cases are inevitably happening on board cruise ships, they’re very rare and not always overly dangerous or harmful.

Mr Bayley wrote: “All of our crew are fully vaccinated and each ship sails with a total onboard vaccinated community ranging from 90 to 97 per cent.The overall majority of the unvaccinated guests are the kids not eligible for vaccine.

“Do we have COVID positive guests and crew? Yes.

“As all guests are required to be tested before boarding regardless of vaccination status we typically have 2 to 10 guests a week, out of thousands of guests boarding 12 ships, who do not board because they test positive.”

However, despite this rigorous testing, some positive cases still end up on board, Mr Bayley explains how.

“Do we have COVID positive guests on board? Yes…typically one or two of a thousand plus guests a week per ship.

“How is that possible? Testing captures status at a point of time and if the guest is incubating infection then the test will miss it. Yes, vaccinated guests test positive for COVID and typically are asymptomatic.”

Mr Bayley also went through the onboard procedures when a case is discovered.

“What happens onboard? Quarantine for COVID positive guests and testing of immediate travel party, contract tracing and testing of all contacts and quarantine if positive. Repatriation home via private jet in the majority of cases.”

Mr Bayley ended with a bold statement.

“Maybe this is too much information, however having a community of people vaccinated at 90 to 97% with frequent testing for all is literally one of the safest places on the planet.

“Guest satisfaction is super high.”

If you ask Mr Bayley, cruising on a Royal Caribbean ship at the moment is “one of the safest places on the planet.”