Further tests required for suspected COVID-19 case on board; all passengers to undergo mandatory testing as part of safe cruising protocols

Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, 9 December 2020 – Royal Caribbean International’s Quantum of the Seas began disembarking all passengers at 7.30pm today, after a suspected COVID-19 case was detected on board this morning. Disembarkation is expected to be completed at around 12 midnight.

The suspected case is an 83-year-old Singaporean male, who reported to the on-board medical centre with diarrhoea in the late evening of 8 December. He was given a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test as per on board protocols, and tested positive. He was conveyed to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) at 2.30pm, and is undergoing further tests. His original sample has since been retested and has come back negative for COVID-19 infection. A second fresh sample tested has also come back negative. A third test will be conducted tomorrow to confirm his COVID-19 status. 

In line with the existing emergency response plans for pilot cruises, contact tracing began immediately after the positive test result, and all on board leisure activities ceased. Passengers were also asked to remain in their rooms, while close contacts of the suspected case were identified and isolated. The ship – which had 1,680 passengers and 1,148 crew on board – immediately cut short its itinerary and returned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore at 8.30am on 9 December.

As part of existing infection control protocols, the remaining passengers and crew on board had to remain on the ship until contact tracing was completed. This was also to prevent any intermingling between passengers or crew from Quantum of the Seas and Genting Cruise Lines’ World Dream, which arrived at the same terminal at 9am. Disembarkation commenced when contact tracing for the suspected case and embarkation of passengers for World Dream’s next sailing were completed.

All passengers will undergo a mandatory Antigen Rapid Test at Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore upon disembarkation. This is in line with regular protocols for arriving passengers. Deep-cleaning is also being carried out on board the ship as part of CruiseSafe guidelines[1].

As a further precautionary measure, passengers are also required to monitor their health for 14 days from the date of disembarkation and undergo a swab test at a designated government swabbing facility at the end of the monitoring period. Close contacts of the positive case who are identified and tested negative for COVID-19 will be sent to a designated government quarantine facility. 



[1] STB’s CruiseSafe was created in consultation with the industry and is benchmarked against global health and safety standards. The CruiseSafe standards cover the passenger’s entire cruise journey including pre-screening of passengers, limiting crowding throughout the passenger journey, safe management measures, contact tracing and crew management.


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The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is the lead development agency for tourism, one of Singapore’s key economic sectors. Together with industry partners and the community, we shape a dynamic Singapore tourism landscape. We bring the Passion Made Possible brand to life by differentiating Singapore as a vibrant destination that inspires people to share and deepen their passions.

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