Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Disney suspends test cruise over ‘inconsistent’ COVID results

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Disney’s plan to restart its cruise line business has hit a cliff.

Disney Cruise Line said it was postponing its first test cruise since the coronavirus pandemic began after some employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The Disney Dream was to depart from Port Canaveral, Florida on Tuesday with 300 workers who volunteered for a two-day “simulation cruise”. Disney said in a statement on Monday, but travel was put on hold until next month because a small number of employees had “inconsistent” COVID test results, “which are considered positive by the CDC.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were Cruise line strategy monitoring It was given the green light to resume its business after being grounded for more than a year, and to conduct a test cruise between June 29 and July 1.

The US is starting to allow cruises again under the condition that nearly all passengers and crew are vaccinated against the virus. In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, putting the onus on cruise lines to prove the effectiveness of their COVID safety protocols on test cruises.

Last weekend, the Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to leave a US port in 15 months, after departing Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Several ships, including a host of carnival cruise lines, have either departed or are scheduled to depart from other ports, signaling a symbolic step toward normalcy for the beleaguered cruise industry.

A Disney cruise ship sailing in Dover, England.
The cruise line industry has been at a standstill for more than a year due to the pandemic.
Getty Images

But a return to business is tough as the pandemic still remains a threat. Last week, two children aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Adventures of the Seas ship tested positive for COVID-19. Both children, who were under the age of 16 and had not been vaccinated, were “immediately quarantined” and sent home shortly after.

The company said the incident occurred even after 92 percent of Adventure of the Seas’ guests were fully vaccinated.

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