Singapore ‘cruise-to-nowhere’ turns back after COVID-19 case aboard

The global cruise industry has taken a major hit from the coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest big outbreaks found on cruise ships.

SINGAPORE — A passenger aboard a Royal Caribbean “cruise-to-nowhere” from Singapore has tested positive for COVID-19, forcing around 2,000 guests to be quarantined in their cabins and the Quantum of the Seas ship to return to dock on Wednesday.

Singapore has been piloting the trips, which are open only to residents, make no stops and sail in waters just off the city-state.

The global cruise industry has taken a major hit from the coronavirus pandemic, with some of the earliest big outbreaks found on cruise ships. In one case in February off the coast of Japan, passengers were stuck for weeks aboard the Diamond Princess with over 700 guests and crew infected.

“A guest was feeling unwell and tested positive for COVID-19 … We are asking all guests to remain in their state rooms to prevent the spread of illness,” the captain of the Quantum of the Seas told passengers over the public address system in a video shared on social media.

“We kindly ask all guests with urgent medical or health situations like diabetes, heart disease, etc. to contact guest services,” he said, adding that the ship had returned to Singapore a day before the end of its planned four-day sailing.

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