Despite every cruise line requiring passengers and crew to be fully vaccinated before boarding, a cruise ship returning from a sail across the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea with thousands of passengers onboard detected an outbreak of COVID-19, according to AP News.
Norwegian Breakaway, owned by Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, departed from the Port of New Orleans on Nov. 28 and sailed to Belize, Honduras, and Mexico, with more than 3,000 people on board.
Ahead of returning to its homeport in New Orleans, the cruise line detected ten COVID infections among its guest and crew. Those who were infected were fully vaccinated and were forced into quarantine.
Governor John Bel Edwards, the City of New Orleans, and the Port of New Orleans were notified about the incident and contacted the CDC. The infected passengers and crew will either travel directly to their homes or self-isolate at an undisclosed location.
According to the vessel-tracking website CruiseMapper, Norwegian Breakaway docked in New Orleans early Sunday morning. All passengers and crew will be subjected to a COVID test before exiting the ship.
Despite a 100% vaccination rate on the vessel, there was still an outbreak of COVID, suggesting that vaccine effectiveness is severely waning.
A recent study of the three primary COVID vaccines showed a 'dramatic' drop in efficacy over six months. So as cruise ship operators begin hitting the high seas with only fully vaxxed passengers and crews that have waning defenses against the virus, one would suspect additional outbreaks on ships as new infections surge across the US.
Even in Europe, where vaccine passport schemes and high vaccination rates are highly enforced, countries are experiencing a surge in infections.
So what are cruise ship operators going to do now? Only allow passengers and crew who are not just fully vaccinated but have their booster shots?