- A cruise ship has docked in Sydney after 800 people on board tested positive for COVID.
- The cruise operator’s president said it started to increase halfway through the trip.
- There were 54,661 cases of COVID across Australia last week.
A cruise ship docked in Sydney, Australia, affected by a major COVID-19 outbreak.
The BBC reported that around 4,600 passengers and crew were on board the luxury Majestic Princess and that 800 people were affected by the virus outbreak.
Marguerite Fitzgerald, president of cruise operator Carnival Australia, told Australia’s ABC that they started seeing more cases halfway through a 12-day cruise around New Zealand, all asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic.
He told the news agency: “Reflecting an increase in public transmissions, we have seen more guests test positive for COVID-19 on Majestic Princess’ current voyage. This is the result of mass testing of our 3,300 guests.”
He added that staff will help all COVID-positive guests “access private transportation and housing to complete the isolation period,” according to ABC.
One of the passengers told the ABC, The Guardian: “It was scary because we had heard about it, but of course we had negative tests and the Majestic Princess was really good with the protocols. [We] We have been wearing masks for the past seven days, and we have been very careful when we go to the beach.”
Carnival Australia did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
According to The Guardian, cases of COVID are on the rise across Australia, with 54,661 cases reported across the country in the past week.
According to Reuters, Australian authorities are working to reassure the public that the ship’s fire is under control. Home Affairs Minister Claire O’Neill said authorities had put in place “normal protocols” since the Ruby Princess outbreak in March-April 2020, when hundreds of people came into contact with COVID-19 on an Australian cruise off the coast of New Zealand, killing 28 people.
Authorities are determining how to get passengers off the Majestic Princess “on a case-by-case basis,” O’Neill told Reuters.
The ship will soon depart for Melbourne, Australia.