March 12 ------ Individuals from two more cruise ships operated by Princess Cruises had to be tested for coronavirus before the ships were allowed to resume sailing. The cruise operator said that the COVID-19 test results for one Royal Princess crew member and two disembarked guests were negative. As such, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has rescinded all restrictions on the vessel and it can resume sailing. The ship is currently docked at the Port of Los Angeles and is scheduled to set sail for its next voyage on March 14, 2020. Princess Cruises informed yesterday that the results for two crew members tested for COVID-19 onboard Caribbean Princess were also negative. “Additionally, three guests were medically evacuated from the vessel on March 9 for reasons unrelated to COVID-19,” the company statement reads. As such, restrictions on Caribbean Princess have also been rescinded, and the ship is set to arrive at Port Everglades on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
The information is being disclosed as passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship continue to disembark in Oakland following 21 confirmed infections on board the ship, including two guests and 19 crew. Oakland has been chosen as the best place for docking and disembarkation of passengers, as the port’s Outer Harbor Terminal is currently not being used for vessel or cargo operations. According to the latest update from the cruise operator, a total of 1,406 people have disembarked Grand Princess, so far. These include the two guests who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 6. They, as well as their travel companions, have been transferred to local hospitals. “Nineteen crew members who tested positive for COVID-19 have been deemed asymptomatic and were not disembarked from the ship. These crew members are currently in isolation in their individual cabins,” Princess Cruises said in an update. Originally, there were 3,533 people onboard Grand Princess, including 2,422 guests and 1,111 teammates.
As part of the disembarkation process, California Health & Human Services teams are on board the Grand Princess to assist with medical screening and interviews and have prioritized those who require the most medical attention and care. The cruise operator said that in order to avoid delays in the disembarkation process, COVID-19 testing will be conducted when guests arrive at their onward destinations. American guests are planned to be transferred to either Travis Air Force Base in Solano County, California; Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in San Diego; Lackland Air Force Base in Bexar County, Texas; or Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia. On the other hand, international guests are yet to receive additional information on the destinations once confirmed by international government agencies. “Once disembarkation of the guests is completed, remaining crew members will remain onboard and Grand Princess will depart from San Francisco Bay. Plans for a crew quarantine are still being determined,” the update reads.