Allure of the Seas and Norwegian Epic denied entry to the USVI due to COVID cases onboard

   December 29, 2021 ,   Accidents

The US Virgin Islands (USVI) turned away 2 cruise liners with COVID outbreaks onboard, the country's Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion revealed.

She shared the information at a press briefing on COVID, noting that the vessels had passed the 1% threshold of onboard COVID cases that the department had allowed for visiting ships.

“We actually turned away two cruise ships this weekend, one was 1.2% the other was 1.9%.” 

The two ships were RCI's Allure of the Seas and NCL's Norwegian Epic.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. explained that via an MoU (memorandum of understanding), any vessel that reaches a COVID positivity rate of more than 1% would not be allowed to call on the territory.

Bryan said they had an agreement with them, "if their numbers cross that threshold there’s no compromise, no conversation, they just can’t come.”

The news comes as Caribbean islands like Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao also denied entry to cruise ships with active COVID cases.

On Sunday, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) announced it had canceled calls for Cunard's RMS Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria, and Windstar's Wind Surf due to COVID cases onboard.

The USA's CDC currently tracks the number of COVID cases on 100+ cruise ships. As of Monday, the CDC reported that ~70 ships have had outbreaks that triggered an investigation by the agency, and 7 ships have cases but are below the threshold.

No vessels are sailing at/above the threshold and under orders for additional health measures. The majority of cruise ships not reporting COVID cases have yet to restart sailing with passengers.