BELIZE CITY, Belize — Twenty-seven people aboard a Carnival cruise tested positive for COVID-19 just before the ship made a stop in Belize City this week, according to the Belize Tourism Board.
The positive cases were among 26 crew members and one passenger on the Carnival Vista, which is carrying over 1,400 crew and nearly 3,000 passengers, the board said in a statement.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The above video originally aired July 10, when Carnival Vista took its first sail since the pandemic shutdown.
The ship arrived Wednesday in Belize City. It is expected to return to Galveston Saturday morning.
All 27 people were vaccinated, had mild or no symptoms, and were in isolation, according to the statement. The tourism board said 99.98% of the ship's crew was vaccinated, as well as 96.5% of its passengers.
The Washington Post reported Carnival said it announced last week that there were positive cases on board, but the cruise line did not not give specific numbers. The ship left from Galveston, Texas, according to the Post.
Carnival is requiring passengers to be vaccinated, though there are exceptions for children and people with medical issues. The cruise line said in a statement Aug. 4 that passengers must wear a mask in certain indoor areas, and provide a negative COVID test within three days of embarkment for cruises beginning Aug. 14.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on its website that it had investigated the Carnival Vista and the ship remains under observation.
Carnival mask policy
As of August 7, all Carnival passengers are strongly encouraged to wear face masks when indoors, particularly guests who are unvaccinated, including children under the age of 12 who should wear masks in public areas, except when eating or drinking.
All guests age 2 and older will be required to wear face masks in elevators and in designated indoor entertainment areas, all retail shops, and in the casino, except when eating or drinking.
Guests will be required to wear face masks prior to being seated in our main dining rooms and in the Lido Buffet area and occasionally in other designated areas where larger number of guests may congregate (signs will be posted).
Additionally, masks are required at any indoor activity with children under 12 years, (i.e., Build-A-Bear®, Family Harbor, Sky Zone®).
All guests must wear masks during the entire embarkation and debarkation process (at the home port and ports of call, including the onboard pre-debarkation process), during any Carnival-approved shore excursions and while on any transportation vehicles, including water shuttles.
Additionally, when going ashore, guests must be prepared to follow all local guidance regarding masks and physical distancing. The status of local guidelines will be shared with guests prior to debarkation at the destination.