False Alarm: Cruise Ship's Crew Members Actually Test Negative for COVID-19

Image: PHOTO: A docked TUI cruise ship. (photo via tobiasjo/iStock Unreleased)
Image: PHOTO: A docked TUI cruise ship. (photo via tobiasjo/iStock Unreleased)
Donald Wood
by Donald Wood
Last updated: 9:46 AM ET, Tue September 29, 2020

Cruise officials are reporting that 12 crew members who tested positive for coronavirus have taken multiple tests and the results have been negative each time.

According to Newsweek, 12 Tui Cruises employees suspected of having COVID-19 and the 24 crew members who came in close contact with them were "immediately isolated" onboard the Mein Schiff 6 ship on Monday.

Greek health authorities announced the 922 passengers tested negative for the coronavirus before boarding the ship.

Tui Cruises was running routine tests on its 666 crew members when the positive tests were found. Since the initial round of tests were administered, employees have been tested twice and the results were negative.

In addition to the PCR tests conducted by Tui Cruises, Greek authorities are using antigen tests to ensure the negative results are accurate. The 24 crew members who came in contact with the possibly infected employees have been quarantined until the results are received.

The Mein Schiff 6 vessel was moored off the island of Milos in the Aegean Sea on Monday until Greek authorities cleared the ship to continue sailing. All shore excursions have been delayed until the COVID-19 test results come back negative.

The Tui Cruises voyage is the first to take place in Greece after a coronavirus lockdown started in March. Before voyages, the cruise line's employees are expected to quarantine for 14 days and are tested regularly.

"Thanks to the extensive hygiene measures and clearance rules on board, there is no reason for guests and crew to worry," a Tui Cruise spokesperson told Newsweek. "Tests on guests were deemed unnecessary as none were affected or were in close contact with the crew suspected to be infected."

"Existing structures and already very strict measures to prevent the spread of viral diseases have been further tightened and adapted to the current situation," the statement continued.

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