Two days ago, on Friday, it was the second time that a cruise ship (the Celebrity Eclipse) arrived in Sydney, reporting mass infection numbers of passengers with Covid.
After a Princess ship offloaded 800 Cov.-positive passengers in mid-November this Celebrity cruise is the most significant case to date as far as the arrival of virus-laden tourists is concerned.
Following a spike in passengers reporting that they were feeling unwell, Celebrity (just like Princess previously) began to mass-test passengers throughout the voyage.
As News.com first reported that New South Wales Health had given the ship at first a medium risk classification.
A cruise ship with more than 100 Covid-19 positive passengers has docked in Sydney.
Hundreds of passengers on board the Celebrity Eclipse are believed to be carrying the virus.
Having just completed a trip to New Zealand, she was expected to dock in Sydney on Friday morning.
The New South Wales government has classified the ship as a ‘Tier 2’- meaning “there are quite a few cases on board (30-99 positive cases per 1,000 people) and/or the vessel’s staffing or resources are impacted. However, it can safely maintain critical services.”
But in a statement, Celebrity Eclipse says there are only about 4 per cent of people on board with Covid – meaning there would be more than 100 people infected on the ship that holds a maximum of 2850 people.
“The individuals are fully vaccinated, mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic and being monitored by our medical team,” the statement said.
“Celebrity Eclipse is sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests and following a robust protocols plan developed with guidance from local authorities and other leading public health experts. The safety of our guests, crew and the communities we visit is always our top priority.”
That however appears to be only part of the story.
Daily Mail (amid other media) cites additional sources that the final tally of passengers who had tested positive was up to 1500.
The Celebrity Eclipse liner has 3,420 passengers on board and half are estimated to have tested positive.
The ship, which is returning from a cruise to New Zealand, was due to dock at White Bay in Sydney’s inner west just after 6.30am.
The fact that so many cases were identified is a good thing, comparatively speaking, says Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett.
That’s because many thousands more people who have the virus but don’t know it would be in Sydney’s workplaces, entertainment venues, shops and schools right now.
‘These are 1500 cases that we know about, they will be advised to play it safe wear masks and isolate,’ Ms Bennett said.
‘They are not adding a lot to force to the infection in community because infection rates are already up.
‘Ideally they will be picked up because then they won’t be in the public transport system.
‘But even if they’re in taxis they are likely to be wearing masks and being careful.’
Ms Bennett said because there is a mix of several variants in the current Covid surge reinfection is more likely than ever across Australia. …
Edit: The total number of cases for this particular sailing has not been officially confirmed and there seems to be quite a dispute about the accurate tally. I have reached out to the NSW Health Department, trying to get a more definitive number from them.
It’s no longer required to self-isolate at home when testing positive for Covid according the regulations put in place by NSW Health.
NSW does still tally daily infection rates, and regardless of the relaxed home isolation rule, individuals still have to register their positive results with the health department, according to the website. Obviously, this is more of an honor system, as there is no way to track the results of home tests.
Here is the case of the Majestic Princess I wrote about a couple of weeks ago:
All cruise lines have individual requirements as far as boarding and conduct on board are concerned. The Captain can also mandate the wearing of masks, something which has caused a lot of criticism in recent months.
From going through the current regulations I can’t see a limitation when it comes to the onward travel of Covid positive passengers just as any regular resident wouldn’t be limited in movement anymore.
One would have to consult with the transportation provider if they allow Cov+ travelers to board any of their vehicles, be it an airplane, bus or train.
For international travelers who concluded their cruises in Sydney, it could be a bit more tricky, but since most countries no longer require testing for arrival, they can probably just go home.
A Celebrity Cruise ship docked in Sydney harbor on Friday, and unfortunately, roughly 1500 passengers have gotten infected with Covid during their voyage. All passengers have now disembarked the vessel and are on their way home.
Passengers aren’t subject to isolation as of the latest New South Wales health advisories which makes it easier for them to get on their way. That being said it’s still something to consider when traveling to a foreign destination and always running the risk of catching Covid. Not necessarily a cruise but even traditional travel methods as well.
Before traveling abroad it’s wise to go through the current regulations to know what to do and to assess if you’re able to still return home if health permits rather than being forced to isolate somewhere. On the ships, passengers who test positive are still being isolated but most countries have stopped this now within their communities, including New South Wales.