By Taylor Romine and Naomi Thomas, CNN Business
The cruise liner Queen Mary 2 will not make its planned return to the Big Apple after a Covid outbreak onboard.
The Queen Mary 2 dropped off 10 Covid-19 infected passengers in New York earlier this month. Instead of returning to call in New York as originally planned, the Queen Mary 2 will remain in Barbados until January 2 due to the “current international travel situation.
“As a precautionary measure Queen Mary 2 will take on additional manning in essential roles in Barbados prior to the sail back to the UK,” a statement from the parent company said.
The ship left Southhampton on December 13 and is scheduled to return on January 10.
The company said the additional staffing will take a few days due to current air travel delays and cancellations, and therefore will not have time to return to New York. The company did not answer when asked whether the additional staff is needed due to more Covid-19 infections, nor did they answer questions from CNN regarding how many total passengers ended up testing positive for Covid-19.
The CDC has started an investigation into the “Queen Mary 2,” according to agency’s website. It is one of 88 cruise ships that the CDC is currently investigating for having a number of Covid-19 cases that is either at or above the CDC’s threshold for investigation.
Flight arrangements will be made for guests that were set to disembark in New York on January 3rd, according to a statement from Cunard which operates the vessel.
CDC says don’t take cruises
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday increased the risk level for cruise ship travel to its highest level and said cruise travel should be avoided, regardless of vaccination status.
“Since the identification of the Omicron variant, there has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases among cruise passengers and crew reported to CDC. Additionally, there has been an increase in the number of cruise ships meeting the Covid-19 case threshold for CDC investigation,” said CDC.
The CDC says people should avoid cruise travel, regardless of whether they are vaccinated. Those that do travel on a cruise ship should make sure they are fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible. People who go on a cruise should also get tested one to three days before their trip, and three to five days after, regardless of vaccination status.
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