AIDA Cruises has confirmed that at least 10 crew members tested positive for coronavirus after boarding AIDAmar and AIDAblu in Germany last week.
The infected crew members have since been removed from the ships while the remaining crew members are secluded and awaiting another round of test results. “The crew onboard these two ships have already tested negative twice, so the additional testing is purely precautionary,” Roger Frizzell, spokesperson for AIDA’s parent company Carnival Corp., told USA Today.
“All affected crew members are currently in isolation and have been quarantined. A second PCR (nasal swab) test has been carried out immediately to verify the results,” the cruise line confirmed.
The positive results reported on July 22 are not expected to affect AIDA’s resumption of operations next month. AIDAperla is scheduled to depart from Hamburg on August 5 while AIDAmar will set sail from Rostock-Warnemunde on August 12, and AIDAblu will return to service from Kiel on August 16.
The cruise line’s initial sailings will be limited to European waters and will not feature any ports of call. AIDA plans to avoid U.S. and Canadian ports for the remainder of 2020.
“We do not expect it to create any delays especially since it showcases the new screening process with our crew members there is working as intended,” Frizzell added, pointing out that all crew members were tested prior to flying to Rostock and boarding the ships and waited for the second test results in isolation to minimize the risk of transmission.
In addition to rigorous testing for crew members, AIDA has implemented a slew of enhanced health and safety protocols with the help of medical and science advisors ahead of next month’s sailings, including a digital health questionnaire for guests to complete in advance of their cruise, temperature checks ahead of check-in, physical distancing guidelines and increased cleaning and disinfection in public areas and cabins, among other measures.
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