Dec. 6 (UPI) — Ten passengers and crew members aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship tested positive for coronavirus though they weren’t displaying symptoms, the Louisiana Department of Health said.
The Norwegian Breakaway returned to New Orleans on Sunday after a weeklong cruise. The state health department said its agency, as well as Gov. John Bel Edwards, the city of New Orleans and the Port of New Orleans, “are aware and working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to initiate existing COVID-19 agreements and protocols with the cruise line.”
The ship had stops in Belize, Honduras and Mexico. More than 3,200 people were onboard, and they all were to be tested before leaving the ship. The ship has a passenger capacity of 3,964.
The cruise line said the patients were all fully vaccinated and they were asymptomatic.
Those who test positive for the virus will be required to travel home in a personal vehicle or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the cruise line. Passengers were given a test to use in three days.
Passenger Wade Berry told CNN he didn’t learn about the positive cases until reading a statement from the New Orleans Mayor’s Office on Saturday.
“Everything was business as normal,” he said. “The show went on and the bars were open. Everything was normal.”
For more than one year, cruise lines’ ships were idled by the CDC. On June 27, Celebrity Edge became the first cruise ship to set sail from the United States with paying customers after a no-sail order in March 2020. It departed from Port Everglades in Florida.
Early in the pandemic, some ships with cases were rejected at ports.
The Diamond Princess, which docked in Japan, had 13 deaths and 712 cases.
The CDC requires everyone to have a negative test before boarding and vaccinations for those eligible with limited exemptions.